Those of you that were at the parade on Sunday would’ve noticed – Jack Wilshere was off his face and loving life. This is a player who has come in for a huge amount of criticism over the last couple of years, donning a bucket hat and enjoying himself – letting loose like he has been on the field recently. While he’s under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons at the moment, it’s time for him to turn a corner, and 2015/16 is the time to do it.
Firstly, let’s start with the chants that have dropped Wilshere in hot water again and seen him charged with misconduct (via The FA). The Englishman may well be a role model for young budding football fans, but any youngster that enters a football ground will be exposed to far, far fouler language. The beautiful term ‘banter’ has never been more applicable. Wilshere’s singing was clearly just a fan connecting with his fellow fans. It wasn’t racist or harmful. In fact, they were incredibly accurate if anything, Tottenham really are shit. Even surely they can admit to that? And if they actually won something (in a parallel universe perhaps) then would they not be chanting their own banterous Gunners chants?
I guess the bottom line is do you see players like Aaron Ramsey or Theo Walcott stepping out of line too often? You can argue in the case of the chants that ‘he’s one of our own’, having been at the club for many years and even having the rare experience of traveling as an Arsenal fan in his youth. Regardless, Jack needs to show a little more maturity when he is clearly being made an example of by the FA and they will continue to do so whenever he puts a foot wrong.
We don’t have to look too far back to remember his finger pulling antics against Manchester City which landed him in hot bother last season – at least that was actually offensive. As Ashley pointed out, there’s been far worse offences that have gone unpunished by the FA this season, singing a song the crowd were chanting every five minutes before hand is not justified with a formal discipline.
While off the field Wilshere has caused controversy, he will be hoping to push on next season and really give Wenger something to think about. The Gunners midfield is beginning to stack up, and when you consider Ramsey had to play on the right, Oxlade-Chamberlain was benched, and Welbeck injured for the final, it’s going to be a hell of a fight to even make the starting lineup.
But Arsenal and injuries have become somewhat synonymous in recent years, and they are something we can all count on. Jack is one of the most injury-prone players on our books, but a lot of that is down to his combative, gung-ho approach. He draws fouls and is an incredibly tricky player for defenders to deal with. For those reasons alone he is often more susceptible to injuries, and will continue to be so if he isn’t just a little bit smarter sometimes – again, it’s the maturity thing.
While Wilshere is clearly a central midfielder, ideal in the box-to-box role, he has found himself out wide recently with the fine form of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil occupying his preferred positions. On the wing he is offered more protection and space to do his thing, but it’s certainly not his position in the long run.
Jack can score some cracking goals, two consecutive Goal of the Season accolades certainly prove that, but it is consistency and delivering on a regular basis that is the next step for the 23-year-old to unlock the real Jack Wilshere. And that will happen next season. Do you agree?