It’s with a heavy heart that I say this, but Jack Wilshere’s move to West Ham was as predictable as it was sad. It appears that Wilshere has received a fraction of the interest normally reserved for players with his considerable talent.
It was said that Everton and Galatasaray had contacted the player’s agent but Wilshere had decided that West Ham was his preferred destination. It is upsetting that a player with all Wilshere’s credentials and potential, couldn’t elicit a bid from one decent, foreign club but it appears his injury record has been a major stumbling block.
It feels that Wilshere’s career has been blighted in one way or another and the last straw was Wenger’s departure from the Emirates, which effectively ended his association with Arsenal. Incoming manager, Unai Emery had noticed, as had I, that the player, although incredibly talented, failed to control the play and influence or dominate the game.
Undoubtedly brimming with skill, Wilshere needs someone alongside him that can do those things, which made his case for an extension all the weaker. I am and have been, a massive Wilshere fan but having studied hours and hours of footage since his contract negotiations were announced, there’s little doubt that he can be viewed as a luxury in the heat of a battle.
People talk about his lack of development and much of what has been said is accurate, but his injuries have had a considerable impact on his game. Even so, once he came back to full fitness, he has failed to stamp his authority on major games as one would expect. Jack’s big problem apart from injuries, is confidence and belief. At times, Wenger was his champion but it seemed to most Gooners that something had changed in recent seasons.
A loan spell at Bournemouth hardly helped his cause with his contract running down and Wenger himself, told the media that Wilshere had been informed, early last season, that he was surplus to requirements. Injuries to others changed all that and allowed him to have a decent run in the team, a spell in which he displayed an array of cute and inventive touches and revealed his unparalleled vision but he simply didn’t stand out often enough.
After Wenger left and Emery was appointed, Wilshere must have feared the worst and that he would have to move on to progress but a move to West Ham? A team that have been involved in relegation year in and year out, it can hardly be seen as an upgrade, even if they invest heavily and Pellegrini works his magic.
It would seem that Wilshere has settled on stability for himself and his Family but many will say that he needed to move abroad to prove his worth. Galatasaray are hardly Bayern Munich, and if they were the only suitors from outside the Premiership, one can understand his reluctance.
Yet, West Ham, will at best, fight for a place anywhere between 10th to 7th and at worst, line up in the perennial dogfight at the bottom, neither which are likely to increase Wilshere’s chances of an England shirt. At West Ham, he will have to assert himself on a weekly basis for Gareth Southgate to remotely consider adding him to England’s current squad of enthusiastic young lions.
Could it be that Wilshere feels safe at West Ham and that it’s a slightly lazy move? One, where he can shine amid a squad of reasonably ordinary players or has Pellegrini developed a master plan to reinvent West Ham and drag them into contention for the premier league?
Well, out of those two options, I would probably say it was option one. I hope, like every other Arsenal supporter that Jack Wilshere becomes the player we always thought he could be. That he returns to the England squad and puts on a master class and remains fully fit from here on. He had his chance at Arsenal and never really took it
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