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Next season has to be Jack Wilshere's year to shine

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England expects. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will have to get used to the pressure of expectation from a football mad nation which rests on his shoulders. 

This is a country which took a 17-year-old Theo Walcott to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, even though he hadn't kicked a ball in the Premier league. 

With the biggest tournament in football landing in Brazil next summer, England's hopes for the tournament will be reliant on the form and fitness of Wilshere.

Before worrying about adding to his seven international caps however, the 21-year-old English starlet must focus on playing consistently for Arsenal. 

A product of north London club's famed Academy, it quickly became clear to the Arsenal youth staff that Wilshere was destined for greatness when he joined their youth set up at the age of nine. 

By 2008 and at the tender age of 16, Wilshere was consistently playing with men twice his age for Arsenal reserves and he became an icon at youth level, leading the team to FA Youth Cup victory in 2009 under the stewardship of Steve Bould. 

Arsene Wenger couldn't hold back the English prodigy for much longer, and so at the age of 16, Wilshere made his debut for the Arsenal first-team, becoming the club's youngest ever player, a record previously held by a certain Cesc Fabregas. 

His poise on the ball and dribbling ability were evident from the start, with the youngster showing a level of technical ability not often associated with a traditional English player. 

Since his debut in the red and white shirt however, Wilshere's career has stalled due to constant niggling injuries, one ankle injury in particular kept him off the field for over a year. 

It has been frustrating for Arsenal fans to witness the talented midfielder struggle as they have a bond with the Englishman only possible when a player graduates through the youth system.

Since his debut in the 2008/09 season, Wilshere has only managed 62 appearances for the first-team, however, in these fleeting appearances, he has produced moments of brilliance on the biggest of stages, most notably in a Champions League match versus Lionel Messi's Barcelona. 

Arsenal won the game 2-1 thanks to goals by Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin, but it was the number 19 in the middle of the park who stole the show that night. 

Playing directly against legendary midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi, Wilshere bossed the midfield with his direct running and battling qualities proving he can mix it with the best.

Since that night at the Emirates Stadium, Wilshere's role at Arsenal has becoming more prominent with the exits of Fabregas, Alex Song and Samir Nasri, adding extra responsibility on the Englishman to pull the strings in the Gunners midfield. 

To be able to take his place as Arsenal's midfield maestro, Wilshere hopes that a good pre-season will set him up for an injury free campaign, having not been able to do so in the previous two years. 

This season could be the year Wilshere realises his potential by helping Arsenal end their trophy barren run and also play for England at the 2014 World Cup. First though, Wilshere must help his nation qualify for the tournament next summer and with consistent performances at the heart of Arsenal's team, who knows how far he can go?

 

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Topics:
Arsenal
England Football
Jack Wilshere
Football
World Cup

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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