The injury problems that have beset the playing career of the midfield star Jack Wilshere, for both Arsenal and his international career with England, have been well documented and they are almost too numerous and various to go into. But if he could put them behind him there is still plenty of time for the talented 25-year old to have a stellar career for club and country.
However, there is a much held belief that Wilshere is one of those players who is simply injury prone and will be in and out of the treatment room all the time, and if that is the case it will be almost as frustrating for us Arsenal fans as for the player himself, because we all know what he is capable of.
But there may be signs that these problems are over once and for all, barring the odd impact injury and bad luck. Some of Jack’s problems have been of this variety already, like the leg fracture he picked up on the pitch with Bournemouth last season, but many have come through seemingly innocuous incidents or setbacks on the road to recovery and it is these we need to cut out.
Wilshere himself has admitted in an Arsenal.com report that his fitness levels may not always have been up to the standard required and if this is true it could be the reason behind many of his injuries, while declaring that he is now in the best shape of his life and if feeling very positive about the future.
He said, “When I first broke into the first team, even looking back when I was 16, you take things for granted. I was training every day and when you’re a 16-year-old, you can do that.
“As you get older your body changes, you pick up injuries, you have to be more careful with certain situations and it makes you stronger as well. I’ve always loved playing football and that’s what I wanted to do.
“Of course there’s been times when it’s been tough, when you’re injured and you wake up in the morning, you think ‘Oh I’ve got to go to training, all the other lads are training, you’ve got to go to the gym’. That makes you stronger and it makes you appreciate it more and try and do everything you can to keep fit and keep on the pitch.
“I always hear the boss say it is my first five-metre burst, when I receive the ball and to get away from defenders and I feel that’s getting better and better each day. I feel like the way to improve that is in games when you’re playing against opposition that want to win and want to win the ball back and you have to be able to keep the ball.
“That’s coming back and my fitness levels, if I’m honest, are probably the best they’ve ever been. I look at my numbers after the game and I’ve been out for four months and I’m not the one who hasn’t run the most. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t run the most, we’ve got a lot of players that do that, but my numbers are good so I’m happy.”
I will be happy as well if his new fitness levels stop him getting another injury that could well spell the end of his time as a Gunner. So have we now got a great player who will be able to play all season and help Arsenal to win a major trophy or two?