Jack Wilshere: The Surprise Star Of Arsenal’s Season

Yes, we’re only a few games into the season, and despite thumping Braga and Blackpool at home, it hasn’t being all that impressive. We’re still suspect at the back, and tending to play a pass too many in front of goal. It makes one wonder have any lessons from last season been learnt?! Well, one player who has learnt buckets from last season is our whizzkid Jack Wilshere. Chamakh has been very good, Koscielny better (but far from what we need) than what I thought and Squillaci looks like he could form a nice partnership with Vermaelen when he returns.  So while all these have been relatively nice surprises, the nicest and best for me have come from this young man:

Don’t worry, I can hear ye all from here! “What planet have you been on for the last few seasons? We all knew Jack Wilshere was going to make it, the young lad is a genius, future Liam Brady so he is.”

Yes, I’ve been well aware of Jack for some time now, just like the rest of ye. The wonder goals he has scored for the reserve and youth sides, he always playing one level ahead of his age group, but none of us are as green to not understand that it is a completely different kettle of fish playing in the Premier League and Champions League against some of the best players in the world. The acid test would always be how he would compare against them, and to date he hasn’t looked out of place.

He has already formed a great relationship with Arshavin, and this gives me such confidence on Wilshere’s footballing brain. This 18-year-old kid is already able to link up and read the thoughts of our Russian star in his prime?! If he can do that at 18, what will he be capable of at 23/24? Already he demands the ball, and his colleagues are so confident in his ability they make no qualms of giving it to him. Something Theo could learn from Jack is to have confidence in your own ability – we could perhaps name at least five examples that show Jack playing some wonderful passes that have either created goals or great goalscoring chances – the type of passes we are used to seeing from Cesc. That’s just the passes, there have been some clever flicks too.

However, the best thing about Jack to date has been his maturity, and it is because of this I mention he has learnt buckets from last season. Before he went on loan to Bolton there were a small couple of question marks regarding his temperament. There were suggestions he was getting a bit above himself and lacked some maturity (I can’t say this is 100% true and am not trying to portray Jack as a moany kid, just going on the information coming out at the time).

It personally shocked me to see Wilshere be sent on loan to Bolton last season, but it has to be classed as another stroke of genius by Wenger, or maybe by Liam Brady who may have had input in the decision. Either way, Jack was removed from the cotton wool effect of the Emirates and sent to Bolton were no inch is given. No doubt he was thought how to knuckle down and get work done by Davies and Co. None of us may be fans of Bolton, but for me at least I am grateful for the couple of months of footballing education Jack got from them. Already this season we’ve seen him getting kicked lumps out of, but Jack just dusts himself down and gets on with the game, none of this moaning.

It will be interesting to see how much game time Wilshere will get when Fabregas comes back from injury against Birmingham. Cesc probably won’t be a 100% match fit, so perhaps Cesc to start and Wilshere to replace him on the 60/70min mark, although Wenger may start the two of them in midfield with Song as DM? We’ll see next week, but for now Jack is developing very nicely as a player, one needed by Arsenal, and dare I say it, very much so by England.

Written by Irishgunner

65 Responses to Jack Wilshere: The Surprise Star Of Arsenal’s Season

  1. harki says:

    great post irishgunner. . .

    hope he stays firmly rooted and be one of the best player in the next decade for arsenal. . .


  2. goonerwife says:

    “Something Theo could learn from Jack is to have confidence in your own ability”

    Oh man, remember that while jack is the great white hope, theo had no brain. different reactions.

    Theo is great. please dont make him the lesser than to Jack.

    Having said that Jack is preety cool, cant wait to see how he develops.

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning, excellent post Irish.

    I agree with harki, Jack needs to keep his feet on the ground and stay away from the nightclubs and he will become an Arsenal legend.

    I’m not sure Arsène believes in the role of DM any more and of course we have to factor in the return of Ramsey to the midfield. If a miracle happens and all our midfielders are fit, we will have proven internationals who won’t even be making the bench.

  4. Morning all

    Great read Irish, I have also held my breath when watching how Jack links up with Arshavin – great to see a new young player getting so much time on the ball. Stuart Pierce is still questioning Jack’s temperament although his comments may be re-hashed from old interviews.

