Jack Wilshere deserves more praise

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Football News

Jack Wilshere's recent performances for Arsenal and England have made people reluctantly stand up and take notice of the man dubbed his country's saviour at just 18.

I say reluctantly as Wilshere is the type of character, for whatever reason, people love to criticise. Is it his off-field issue? His confrontational nature? Or that he is just insanely gifted and people are afraid to admit it?

Your guess is as good as mine but three man of the match performances on the bounce has led to a round of humble pie being served to football fans in England and especially to some famous pundits.

'Wilshere is overrated'?

The backlash Wilshere has received is perhaps borne out of the anticipation that he'll join the long list of English players who have been deemed the next big players but have failed to live up to expectation.

Yet, for the first time, it seems as though Wilshere receives an abundance of praise and appreciation beyond these shores - a rare situation for an English player.

For example, World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger described Wilshere has "one of Europe's best midfielders" before a Champions League tie between Arsenal and Bayern.

Xavi, this week, hailed Wilshere as his 'favorite English player' and one who he'd potentially have a poster of - possibly coming from his dominant display against his Barca side in 2011.

Or Marco Reus, who explicitly described his admiration for Wilshere adding that he's "a perfect player".

So what do these players, and many like them who would be justified giving their opinion on players given their quality and achievements, see in Wilshere that English refuse to acknowledge?

Not your average 'English midfielder'

When Cesc Fabregas described Wilshere as a player with 'Spanish technique and English heart' it may have been perceived as a bit of an insult to your typical English midfielder, but it's a valid statement.

Any central midfielder that emerges from these shores seems to repeat the same rhetoric - 'yes I grew up watching Gerrard and Lampard and want to get the same amount of goals'.

This comes from external pressures, mainly the media and it's seen as the default characteristics - that English midfielders must deliver a high number of goals.

However, when you look at the midfielders around Europe, those idolised by the fans in England, their goal tally isn't impressive, names such as Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Iniesta, Pirlo.

None of these midfielders were/are known for their goals, yet they are considered the best in their position in Europe. Wilshere is in that bracket of player, not that he can compare to those names just yet, but his games isn't, and will never, be about goals.

He is a dictator of play, a fulcrum to his teams tempo and this is what should be encourages. After all, its not as if Gerrard and Lampard's goals have led to much on the international stage.

Wilshere should be celebrated by the fans in England just as he is around Europe - he's a one-off. 

Jack Wilshere
England Football

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