Gary Neville claims that Jack Wilshere's antics during Arsenal's FA Cup victory parade was one of the best things he has seen from a footballer in the last ten years.
The England international caused a storm in a teacup after encouraging the crowd to partake in a chant that insults their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The FA formally charged Wilshere, eventually deciding to fine him £40,000.
More importantly, Wilshere started a debate over the responsibilities of a modern footballer with many worried about the influence today's stars have on their young following. It is a far cry from the footballers of times gone by where cigarettes and alcohol went hand-in-hand with goals and assists.
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Wilshere has been criticised for his laddish behaviour in the past and has twice been photographed smoking with friends. Many have also questioned why Wilshere was so prominent during the FA Cup celebrations, especially considering he had only played 13 minutes of the final.
However, Neville, who caused plenty of controversy himself during a long and glorious career with Manchester United, believes personalities like Wilshere are vital to keeping people interested in the game. The Sky Sports pundit went as far to say that the midfielder's actions was one of the best things he has seen in some time.
"The reality of it is we cry out for players to have passion, and yet we are quite critical of them when they display passion”
Best thing he's seen
He told Sport magazine: “When Jack Wilshere swore on a bus ride, I actually thought it was one of the best things I’ve seen from a football player in the past five or 10 years. If I was a manager of players that all had that passion...Alright, they’d obviously been out the night before.
"But the reality of it is we cry out for players to have passion, and yet we are quite critical of them when they display passion.”
For Wilshere, questions over his professionalism are aided by the fact that his career has stalled over the last two seasons. Myriad ankle injuries and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin have only served to strengthen the view that he won't reach his potential.
But Wilshere hit back with a spectacular performance against Slovenia in England's Euro 2016 qualifier. His two goals, one an absolute corker, were hit just 11 days after he was seen emerging from a nightclub in broad daylight.
It served to remind his critics that he can still have a social life and perform on the pitch. Neville, it seems, is already convinced.
Do you like Jack Wilshere's boisterous behaviour or does he need to calm down to reach his potential? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!
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