    Rasp – thats an interesting idea about the role of the DM, of course it does rely on having excellent mid-fielders that all pass the ball and are intelligent enough to track back when necessary – I’m not sure we’re quuite there yet.

  5. Deme says:

    Yeah I agree with goonerwife, no need to take shots at Theo. He was great this season until he got hurt. Jacky has been very good and I’m proud of him. To me he’s been maybe 2nd best to Nasri so far. Jack has a bright future!

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi Deme,

    I don’t think the suggestion that Theo could take a leaf out of Jack’s book and have more confidence in his own ability is in any way having a ‘shot’ at him, rather it’s an acknowledgement that he has the ability, all he needs is the self belief – and there have been signs of that from him this season.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    As I read the excellent post Irish points out that Jack has more self confidence than Theo, there is no criticism here of Theo. I agree with her, Theo disappeared from games in the past because when he tried things that did not work he tried too hard to make an impact, whereas JW continues to play his normal game.

    The injury to Theo is particularly hard because he appeared to be bubbling with confidence and consequently played so well.

    My only fear about JW’s emergence and is how does AW fit in all our players, with the return of Cesc and the undroppable form of Nasri, is where does TR fit in ? Rosicky needs games and is improving quickly, he just needs to get a goal or two and he will be back to that great player we saw a couple of years ago.

    Luxury problems ….

  8. ozzy says:

    Wenger has to take Jack out and use him sparingly in the next few months,Denilson should be given his chance he turned the game in Arsenals favour when he came on against Spurs

  9. Rasp says:

    Horses for courses ozzy, there will be certain games and certain situations when LJ would be most effective and others where Denilson would do a job. I sense a calming influence that Denilson brings when he takes to the pitch this season – all part of his growing maturity and experience I guess.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Excellent article Irish. 🙂

    There is an interesting article in the Sunday paper today, from none other than kenny Dalglish, saying Jack is already among the very best players in the EPL, and should be playing exclusively for the national team, not the U21’s.

    He particularly referred to Jack’s ability to read a game, and influence the outcome.

    I have watched Theo since he came to play against us for the Southampton youth team. He was brilliant at that level, based almost exclusively on his scorching pace.

    The comments about his footballing brain, or lack thereof, was both unfair and unhelpful as well as being highly personal. However, it cannot be argued that he simply does not have the footballing skills of Jack, or the abilty to make the right choices when confronted with a fast moving game.

    Theo will be excellent in the future as he matures, but he is a different player to Jack, and whereas Jack, with his fantastic skills, will be playing at the top level well into his thirties, Theo may not as his pace declines into his late 20’s.

    Controversial, or what? 🙂

  11. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Players mature at different speeds. I predict a glittering future for Theo. He will be lighting up the Bernabeu in his late 20’s 🙂

  12. Big Raddy says:

    I am interested in Rasp’s point about AW doing away with the traditional DM role and spreading it throughout the defence/midfield.

    I hope we do not go down that route. We need experts in their positions

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Afternoon all,
    Great post. I am going to inject a little sobriety. I love Jack’s confidence and every great sportsman has that belief. From what I hear, and I have absolutley no evidence of this myself, the nightclubs and bars of Soho are already a major distraction. As for playing into his thirties, I have real concerns over our over training methods and have a nasty feeling this may seriously be affecting Cesc, who like Jack, was playing at the top level from a similar young age.
    Sorry people, I do like the optimistic outlook, and I firmly believe that Jack is a considerably better footballer than Cesc was at the same age. So its no DM’ing for Jack for me!

  14. ozzy says:

    I just feel Jack is being used too much for a player of his age he needs a break if only for a game or two

  15. Rasp says:

    I agree with that point ozzy, it’s down to the dreaded injuries I’m sure that he has featured in so many games this season.

    I hope you are wrong and it is not our training methods that contribute to ‘early burn-out’, although the history of some past players would add weight to that theory.

  16. Red Arse says:

    Don’t disagree with your ideas about Theo, BR, I was responding to an earlier comment trying to equate his talent to Jack’s.

    Chalk and cheese! 🙂

  17. Red Arse says:


    Your concerns, and those of others, regarding “burn out” certainly can’t be disregarded, of course.

    I suspect it is mostly down to the speed of today’s game making bad tackles more injurious than in the “slower” past.

