Jack Wilshere is not expected to play at the Olympics and will instead concentrate on preparing for next season, which is a positive move.
The Arsenal midfielder has missed the entire season through two separate stress fractures in his foot and the subsequent lack of training involved with the recovery.
It is a sad situation but probably the right decision, though his perceived importance to England makes his absence something of a blow to the side’s already slim chances.
It is astonishing that now Wilshere is definitely ruled out, we seem to be looking around to find some other options and scratching our heads.
His emergence as a key player for the Gunners last season has been transferred to importance for the national team, but missing the Euros and Olympics will be good for him and the England team in the long run.
Although normal, a lack of long-term thinking is something many observers of national team fortunes fall foul of and it leads to unrealistic expectations of players like Wilshere who are still in the development stages of their careers.
We all crave ‘the next big thing’ and this desperation to see a new unprecedented talent emerge immediately in front of our eyes means we often attribute greater significance on their appearance than we should do.
Wilshere is feeling the effects of playing nearly 50 times last season, an incredible amount considering he only had half a year of Premier League football under his belt.
Arsenal have an abundance of these high-profile youth stars at the club, all in different stages of expectation and the subsequent backlash that comes for their development not moving on as quickly as spectators want them to.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to huge roars from the Emirates Stadium crowd in the shock loss to Wigan, as if he would make all of the difference to a tight game.
Predictably, a player with barely a handful of Premier League starts was unable to find the special ingredient to unlock a resolute, experienced and highly organised top flight defence.
Wenger has been extremely cautious with the former Southampton trainee since he was heralded as England’s football messiah when getting more playing time during Gervinho’s Africa Cup of Nations stint.
This may be to avoid a similar situation that surrounded Wilshere and Theo Walcott previously – two who possibly suffered from being given too much to do too early in their careers.
Whether deliberately or not, the Arsenal chief’s sparing use of him for the season run-in has meant he is getting fewer mentions as a possible candidate to go to Poland and Ukraine.
This is probably a good thing, as the current state of the England national team set-up suggests it may not be the most productive trip ever and could do more harm than good to a player who is barley starting his career.
Aaron Ramsey has had an up and down season, suffering from tiredness and a loss of form in the second half of the campaign, something that has now made him a candidate for criticism.
Ramsey is a 21-year-old playing his first full season after spending the best part of a year out due to an horrific injury, he does not deserve the criticism he is receiving because he is another who is only beginning his career.
There isn’t a lot that needs to be said about Walcott; he has become a constant subject of expectation, frustration, derision and exultation – almost simultaneously.
Something similar happened with Wayne Rooney at both Everton and Manchester United, where he was hailed as the saviour of English football in a time where nobody could see a future past the so-called ‘Golden Generation’.
While showing his undoubted quality, pressure on him meant an expectation to perform outstandingly at all times and could have had something to do with his intermittent form and propensity for losing control.
Jack Rodwell of Everton is another who has suffered from injury problems after being touted as a possible option for the centre of England’s midfield.
Many have expressed frustration at his inability to get fit and some even writing him off after his most recent performances weren’t toweringly dominant.
It possible to go to nearly every team and pick out a player who burst on to the scene and had the weight of the world put on his shoulders, only for the strain to become damaging after a time.
This is why, even if fit, Jack Wilshere is better off having a rest and not going to the Olympics – he needs a bit of time out of the limelight and we need a break from shining it so readily.
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