Wilshere wising up ahead of World Cup
“The responsibility that rests on my shoulders is very heavy indeed” Sir Frank Whittle once declared; Hitchin’s most notable Son.
Jack Wilshere, who grew up there, not too far away from the Air Commodore’s residence must feel the same every time he pulls on an Arsenal and England jersey. Although Whittle was referring to his ability to create the jet engine; crucial to the Allied victory in World War Two, Wilshere must know his talent on the football field could make all the difference in England’s World Cup campaign.
Odds-on at 4/6 to start against Italy in the first match, the midfielder is battling to be fit, following a hairline foot fracture. He also has other demons to engage. Following recent criticism from Manchester United Paul Scholes, who didn’t exactly hold back, the Arsenal playmaker is more determined than ever to prove himself.
Speaking on live television, Scholes said: “Jack Wilshere came on the scene and looked a top young player but he has never really gone on.”
“He needs the characters like [Patrick] Vieira next to him to take him to the next level. He doesn’t look any better player now than he did when he was 17.”
Wilshere, who was watching, couldn’t believe his ears, and immediately sent Gary Neville a direct message on Twitter asking for Scholes’ number.
The advice that the England legend passed on, in the subsequent phone call, Wilshere says was valuable: “When I first burst onto the scene there was all this noise and then I got injured.”
“There comes a time when you stop being a kid and I think that’s what Scholes is referring to.
“People say ‘he’s young, he’s got all this potential’. You have to start putting that potential in [to practice].”
With the World Cup just around the corner, there is a small matter of an FA Cup final appearance against Hull City, which Arsenal are odds-on at 4/9 to win.
However the next couple of months unfold for Wilshere, he could do well to revisit his roots, and see how Whittle literally propelled himself into global recognition.