victory over Birmingham was overshadowed by a clumsy challenge by Jack Wilshere that saw the young English star pick up the first red card of his professional career. While Wilshere may have the world at his feet, the red card demonstrates that the 18-year-old still has plenty learn.
It really was a mixed day for Arsene Wenger’s latest protégé. He showed plenty of the quality that seen him quickly be touted as England’s latest star, but his tackle showed an element of petulance that Wenger will now quickly look to stamp out of his game.
Wenger himself almost surprisingly had no complaints about the red card but was quick to point out that the tackle was an anomaly in Wilshere’s game. He said: “It looked to me as a red card. He didn’t want to harm the player but he caught him and it’s difficult to complain after as he touched the ankle of the player.
“Jack has acknowledged he deserved it, but he did not spend his whole game trying to kick people, he was one of the best players on the pitch.”
Wilshere’s ability is undoubted but from what I have seen of the youngster there has always been potential for a wreckless lunge. His temper seems easily frayed and it is something that Wenger must work on to make sure Wilshere’s needless challenges don’t stop him fulfilling his potential.
We must obviously remember Wilshere is young but if Wenger can control his fiery temper then just imagine the player Arsenal and England will have on their hands.
The comparisons with Cesc Fabregas are obvious, and in my opinion Wilshere could very much follow in the foot-steps of the Spaniard. I really feel, and hope Wilshere could lead a breed of the more technically gifted English footballers.
In years gone by there has been a focus on physical attributes in youngsters. So much so that some clubs would chose youngsters based purely on pace, power or strength, and then worry about coaching them technique.
Wilshere proves that natural ability is purely enough to make it as a footballer. Physically he lacks any real prowess, but technically he so gifted. What we saw today was the good and the bad of Wilshere, but hopefully in years to come we will see purely the good.