Paul Parker

Worries over Wilshere

Paul Parker

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Jack Wilshere is injured again

Jack Wilshere’s latest injury blow worries me intensely. At least it’s the different ankle, but given his problems in the past you never know if it’s an over-compensation issue.

If Wilshere’s latest injury is just a knock, then fine, these things happen.

But if it’s a compensation injury you have a problem as when you come back from a long injury like he did, you can change your posture and running style.

This can cause muscle and ligament issues as your body adjusts, and those kinds of problems recur.

Wilshere clearly has the potential, but there hasn’t yet been anything that hints to me that he is little more than potential. He has not fully realised it yet for club or country, as he hasn’t proved his ability on a regular consistent basis. He hasn’t won anything, remember, not one trophy.

Is he another Cesc Fabregas or Emmanuel Petit? We don’t know yet and, as of now, he has not shown that level of ability.

Whatever the cause is, I have to say that you must be worried for someone so young to have so many injuries so early.

Coming back from injuries late in your career is more difficult, but by that point you have already hit your peak so – aside from a loss of pace – you can still come back.

But when you have recurrent long-term problems at a young age, the overall impact of the injuries ruins your fitness and hinders your technical development.

You can end up stalling, like Joe Cole and Darren Anderton did, or even worse completely losing your powers, like Michael Owen.

There clearly is long-term potential with Jack because of his youth, but if he’s always injured he won’t reach it.

And when the team is not performing – like Arsenal’s – everyone looks to Wilshere to get things going. Does he really need that pressure at this young age?

He’s a big Arsenal fan and he wants to do well for the club and make himself a great player, and there’s a danger he tries and pushes too hard and causes himself more long-term problems.

Ideally, he needs to play consistently, with no pressure, to play for himself and his own development as opposed to putting his body on the line for the Arsenal cause.

I think Arsene Wenger is quite good at these things, the way he man manages players and coaxes them to their potential.

But he doesn’t really know what Jack’s body is going to do. You can do all the tests you want, but some things are out of your control.

Arsenal don’t have a chance of getting through against Bayern Munich tomorrow, and there was no point in rushing the likes of Wilshere through for this match.

Now he’s been ruled out for three weeks, it’s a good chance to see if Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey can shine in a big game.

While Bayern have several players missing through suspension and injury, the ones coming in are still better than Arsenal’s starters so there’s simply no point in risking even Lukas Podolski, who is also a doubt.

Arsenal have to go to Munich and score three goals without conceding, which is near impossible on both counts: Bayern’s form and consistency is the best in Europe, while Arsenal are currently poor by their standards.

And they don’t have the players with the strength of character to ‘do a Chelsea’ and win against the odds.

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