When non-Arsenal supporting friends of mine have doubted Jack Wilshere’s talent in the recent injury-troubled past I have counselled them to go on You Tube and type in ‘Wilshere v Barcelona’. You can now add to that ‘Wilshere v Brazil’.
Against Brazil all the familiar Wilshere traits were on view. The simple neat passing as well as the searching telling ball. Above all ‘the burst’ that Le Boss spoke about a few weeks ago. Time and again he was the only England player that could find space in midfield, burst beyond an opponent and create opportunities for others.
Of course he ran into trouble a couple of times and lost possession. To criticise him for that would be to misunderstand his role. He was the risk taker in that position. Gerrard was the deepest of the midfield players, he looked after the ball and was the defensive shield. Cleverley was technically sound and more of the continuity player. The whole pattern freed up Wilshere to cause damage to Brazil at the sharp end of the pitch. And, on the night, he delivered!
Even in his absolute heyday Gerrard couldn’t take the ball on the half turn like Jack does. No other England player has a first touch to match him either. He knows exactly what he is going to do with it before he receives the ball. I have said it before but he is the nearest thing in these Islands to the great Barcelona duo.
Let’s face it, Brazil turned up at half pace on the evening but all their gifts were there. Yet Wilshere looked the technical equal of all of them just as he did against Xavi, Iniesta et al a couple of years ago.
A word for Theo too he carried on his recent Gunners form and looked a threat all the while he was on the field. But back to Jack. England fans may at last have seen the birth of a new star but we Gooners knew all along the genius that Jack is!
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