Players who need a good season – #1 Jack Wilshere

Yes Jack Wilshere, you.

The 2018-2019 season looms upon us. It’s what Thursday is to Friday – not quite the weekend but you get half excited. The Premier League will never be Russia 2018, but we’ll take it, something to fill the void that is mid July – mid August.

Careers will blossom, the much hyped Ryan Sessegnon will hopefully show himself as the English Mbappe, Ruben Loftus Cheek may just get a game or two for Chelsea and Harry Kane may once again slam in goal after goal to win another golden boot.

Careers might die though, careers might die. Careers that started with claims of “he’s the messiah” might slip away and reach Michael Johnson levels of unfulfilled potential.

Jack Wilshere was meant to be it, the fabled bridge between the midfield and the attack that every single pundit wouldn’t stop banging on for about ten years, the missing piece of the jigsaw that would see (pre Sir Gareth Southgate) England change from a flatpacked 4-4-2 into a dynamic ball playing team.

We can’t forget that goal where he combined with Giroud in one of the most liquid, knife through butter, red sea has parted, “that’s how Arsenal play football” goals of all time. With a full season under his belt he could have been at the World Cup, he could, dare I say, have been the difference, he could have brought it home.

When he’s on form it’s like the ball is stuck to his foot, his hefty arse giving him a low sense of gravity and the capability to shield the ball and move effortlessly around the pitch.

He also possesses the ability to act as a gear stick for any team, controlling the tempo and speed of attack or the opposite, keeping possession and tiring out the opposition. It’s these qualities that lead to a few (tenuous) links to Barcelona years ago. Some of us are brave enough to admit we could see him playing comfortably alongside Xavi and Iniesta.

Injuries, combined with Arsenal owning fair too many centre midfielders and 10’s required for any squad, saw Wilshere struggle to get in to the Arsenal squad this season, despite a promising season out on loan in 2017-18.

*I’ve just realised that i’ve been spelling Wilshere as Wilshire this whole time, read into this what you want but I reckon this is some Freudian shit, we’ve not seen his name enough to even realise its not spelt like Wiltshire without a t.

2018-2019 is a new beginning for Jack, West Ham, the ‘ammers, blowing bubbles they will be, but up his weighty backside will they be blown? At the time of writing its hard to say as Manuel Pellegrini looks like he’s just started up FIFA Ultimate Team and is opening gold pack after gold pack, wondering if he’ll get those luminous green strands of chemistry into an Irons’ XI.

Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop join a squad already consisting of Hernandez, Arnautovic, Zabaleta, Lanzini and stalwart Mark Noble.

It won’t be easy, people will expect him to walk into that team, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles. If he gets a couple of injuries he could lose his place, 22 year old Josh Cullen is in the first team squad after successful loan spells at Bradford City and Bolton and Pellegrini has already mentioned he wants him involved.

In fact, I vision some weird twist of fate, some plot, the young usurper providing the final blow to a career that never was. Football can be is cruel and unless Wilshere becomes the Iniesta we all once – even if it was just for a millisecond, you did it don’t lie – believed he could be, his career could slip into mediocrity.


Join me tomorrow where we will look at a banished England full-back.

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