I’ve never been Jack Wilshere’s biggest fan. Spitting on a taxi driver for wearing a Tottenham hat showed the sort of person he is. And I don’t buy into the theory that the 22 year-old Arsenal midfielder is the best English talent we’ve had in years.
But this isn’t an article to provoke or slate for the sake of it, but rather to highlight something that’s been abundantly clear for some time now – that Wilshere is criminally overrated.
While the majority of Arsenal fans will defend their player fervently and disagree with my point of view, those honest enough will know that I’m right.
Let me say that I think Wilshere is a decent player, just not of the required standard that comes with playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He simply hasn’t kicked on like we all expected since he exploded onto the scene as a 17 year-old.
His 69 minute showing against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season was so poor, some called for him to be dropped from the starting line-up. Should he be dropped? Yes, without a doubt, especially when Mesut Ozil returns. He isn’t good enough – simple as that.
With an ankle made of glass, he can’t string more than five games together before crumpling into a heap on the floor. If he does last a full 90 minutes, he’ll spend most of that time falling over, moaning to the referee and generally not doing much else – his toys thrown out the pram as soon as the first crunching tackle comes his way.
With the likes of Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Arteta and even Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, I’m not sure where Wilshere fits in at Arsenal. His position was once indispensable but it’s becoming increasingly likely it’ll be more surplus to requirements if he doesn’t buck his ideas up.
Flashes of brilliance, like that spectacular goal against Norwich last season, aren’t enough. Consistency is the key and he doesn’t have it. Am I being harsh? I don’t think so. Look at Aaron Ramsey who, since a violent leg break in 2010, has developed into a world-class goalscoring midfielder and one of the first names on the team-sheet.
The difference? Ramsey isn’t hanging out in Las Vegas with a fag out his mouth during the summer. Perhaps if Wilshere busted a gut to get his fitness up to scratch, he might turn in a decent game here and there and, while I appreciate footballers are afforded the luxury of regular downtime, his priorities seem confused.
Maybe he believed the hype which, thanks to the media, has been built up to a lop-sided and unrealistic level. Either way, it’s clear to me that Jack Wilshere is a footballer whose talent has been blown a little bit out of proportion.