Can Jack Wilshere shine for Arsenal this season?
Written by Kush Sharma.
A little over a fortnight is all that remains for the premiership to cast its magic once again on the world of football and induce unparalleled excitement in a way only a league which is widely regarded to be the best and most popular in the world can.
And while the pre-season might satisfy the urges of only a few sections of fans around the world, it definitely is another matter as far as the new signings as well as the young developing players in a club are concerned.
Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Wojciech Szczesny are few among the ones that would be fighting it out for a place in the first team, while Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny would want to give a hint or two of their potential prowess before the serious business gets underway.
And if one was to pass a judgment based on the first three pre-season games in a way that would resonate with the opinion of majority of Arsenal fans, it is the 18 year old wonder boy from Hertfordshire that has clearly stood out from the rest.
Jack Wilshere looks set to be on his way to up England’s fleeting share in Arsenal’s first team squad. The 18 year old had impressed in Arsenal’s 2009-2010 pre-season by putting in back to back emphatic displays against Athletico Madrid and Rangers in the Emirates Cup.
At that point, many had considered him good enough for the first team squad, but that was not to be and after impressing at Bolton on loan, Wilshere has once again gained appreciation by putting in dazzling performances against Barnet, SK Sturm Graz and SC Neusiedl 1919.
The question is not if but how much of first team action would he be a part of. Joe Cole heading to Anfield instead of The Emirates and Theo Walcott’s dwindling form are factors that would suit Wilshere perfectly. A mature and clever head, excellent control on the ball, unbelievable vision, trickery, ability to read the game well and creativity in the final third are some of the factors that Wilshere can bolster the Arsenal midfield with.
With Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue, Tomas Rosicky all having had a fairly poor season in 2009-2010, as well as the horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey, Wilshere can be the answer to a more creative and attacking midfield, especially now since the prospect of Arsene Wenger signing an attacking midfielder looks grim.
Last Pre-season saw the 18 year old play on the wings and to good effect too. This time around Arsene Wenger has allotted him a central role which he taken with both hands and it seems to be his favored position too. Another asset is his physical endurance and stamina. It was not rare to find him making and controlling the play from the middle while also making great runs inside the opponent’s 18-yard box.
The argument against is obviously the lack of first team experience, and as the opponents get sterner during the remaining run-in of pre-season games, one may not expect him to control the midfield with an aura of complete dominance as he has done in the first three games.
The physicality factor might also come into play and against tougher oppositions this might prove to be a downside, as was seen in last year’s pre-season game against Valencia where Wilshere was brushed aside more than once and was not at ease throughout the half he played in.
So while it is certain that Jack Wilshere is bound to shine at the Emirates, one would gather a more accurate picture of when this would happen by analyzing his displays in the face of bigger oppositions, like AC Milan, whom Arsenal are set to meet this Saturday in the Emirates Cup .
Arsene Wenger is considered the master of nurturing exceptional talents and at a time when the harrowing prospect of going 6 years without a trophy is looming over the Emirates, Jack Wilshere might just be the ace up his sleeves.
What is your opinion? Do you think Jack Wilshere is ready for first team action?
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