Jack Wilshere

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Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere warm up - 12 Feb 2014 (cropped).jpg
Wilshere warming up for Arsenal in 2014
Personal information
Full name Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere[1]
Date of birth (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22)
Place of birth Stevenage, England
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 10
Youth career
2001 Luton Town
2001–2008 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008– Arsenal 86 (4)
2010 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 14 (1)
National team
2006–2007 England U16 2 (0)
2007–2009 England U17 9 (1)
2009 England U19 1 (0)
2009 England U21 7 (0)
2010– England 20 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:46, 11 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:05, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere /ˈwɪlʃər/ (born 1 January 1992) is an English footballer who plays for English club Arsenal and the England national team. He plays primarily as a central midfielder.

Wilshere came up through Arsenal's youth academy and impressed from an early age. He made his first team debut in 2008, becoming Arsenal's youngest ever league debutant at the age of 16 years, 256 days.[3] Wilshere has earned a number of accolades including the PFA Young Player of the Year award, nomination to the 2010-11 PFA Team of the Year, and Arsenal's Player of the Season award, as voted for by fans for his performances in his first full campaign for Arsenal during the 2010–11 season.[4]

Wilshere is an England international, having previously represented his country at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels. He made his debut for the senior team against Hungary at the age of 18 years and 222 days, making him the 10th youngest debutant in England's history.[5]

Early life[edit]

Wilshere was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and currently lives in Hitchin, where he grew up and captained his school team.[6] He captained The Priory School football team to County Cup and District Cup glory from Year 7 through to Year 10, and also added the Under 15s National Cup to his list in Year 8.

Club career[edit]

Youth and Reserves[edit]

Wilshere joined the Arsenal Academy in October 2001 at the age of nine, after a short spell in the Luton Town youth programme.[7][8] He rose through the ranks, and at the age of 15 was named the captain of the under-16s; he also made a few appearances for the Under-18s. In the summer of 2007 Wilshere featured in the Champions Youth Cup and upon his return to England, Arsenal Academy coach Steve Bould gave him a start for the Under-18s first game against the Chelsea Under-18 team.[9] He scored his first goal against Aston Villa Under-18s in a 4–1 win.[10] He then scored a hat-trick against Watford Under-18s, helping his side to an Academy Group A title.[11] He finished his first full season with the Under-18s with 13 goals in 18 appearances, most of which coming at age 15.[12]

In February 2008, he made his debut for Arsenal Reserves aged 16 against Reading, and scored Arsenal's only goal of the match, which ended in a draw.[13] He scored a memorable goal against West Ham reserves in March, picking the ball up and curling a shot into the top left corner under the watching eye of Arsène Wenger.[14] He managed to record two goals and two assists in just three appearances for the reserves at the end of the 2007–08 season. He played in the Under-16s victory in the Ferroli Cup, being named as player of the tournament.[15] He played an important role in Arsenal's 2009 FA Youth Cup win, scoring goals in the semi final[16] and producing a man-of-the-match display in the first leg of the final against Liverpool, assisting two goals and scoring himself.[17]

2008–09 season[edit]

Wilshere warming up before a game against West Bromwich Albion

In July 2008, Wilshere was selected in the first team for the pre-season friendlies. He made his first team debut against Barnet as a half-time substitute for Henri Lansbury, setting up a goal for Jay Simpson.[18] Wilshere scored his first two goals for Arsenal in a 10–2 win against a Burgenland XI, and again two days later in a friendly against Stuttgart.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger gave Wilshere a place in Arsenal's first team squad for the 2008–09 season,[19] and he was given the number 19 shirt.[20] He made his competitive debut in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in September 2008, as an 84th-minute substitute for Robin van Persie.[21] At the age of 16 years and 256 days, he was Arsenal's youngest-ever league debutante, a record previously held by Cesc Fàbregas.[22] Ten days later, on 23 September, Wilshere scored his first competitive Arsenal goal in a 6–0 victory against Sheffield United in the Football League Cup.[23] On 25 November 2008, Wilshere came on as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv, becoming the fifth sixteen-year-old to ever play in the Champions League.[24] In January 2009 Wilshere signed his first professional contract,[25] extending it in July the same year.[26]

2009–10 season[edit]

In the preparation for the 2009–10 season, Wilshere scored twice and was twice awarded Man of the Match as Arsenal regained the friendly tournament, the Emirates Cup.[27] On 22 September 2009, he started for Arsenal in their 2–0 Football League Cup win over West Bromwich Albion. In the 37th minute of the match, he was involved in a controversial incident with Jerome Thomas as Thomas pushed Wilshere's face and was shown a red card.[28]

Loan to Bolton Wanderers[edit]

On 29 January 2010, Wilshere joined Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the 2009–10 season.[29] He made his first league start in the away game at Manchester City on 9 February, and scored his first Bolton goal, his first in the Premier League, on 6 March 2010 in the 2–1 victory at West Ham United.[30] He impressed at Bolton and they tried, unsuccessfully, to sign him on loan for another season.[31]

