After joining The Gunners at the tender age of just 9, Jack Wilshere quickly and publicly rose through the ranks. Today, he stands before the greatest challenge of his career – fulfilling his potential. [quote_right]”Nobody is doubting [Wilshere’s] ability to reach such lofty heights. In fact, now might just be the perfect time to do it…”[/quote_right]
By the time Jack was sixteen years old, every Arsenal fan across the globe had heard his name. The media were excited, and the Club knew that they had a potential talisman brewing within their youth system.
Although still young, Jack’s promise of becoming both an Arsenal and England legend are yet to take shape, mainly due to a string of niggling injuries.
Wilshere’s quality has been proven on numerous occasions in the presence of world-class opposition, and so of course, nobody is doubting his ability to reach such lofty heights. In fact, now might just be the perfect time to do it.
Delaying The Promise
Long before Wilshere’s first senior appearance, an air of expectancy was always present whenever his name was mentioned.
After a successful loan away at Bolton Wanderers in 2009, fans, media and pundits alike poured praise on the young Englishman, cementing his name into the minds of Arsenal and England fans across the nation.[quote_left]”Since his successful 2010/11 campaign, injury has plagued Wilshere, resulting in severe hinderance to his progress.”[/quote_left]
During the 2010/11 campaign, Wilshere made a considerable impact in the Arsenal first team, racking up plenty of appearances in the process. By the time the season was over, Arsenal fans saw Wilshere as one of the Club’s few remaining gems.
However, since his successful 2010/11 campaign, a long-term ankle injury has plagued Wilshere, resulting in severe hinderance to his progress.
His ankle problems kept him out of action for almost fourteen months, coming to an end on October 25th, 2012 against QPR – which I happened to capture on video. Below, is a table displaying all of Jack Wilshere’s appearances, goals and assists.
Please note: The statistics below include data from Arsenal, England & Bolton Wanderers appearances.
[table id=6 /]
For a better illustration of the numbers above, I’ve also provided an interactive graph which gives a much clearer visual interpretation of Jack Wilshere’s appearances and impact over the years.
As the graph above clearly demonstrates, the long-term injury suffered by Wilshere during the 2011/12 campaign took an almighty toll on his progression. The same injury continued to bother Wilshere throughout the 2012/13 season also.
The campaign immediately before his injury was full of promise, yet an extended period on the sidelines means that at the age of just 21, Wilshere is already playing catch-up with his own potential.
A New Horizon?
After suffering yet another setback towards the end of the 2012/13 season, Jack Wilshsere underwent surgery to replace screws in his ankle. However, pictures have recently emerged of the Englishman taking part in a pre-season training session – indicating that Arsenal’s talisman is close to a full recovery.[quote_right]”On the first day of the season, [Jack] will need to hit the ground running. Thankfully, he’s more than capable of doing just that – and more.”[/quote_right]
Now, with a full pre-season ahead of him for the first time in over two years, Jack Wilshere might just be ready to pick up where he left off at the end of his 2011 campaign.
His ankle injury problems should now be behind him, and with Arsenal looking to make big moves in the transfer market this Summer, Jack Wilshere may well find himself regaining his mojo in the presence of players who will make the job all too easy for him.
Arsenal soon head off to on a tour of Asia, followed by the traditional Emirates Cup after their return. Jack Wilshere will need to be present, and he will need to be focused, because on the first day of the Premier League season, he will need to hit the ground running. Thankfully, he’s more than capable of doing just that – and more.
Wilshere’s dark, injury plagued years are poised for the arrival of a new, more promising horizon. Here’s hoping that such a horizon is indeed this coming season.