Wilshere Must Be Given Time

By on March 31, 2011

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I believe it is imperative to begin by stating that Jack Wilshere will be a constant in the England midfield for many years to come, and will almost certainly become England captain in the future.

That said, I think we need to be really careful with how the media and the public are reacting to Arsenal’s wonderkid. He truly is a fantastic talent; he has proved it all season long, not just in the Premier League, but also amongst Europe’s elite in the Champions League. He has been touted in the media as ‘England’s saviour’ and the natural successor to Frank Lampard in midfield. But it is so important to remember that he is still 19, he doesn’t need to be labelled as anything, he should just be allowed to play his game and be 19, rather than shouldering the hopes of his nation, much like Wayne Rooney had to, at such a tender age.

It would be fair to state that England had a poor World Cup in 2010, for various reasons, but many still believe the failure was due to Wayne Rooney and his lack of performances. Leading up to South Africa, he was identified as the star man and rightly so, because on form, he is England’s best player. But what many fail to realise is that having that amount of pressure on your shoulders at such a young age can be nothing but detrimental. It doesn’t matter how much money you’re paid every week or how good you are, if you allow yourself to actually think for one moment that your entire country’s hopes are on your shoulders, then surely it’s enough to drive a man insane.

As a nation, we seem to be the very best at the concept of build them up, then knock them down. At the age of 18, Rooney was touted as England’s saviour and was a national hero, now, visit any pub in England and some locals will gladly tell anyone who wants to listen that Rooney is ‘overpaid, lazy and rubbish.’ and how they knew he was never going to be that good. He used to be a national hero, now, bar Manchester United fans, he is pretty much loathed by the majority. Many believe that Wayne doesn’t care, but if the bubble burst tomorrow, I bet I know who would pay their subs on a Sunday to play the game they love. Sure he’s made mistakes in his life, but still some are bitter that he never performed in South Africa, as if he should have been programmed to produce his best form when it suited, unfortunately that isn’t how football works. After the Euros in 2012 and the World Cup in 2014, if Wilshere doesn’t reach this so called ‘acceptable standard’, then the same people will gladly tell you how they ‘never rated Wilshere at the time anyway’.

There is a distinct possibility that if we allow Wilshere to be built up at such a rate, then he will be knocked down to the very bottom if he doesn’t perform. It’s also been said in some quarters that Jack is as good as the likes of Xavi and Iniesta already, another statement that doesn’t even need to be made and one that he will surely not appreciate. He may well go on to become as good as those two, and the likes of Paul Scholes. But isn’t it better to let him find his own way in the game rather than telling him that he’s the next Xavi, because anything less will be a disappointment.

When we were made aware that captain John Terry had been sent home from England duty, along with Frank Lampard, and with the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard, England needed a captain for Wednesday night’s visit of Ghana. Some quarters of the media touted Jack Wilshere as the man to lead England, which at this stage in his career was an absolute nonsense. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to put unnecessary pressure on our young midfielder who is still learning his trade. If he had been given the armband, and had a poor game, then some would question his ability to lead a team, something that should be a moot point at the age of 19.

Rather than building Jack up to such an extent that he can only go one way, why not just enjoy the dazzling performances he is producing at such a tender age. Let’s not let the game gobble Wilshere up before he has even had time to breathe.

Submitted by Everything Football

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