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How good can Jack Wilshere be?
Precocious teenager has the world purring at his Champion's League performance
Posted Feb 17, 2011 by Jeff Dawson
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Last night’s Champion’s League thriller between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates had pundits, commentators and fans purring. And it wasn’t just because of the sublime skill, passing and workrate on show from both teams. Or because Arsenal staged a brilliant fightback to snatch a 2-1 win in the first leg of the last 16 tie. No, the reason English folk were in fine form was due to the performance on one young, central midfielder who was, in my humble opinion, the best player on the park. And that lad, you all know already, was Jack Wilshere.
This precocious 19-year-old was entrusted by manager Arsene Wenger to go out there and deliver a performance in a battle against two of the greatest midfield players of this generation – Xavi and Andres Iniesta. And boy did he deliver.
With every passing second of every match you see Wilshere maturing and growing into a player capable of taking on the world. He reminds me of the teenage Wayne Rooney who was equally as unfazed by those around him when he burst onto the scene. There is a confidence that these players have that simply says: “I’m good enough to be up against the best.”
Last night, Wilshere showed England fans a glimpse of the future. Following on from where he left off on his full international debut against Denmark last week, Wilshere once again oozed class, composure, technique, skill, vision, awareness, athleticism and most importantly, a love for the game.
I haven’t been this excited about a young footballer since Rooney and although I still think the Manchester United star and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard should be the main focus of our national team, Wilshere has proven that perhaps it’s time to look to the future and add him into the equation too. The excitement builds in me when I think of a midfield of Wilshere and Gerrard.
It’s frightening to think how good he can be, and under the guidance of Wenger – although I’m not the Frenchman’s biggest fan – he will no doubt flourish into the kind of player we all dream he will be.
His progression since his loan spell at Bolton Wanderers last season has been stunning and I have no reason to doubt this will continue. The only question that has to be answered is by the player himself, and that’s: “How good do I want to be?”
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