    RVP’s glass legs are a separate issue, naturally! 🙂

  18. Bouly says:

    Denilson is just ordinary, nothing special like JW.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Bouly. Can’t agree with you.

    Denilson would walk into any first team outside the top 4. He is special just not as special

  20. Red Arse says:


    It’s all in the eye of the beholder. 🙂

    I used to think Denilson was desperately poor.

    Now, I think he is just poor.

    I know nuzzink, certainement! 🙂

  21. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I happen to agree with you. My point was that we have become so accustomed to seeing the world’s finest that a very good but not exceptional Denilson gets pilloried, which I consider to be unfair to a very young player.

  22. Red Arse says:


    You are right, of course, I don’t think it helps to rubbish any of our players. I was being a little tongue in cheek to tease you. 🙂

    Denilson has played pretty well this season, which is a sign of his increasing maturity. Unlike Jack or Theo I don’t think he will ever be a fans favourite, as expectations are too high, which I believe is what you are saying.

    Whereas Diaby could be sensational, but disappoints the fans because he does not reach the heights consistently. Different players, different abilities, similar fans’ disappointment.

    How did Kelsey know you were either the famous bald eagle or that you had a fashionable shaven head?

    Having been a hairy fairy all my life, I was thinking of being daring and going for the shaven headed tough guy look myself! 🙂

    Thr barber only laughed when I suggested it and told me I will never look a tough guy, whatever I do. Cheeky sod! 🙂

  23. Red Arse says:

    Looks like you have all gone to bed, in the middle of the afternoon. 🙂

    Ahh! 🙂

    See you tomorrow, mayhap.

  24. Big Raddy says:


    Kelsey & I have been on many sites together over a couple of years, and we come from the same neck of the woods …

    I can highly recommend the shorn hair style, Kelsey doesn’t believe me but I love being bald, it is so much easier – just wash and go.

  25. Red Arse says:

    Maybe I will join you then BR.

    I always look like the wild man from Borneo, so I am told. 🙂

    Can’t be bothered with all these fashion statements. The best way to describe my hairstyle is akin to having a bowl put on my bonce, and what sticks out the bottom of the bowl get sheared. Works for me! 🙂

  26. London says:

    An extremely well crafted post Irish, a very enjoyable read. I also thought Rasp’s post was clever and the comments that followed were very interesting as well.

    I, like most it seems, in my quest for football watched the France game and like everyone else thought Nasri was the DBs. A thought crossed my mind, while watching, we now have the best French creative midfielder, the best Spanish, the best Russian, the best Czech and what’s more we now have the best English creative midfielder.

    So a forth place finish it is then lol

  27. kelsey says:

    Evening Guys.

    My hair is my second best feature.

    God I miss the football, when was the last time we didn’t have PL football at a weekend ?

    John lennon would have been 70 today that being the 10/10/10/

    Theo and Jack two completely different players hard to make comparisons.

    One has got a prairie hat the other one has a hairy pr***

  28. London says:

    Hi Kelsey

    Not much happening

  29. London says:


    How many minutes does it take you to drive to the beach? I am going to regret asking this question.

  30. kelsey says:

    Taken from last week’s programme versus WBA

    page 72 Nasri”I was told by one of my coaches at Marseille that, if the foul is on you, you don’t take the penalty”.

  31. goonermichael says:

    You mean wash and gone. I had wavy hair now it’s waving goodbye. Jack is the nuts btw.

  32. kelsey says:

    Evening london, about 3 minutes.

  33. London says:

    I knew I was going to regret asking that question.

  34. kelsey says:

    I know this doesn’t really interest you, but i just saw two of my friends from here , in the crowd watching England v India for the bronze medal at the Commonwealth games in Delhi, and there were bloody scorpians on the carpet.

    Hi GM,

    The rumanians have landed here, cut price haircuts everywhere all over the port and marbella.at unbelievable prices.

  35. London says:

    I don’t quite understand why so many Rumanians have targeted Spain as their prefered destination?

  36. kelsey says:

    London, it’s the whole eastern Block over here but mainly Rumanians and bulgarians, and I am afraid thay are not good for the economy and many are organised gangs.

    They are trying to force people out of business by undercutting everyone.The same is happening in Dublin to a pal who has a chain of hairdressers.

    but the Russian hookers are the mainstay for those inclined, so I am reasonably informed..

  37. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all.

