So, Jack Wilshere has been caught up in a smoking storm for the third time, the latest episode being an image showing the midfielder holding a shisha pipe in a nightclub which was uploaded onto social media.
If it isn’t already known by all Arsenal fans worldwide, Wilshere is an insanely gifted footballer and quite possibly the best midfielder England have produced since Paul Gascoigne.
Fans on these shores are hesitant to give Wilshere praise, but he is surprisingly revered across Europe and has been repeatedly complimented by players deemed as some of the best in the world.
For example, this is what Bayern Munich ace Bastian Schweinsteiger said about the 22-year-old ahead of a Champions League tie between Bayern Munich and Arsenal in 2013 (via the Guardian)
“He [Wilshere] is one of the best there is, he is a difficult player. It has a lot to do with his size. The typical English payer is over 1m 85cm [6ft 1in] but Jack Wilshere [5ft 8in] is very dynamic, he has a very good left foot and he has a really good eye for the way he views the players around him. Those are his strong qualities.”
The German superstar is one of many to reserve praise for Wilshere with the likes of Marco Reus, Xavi and Andres Iniesta all taking time out to voice their appreciation.
However, having talent is only the base to having a career at the top level of football which should go hand-in-hand with off-field dedication.
Arsene Wenger has previously voiced his disappointment at Wilshere’s actions; but you can’t help but feel that the manager’s leniency is linked with the mental fragility of our no.10 given the amount of injuries he’s suffered.
The Englishman’s dedication cannot be questioned given how many times he has returned from frustrating injury setbacks at such a young age, but his lack of professionalism off the pitch may prevent the midfield ace from reaching his full potential.
At a club like Arsenal, stagnation isn’t a sustainable period in terms of a players career path and Wilshere’s place in the team is already under question. By the time he returns, he’ll be competing with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky for a central midfield berth and those aforementioned players are all playing at the top of their game.
It will be interesting to see how the boss handles this latest development in Wilshere’s lack of discipline – having seen how Wenger finally lost his patience with Nicklas Bendtner, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the, new, ruthless Frenchman to issue the England international with an ultimatum.