Wilshere Can Be England’s Zidane – Wenger
Jack Wilshere had come under fire for his poor performance against Ukraine in a drab 0-0 encounter, the first time he had travelled away from home in a competitive fixture for the national side.
With England in need of a win to make their subsequent qualifying matches comfortable, the 21-year-old was criticized for a below-par performance with the Three Lions not showing much of an attacking threat with Wilshere playing the attacking midfield role in front of Gerrard and Lampard.
However, Wenger has leapt to the defence of his talisman, comparing him to the great French midfielder Zidane and believes that Wilshere can be the driving force for England in Brazil next year.
According to ESPN, Wenger said, “If Jack Wilshere has the same game at Arsenal we just say ‘okay, today he was not at his best’ – but when he has that game in the national team, suddenly everyone questions your ability. The players find it a bit more difficult to handle (things) in the national team with that kind of mental pressure which comes from everybody.
“National teams need always a guy who absorbs this type of pressure and takes it, we (France) had Zidane – when the France team played well it was all Zidane, but (that meant) the others could (just) play. You need a good generation, but, as well, also need one player.”
The young player has been consistently dogged by injuries and Wenger believes he needs to play regularly to show his true form. He has missed a major chunk of matches in the last two seasons and Wenger believes he still hasn’t reached his peak.
He said, “Be positive. Jack can take that (role). He is young, only 22. He has the capacity to do that, but he needs to play six months without any problem. Jack has the personality to be a top, top, top player. He has gone through a difficult period. The problem in the modern game, you need to be absolutely 100 % physically (fit) to express your talent, or you don’t.”
He added, “At the moment Jack is not completely at his best physically, that is why people start to question his performances, but I think he is a fantastic footballer and he will show that. He (just) needs consistency now.”
Do you think Wilshere can steer clear of injuries and have a successful season first with Arsenal, and then with England at the World Cup, assuming he can help them qualify?