    Just to clarify as some have already done above for me, it was no way a “pop” at Theo. I cannot for the life of me fathom how some saw that – I think its clearly visible that Jack has huge confidence in his ability, while Theo seemed to lack that confidence – how is that having a “pop” at Theo and his abilities, in fact it is highlighting that he is a player with some quality – I’ve never been anything but a fan of Theo’s.

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi guys,

    I see Marseille are going to take legal action against De Jong because the FA is so spineless that it is taking no action as the referee witnessed the incident and deemed it not worthy of a card.

    Hi kesley …. boasting again 😉

  39. Evening Irish – thanks for the post, really good read. We know you admire Theo and I certainly didn’t see your comment as a slight on Theo’s ability 😉

  40. Hi kelsey, London, GM and Rasp

    How far do you think the case against de Jong will go – I’m sure the FA will find its against their rules to bring cases against players and Marseilles will have to drop it.

    Have there ever been any similar cases in the Premiership?

  41. Rasp says:

    It’s nothing to do with the FA peaches, I believe this is a civil action.

  42. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – On De Jong, do you feel he deserves a long ban? I’m of the thinking he does, he has a good number of challenges over the years that have lead to bad injuries, perhaps its time to stop him?

    Peaches – Evening 🙂 I’m just confused as to how it could been seen to knock his abilities, its a bit odd in my view. Its like people see the word “Theo” and think we must be having a pop at him.

  43. But I bet the FA will want their lawyers to act for de Jong though …………

  44. Rasp says:


    He definitely deserves a ban. He should have received a ban after ‘that tackle’ in the WC. This would be his second and I believe that if he committed a third of similar severity, he should be banned from the game = 3 broken legs and you’re out.

  45. kelsey says:

    Evening Irish,
    sorry to not congratulate you on your post.

    With regards to jack, i heard and it is only hearsay that he was getting a bit too cocky and AW sent him out of london on loan for two reasons that being to get PL experience and get him away from the dizzy heights of the West End.

  46. kelsey – I heard the same as you, maybe I told you 😆

  47. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – I agree. Remember the Witsel challenge and the Belgian FA – even I think Liege themselves – took it upon themselves to give him a ban after his horror tackle last season, it must be brought into England. Fair play to Danny Murphy for speaking out over the weekend, Wenger was becoming a loan voice.

    Kelsey – Cheers 🙂 Hopefully he will keep his head. I had heard he was substituted in a youth game the season before last and left the ground he got in such a sulk. He’s only a kid though, hopefully the mature players at the club will help him along the way – he is still only a teenager.

  48. Rasp says:

    Nik B is not averse to the odd bit of trouser dropping at West End nightspots, his stint at Birmingham didn’t cure him either.

  49. Rasp says:

    Too true Irish,

    I wonder if Citeh will react to public opinion and impose their own ban on him. Every boken leg is potentially the end of a player’s career, it was certainly the end of Dudu’s career at Arsenal. If any player has deliberatley and repeatedly taken actions that could potentially end another player’s career, then theirs should be over.

    I suspect that there are a growing number of talented foreign players that will not come to the Premiership for fear of such injury.

  50. http://anotherarsenalblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/discipline-and-fa-murky-waters.html

    This is a good read and his post yesterday had the whole of rule ? I can’t remember which one included in the post.

  51. Irishgunner says:

    It would be good PR for Citeh if they did but in any case they’ve left it too late now, it would seem like they were reacting to bad press as opposed to the challenge.

  52. Rasp says:

    Sagna out for three weeks

  53. Why rasp, what happened to him …………

  54. Rasp says:

    Thigh injury sustained whilst on International duty.

    Can you check tomorrow’s post in drafts peaches please 😉

  55. I’m already quaking. Whenever an Arsenal player has that form, gets the praises like Jack is doing right now, he gets injured on a long haul. Can somebody lay off Jack pleaseeeeeeeee!

  56. Rasp says:

    Hello Tai, welcome.

    Jack has our full support and most sensible fans want to avoid building him up too much. He has already been targetted by opposition players and nothing we say will affect that. Luckily he is a tough character and seems to thrive on the physical attention he is getting.

  57. 🙂 good point Tai Obasi – we’ll keep that in mind

  58. All checked Rasp – love the 2nd photo 😆

  59. rockylives says:

    Peaches – have sent you an email.

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