We’ve got the Jack, Jack, Jack
by Walter Broeckx
Some people who like a bit of hard rock will now where I have got this line from. It is the chorus of an ACDC song which is mostly sung out loud by visitors of their concerts.
As I haven’t been in the Emirates ever when Jack Wilshere has played for us I don’t know if there is a chant for him. If there is none, I would suggest the title of this article. As in the song it can be song a few times and if the whole stadium shouts Jack, Jack, Jack it really should do him some good. Even just the thought of it brings me shivers.
I think it must have been some 2 years ago when I saw Jack Wilshere for the first time. I was so excited I even wrote an article on him on the Benelux website. I called it: Jack, he Will. And I still think he will become one of the great players of the future.
If we all try to look back a few years, let’s say some 5 years we might then remember the then fragile looking Cesc Fabregas of those days. You could see he had something special. But he was still very young and when you look at the Cesc 5 years later you see a completely different player. Cesc has grown in every possible way. Physical, mental, scoring goals, creating goals… Cesc has turned the complete footballer last year. The money Barceloanus offered us was totally ridiculous.
When I see Jack Wilshere these days he reminds me of the Cesc of five years ago. And if I try to imagine I think it is impossible to even have any idea on how good Wilshere will be when he is 23 years old. If Wilshere keeps up his work and his ability to learn he could be one of the best players from the next generation.
Some people said it was stupid of Wenger to have him start at Liverpool. Now we have seen in him being impressive in pre-season. We have seen him play a number of games at Bolton last season. We have seen him in CL games, we have seen him in Carling cup games, we have seen him in FA cup games. I think it was about time that he got his first start in the EPL. And the mark of a great player is that he can perform anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
If you think I don’t see his mistakes I must tell you that I actually do see them. I even mentioned his name in my match review and his involvement in losing the ball which lead to the Liverpool goal. So I am well aware that he made a mistake and that in the coming years he will make more mistakes. Just name me one footballer who never makes mistakes.
But what I did see in the game was that he has learned from his former games he played for us before his loan spell. In those days he wanted to take them all one and dribble his way past them. On occasion he still is doing this and I would say, “Jack don’t stop doing it”. You’ve got the skill to do it and to run past people and trough defenders. Just keep doing it.
What I also liked about Jack is that he has that bit of venom in him that we sometimes miss in some players. He was facing a midfield with Gerrard, Mascherano and Kuyt and those are three full internationals for their country. Kuyt even reached the world cup final this summer. So you cannot say that they are bad players. And Jack didn’t look out of place against them. He fought with them and battled with them. He even came in with a tackle I don’t like to see but this is just showing the fact that he is fighting for his place in the team.
I also noticed that he didn’t play in the position he usually plays and which is very much upfront where he can be at his most dangerous with his dribbling or with his nice passing of the ball. And what I was most impressed about was the fact that in the first half he was always well aware of his position and the position of the rest of the team. When Diaby ran forward, he held back a bit to give some protection to the back four.
I think to have a 18 year old in the team who can think in that way is great. Most young players at that age run around like headless chickens but Jack was trying to read the game and the position of this teammates.
In the second half Jack was substituted after almost one hour of playing time. He didn’t set the world on fire with this game by scoring some goals or providing some assists. But he did show that he, at 18 years old, has what it takes to become a really good player for Arsenal.
So it has been an eventful week for Jack. Making his England debut, making his EPL debut for Arsenal at Anfield of all places. And he has done very well for an 18 year old youth product. So I will be looking forward to seeing more of Jack. Which makes me think of Aaron Ramsey. Last season he was at the same point in his career. And during the season you could see him getting stronger and better. Cesc said that Ramsey looked better than he was at the same age. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few months the same can be said of Wilshere. Being better than Cesc at that age. Can you say something nicer about a player?
So my last problem is with whom can you compare Wilshere? Is it with Brady, the left footer with his great vision and passes? Is it with Bergkamp for the way he picks out players and for the way he has curled in a few goals in the past for the reserves? Is it with Cesc because his potential of becoming on of the best midfielders of Arsenal and thus of the world? Or will he be pushed out on the right side of the attack to play some kind of Messi role?
I’m sure that if Jack keeps his head down, keeps on working, keeps on fighting like he is doing we will have a midfield to dream about. Can you imagine, Cesc the stayer, a fully recovered Ramsey and we’ve got the Jack, Jack, Jack in midfield playing for us. I must say they could be better than Xavi-Iniesta-Messi from Barceloanus. Now only hoping some “not that kind of player” wants to stick it up to him in the next years. God let that not happen.
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