Jack Wilshere has shown much needed signs of improvement in this fledgling campaign, with the Arsenal midfielder advancing to such an extent that Paul Scholes, one of his most outspoken critics, claims he is now England’s best player.
Wilshere has been one of the standout performers for Arsenal during the opening two months of the campaign and, while his role is far different at international level, he has also excelled in an England shirt.
Scholes had been critical of what he viewed as a career stagnating for a player of supreme talent, and Wilshere felt compelled to contact the Manchester United icon in order to gain some clarity on the comments he had made.
It is unclear what exactly was said between Scholes and Wilshere but it appears to have encouraged some sort of response with the 22-year-old, now injury free, demonstrating that he could indeed fulfil his early promise.
His performance during England’s narrow victory against Estonia was particularly impressive, with Wilshere able to show that he has a range of passing that he is rarely afforded the opportunity to fully use with Arsenal.
Scholes now seems to have been won over by Wilshere, and was reassured that the player can continue to progress having watched him closely as England maintained their 100 percent start to Euro 2016 qualification.
“I thought Jack Wilshere had two very good games for England during the last week. I would go one step further than that and say that, at the moment, Wilshere is England’s best player,” Scholes wrote in The Independent.
“The penny has dropped and he has added another dimension to his game. He has always been capable of that intricate passing game. Now he can play the ball long, too. The quality of some of those passes into Wayne Rooney in Estonia was very high.
“You cannot underestimate the importance of eye-contact between a midfielder and a striker in those situations. Wilshere mentioned it in one of the interviews that he gave and I would agree that it is critical.
“With the great forwards I played with, it was often the case that you did not need a call or a signal. Often, it was just a look and it was enough to know where they were going. Wilshere and Rooney seemed to have that.”
The connection between Wilshere and Wayne Rooney was certainly notable and, while the latter failed to convert any of the chances provided by his teammate, this is a new axis to excite England supporters after a dreadful World Cup campaign.
It was a disaster that proved a final act in the international careers of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, and their respective retirements have offered Wilshere the chance to firmly establish himself in the England midfield.