Jack Wilshere Won’t Win The World Cup Just Yet, But He’s Playing Glorious Football
It wasn’t that long ago (three weeks really) that Jack Wilshere was seen as a Europa League and Carabao Cup specialist winding down the final days of his contract at Arsenal. Once hailed as the future of Arsenal’s English-infused era of dominance and the answer to decades of hurt in the Three Lions’ midfield, Jack the lad became a Mr. Glass meme, a veritable truth of Pep Guardiola’s claim that Barcelona’s reserve side had an over-abundance of Jack Wilsheres.
Jack Wilshere with the pass of the season
— Lacazettes (@Lacazettes) December 18, 2017
But in the space of 15 days, Wilshere has reportedly earned himself a new contract at Arsenal and played himself back into World Cup contention with four displays of composure, fluidity and consistency. While his quality has always been known, what’s more surprising over the space of the last couple weeks is that Wilshere has played four complete matches (360 minutes) without his troublesome ankle going crack or his foot breaking apart following a kamikaze exertion.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised given Wilshere played in 27 EPL matches for Bournemouth last year — his highest total since he burst onto the scene in 2010-11 — while twice being named the Cherries’ Player of the Month, but we all know that football doesn’t exist outside the Premier League’s top six, and you can’t be heralded as England’s savior without plying your trade amongst them.
An injury to Aaron Ramsey opened the door for Wilshere, and he’s taken the opportunity mercilessly, as West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini can attest. The 25-year-old began his run with a Man of the Match display in a 0-0 draw with West Ham. His ability to pass the ball with a success rate topping 90 percent, complete multiple dribbles while drawing fouls and win the ball back in midfield has been a near-certainty for the Gunners of late.
Then, in the 1-0 win against Newcastle, he helped unlock a side that was content to sit deep at the Emirates while also helping to sniff out any counterattacks and preserve the three points.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 16, 2017
Against Liverpool, you know what, just watch his highlights because it allows you to relive this absurdly fun match again from the lad’s perspective.
It was another fine showing.
Jack Wilshere vs Liverpool42 passes completed
4 out 4 successful takeons
His ability to evade the press and dribble out of trouble was extremely crucial in the second half as Arsenal were able to get a point out of the game pic.twitter.com/w7rFH4EWtq
— Football Bloody Hell (@fbhfootball) December 22, 2017
Finally, with the buzz around Wilshere’s game growing, he did this in the 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace.
Look at that pass from Jack Wilshere for Alexis Second goal. Insane pic.twitter.com/tSJkerprE5— RG (@Lacazetes) December 28, 2017
A pass so phenomenal it already has it’s own cartoon.
Jack Wilshere vs. Crystal Palace pic.twitter.com/aMYN1givyL— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 28, 2017
Yes, it’s just four matches and only 15 days, and yes, the concern surrounding Wilshere has never been his quality but his availability, but if he continues to play like this, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League qualification will be given a major boost. What’s more, England will win the World Cup. Not really, but maybe.