Jack Wilshere has a lot of pressure on him, probably more than any other 21-year-old in England, but it seems he’s struggling with the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders.
England’s young star is likely to be given a one-match suspension by the FA for an offensive gesture to fans during Arsenal’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City.
This follows recent disciplinary problems when Wilshere was made to apologise for smoking a cigarette during a night out. Although only a minor transgression, Wilshere has not blossomed this season compared to teammates Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.
Whilst Arsenal have impressed this season, Wilshere has let his teammates down.
The introduction of Ozil and reintroduction of Mathieu Flamini at the Emirates has provided the midfielder with strong competition for places in Arsene Wenger’s team.
Wilshere has been asked to play as a holding midfielder when Ramsey, Ozil and Santi Cazorla are available and has obliged but sees himself as an attacker.
However, this should develop Wilshere into a stronger all-round midfield maestro, but it could be argued the player has been a weak link in a talented squad.
With only two goals and one assist in 15 Premier League games, he has played second fiddle to Ramsey and Ozil.
Wenger has preferred the Flamini and Mikel Arteta combination against more threatening opposition in the Champions League, allowing Arsenal to play with two holding midfielders.
Injuries to other players throughout the season have ensured Wenger has needed Wilshere. If the Arsenal boss gets a fully fit squad, would Jack make it into his XI? We are yet to find out.
On top of all of this, Wilshere’s own injury worries have been a constant fear for Arsenal and any time the midfielder goes down and requires treatment, the Gunners fear the worst.
These issues have given him much to worry about and as a result his performances have suffered. Wilshere has by no means played badly but with so much expected of him from Arsenal and England, the pressure could be getting to him.
When the youngster was revealed to the footballing world he instantly gained an army of admirers and was compared to Arsenal heroes Liam Brady and Dennis Bergkamp.
But injury prevented Wilshere from playing a single game for Arsenal in the 2011/12 season which stalled his progress.
Now with genuine competition at Arsenal the midfielder has looked frustrated and made childish mistakes.
In Wenger, the 21-year-old has one of the best mentors. But if these little outbursts continue they could all add up to one big problem.
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