In his post-match press conference following the Bayern Munich defeat, Jack Wilshere’s face said it all. Heartbroken at the fact he had given everything and his beloved Arsenal still couldn’t live with the Bavarians, all his answers were sensible and routine.
He has obviously been very well-trained to deal with the media but the emotion which you could see etched on his face was incredible, visibly upset at the way that the Gunners have been outclassed. Everyone knows what a feisty and passionate character he is and that shows through in his performances. His refusal to accept that Arsenal were out of the competition is admirable and confirms the fact he is a fighter.
Throughout this season and especially against Bayern, he looked the only one capable of rising to the big occasion. You can tell that he is desperate for Arsenal to succeed but it just isn’t happening for them, his team-mates performances have been inconsistent all season whereas he has shone through as one of their only beacons of light. His bursting runs from midfield and his passing ability have been so consistent in their quality all season.
Most Arsenal fans almost begging the 21-year-old to be handed the captaincy based on his ability to lead from the front and galvanise his team-mates into producing a performance. However, there was such a gulf in class against Bayern that even his outstanding performance was just nowhere near enough. In the game he showed glimpses of his genius, his appreciation of the space around him, his quick passing ability and his lung-busting runs from midfield were exceptional. His return from injury has been one of the only positives for Arsenal this season and who knows where they would be without him in their midfield? There aren’t many midfielders in the Premier League who can live up to his ability and in years to come he is only going to get better.
Arsenal are currently paying the price for a significant lack of investment and it is just unfortunate for Wilshere that he is caught up in the problems.
Wilshere is the outstanding English player of his generation and there are bound to be clubs looking at his situation, but you just can’t see him leaving the club. He has been at Arsenal since age nine and obviously loves the club, his relationship obviously runs deeper than for example, Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri, due to the fact he has been brought up and developed from such a young age at Arsenal. It is obvious Wilshere deserves better than to be surrounded by mediocre players and should be in a team that is capable of winning trophies. If the Gunners continue this poor form and fail to win a trophy for a prolonged period of time, Arsenal fans will be asking themselves, would Wilshere eventually get tired of the lack of success? And as Bayern were, is he too good for Arsenal?