Jack Wilshere’s situation is quite similar to Arsenal’s right now. His career, just like the Gunners under Arsene Wenger, has reached a new low. While his parent club have now lost four out of their last five Premier League ties, the academy ‘gem’ is finding himself benched at Bournemouth – a side potentially in a battle from relegation.
Once heralded as England’s ‘new hope’, the Gunners man looked like he made the right choice to join the Cherries for a chance to rejuvenate his faltering career that has been hampered by injuries.
Seven months later, Wilshere is finding himself on the bench against Swansea City – the third match in a row. To make matters worse, the midfielder missed out on an England call-up from Gareth Southgate. Former international team-mate Rio Ferdinand feels Wilshere will be feeling frustrated and embarrassed with his situation that has rapidly changed.
“I think there’s an element of embarrassment, coming from Arsenal and an England regular and then being sub at Bournemouth – no disrespect but it’s not the same playing field as Arsenal,” Ferdinand reportedly said (via Daily Mail).
“If you put yourself in his shoes you’ll be thinking I might as well get myself back to Arsenal.
“He’ll be thinking if I’m going to be sub here then I might as well be sub at Arsenal.
“Jack Wilshere has been spoken about as the next big thing for England so to come to Bournemouth and be subbed – that’s not something that would have been on his agenda or his mind-set coming here.
“So disappointment and embarrassment – I’m sure he’s got mixed emotions.”
It looked like the loan move was all heading in the right direction, receiving a recall to the England squad in November. However in recent weeks Wilshere has struggled to even make the Bournemouth starting XI with boss Eddie Howe choosing a more ‘robust’ and ‘disciplined’ midfield.
It’s a strange situation for Wilshere to find himself in, and one you would not have predicted last summer. A whole season without any decent injury lay-offs however is a good place to start. 19 starts, 4 substitute appearances culminating in 1660 minutes played in the Premier League. Not bad at all considering he struggled to play for longer than five seconds in an Arsenal shirt.
But are we not just clutching at straws here? Anyway you look at it, Wilshere is in serious danger of throwing his immense potential down the gurgler and there is probably good reason why he has not been offered new terms at Arsenal.
The next few months are set to be vital in the career of the 25-year-old.