2010–11 season[edit]

Wilshere on the ball for Arsenal in 2010

Wilshere started the 2010-11 season by making his senior England debut in August, becoming the Three Lions' 10th youngest ever player. He also featured in all three of Arsenal's Premier League games, starting in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool, the 6-0 thrashing of Blackpool before coming on as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers, comprehensively displaying fine form. Wilshere continued his fine form through to October, however, his month was cut short with a red card in a 2-1 win against Birmingham City on October 16. The England man was given his marching orders deep into injury time for a tackle on Nikola Žigić and missed the rest of the domestic month. However, Wilshere participated in European competition against Shakhtar Donetsk and finished off a flowing Arsenal move to top off a superb individual performance and get the Gunners’ fourth goal on the night.[32]

Wilshere was again a regular feature alongside Alex Song at the heart of the Arsenal midfield during the following months. The role meant he had the responsibility of protecting the Arsenal back four in crunch games against Manchester United and Chelsea. Against the likes of Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel, the 18-year-old was praised for showing great physical strength during the game. He made seven appearances during the month of January as he continued his partnership with Alex Song at the centre of Arsenal's midfield. Then England manager Fabio Capello described him as “the future" and declared his intention to give him the ‘holding role’ for England after he watched the 19-year-old hold down a midfield place for Arsenal during the course of the season. Wilshere finished the season competing in all of Arsenal's final fixtures during May, making 49 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal.[33]

2011–12 season[edit]

During the summer leading into the 2011–12 season, Wilshere suffered a stress fracture ankle injury during an Emirates Cup pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls, and during the first few months of the injury, Arsène Wenger said: ""The news we have for Jack is very positive", he had said. "No [he will not be back sooner], we will respect the delays. I count maybe mid-February for Jack." Upon having successful ankle surgery,[34] Wilshere's participation for Arsenal was minimum. Wenger further commented on his injury saying: "The first news we have had is better than expected," said Wenger. "He is not in a boot, but I don't know more. His morale looks quite good and I hope it will only be a short setback."

During further rehabilitation, it looked as if Wilshere would heal, with Wenger saying: ""It is difficult to set a deadline on Jack," he said. "We go week by week with him. But his last scan was very good so we don’t have worry anymore. It is about progress and fitness, however, I can’t set a date.". However, Wilshere was ruled out of the remainder of the 2011–12 season. The injury meant that he did not participate in a single club match all season, as well as the 2012 Olympics and England's UEFA Euro 2012 campaign, with Wenger ruling him out further saying: "His ankle is fine and he makes progress, but it is slow progress, [and] we had a chat about that. His progress is not quick enough to go to the Euros.".[35]

2012–13 season[edit]

"It's such an honour for me. Getting the No. 10 shirt again at the club means so much to me as I wore it all through the youth teams at Arsenal. It has a special place for all attacking or creative players. I feel proud to wear it now after some real club legends have worn it, such as Dennis Bergkamp. Now I am even more excited about returning to action and honouring the shirt."[36]

Jack Wilshere

After Robin van Persie's departure from Arsenal for Manchester United on 17 August 2012, Wilshere was given the vacant number 10 shirt and [36] had continued his recovery from his ankle injury, which had ruled him out for the whole of the previous season. "We still have to assess them [him and Bacary Sagna] again after the international break," said Arsène Wenger. "After that they should not be too far away from normal training." And he finally made his return to the first team, making his first Premier League start in 17 months (524 days), playing in the win over Queens Park Rangers. The 20-year-old made an immediate impact, producing a typically combative performance that saw him crowned Man of the Match. “It felt amazing to be back,” Wilshere said. “All the hard work and long days at the training ground have paid off."[37]

He continued to feature for Arsenal, and made six appearances in December, producing Man of the Match performances against both West Bromwich Albion and Bradford City. The young midfielder committed his long-term future to the club after signing a new contract, to the delight of Arsène Wenger, who said: “Jack is certainly the best known, the leader of this group [of young British players]. We’re very happy that we could conclude their new deals at the same time.” Wilshere continued to produce excellent displays in the opening month of 2013, playing a part in all eight of Arsenal’s games and scoring the winner against Swansea City in the FA Cup. His all-action performance against the Welsh side saw him named for another Man of the Match award, while he was also voted as Arsenal’s best player against Manchester City. Meanwhile, Jack was given the captain’s armband when regular skipper Thomas Vermaelen went off injured against West Ham. “[Wilshere] is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader,” Wenger said. “He wants to win and shows you that. “Of course he will be one of the leaders of this club - in fact he already is. A leader is somebody who does everything on the pitch to help his team to win. And he does that.”[38] He played the entirety of the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur before picking up an injury that ruled him out of the month’s remaining games.

He was used as a substitute in all three of Arsenal's games in May, making late appearances against Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United. "Jack will have a small, mild surgery [at the end of the season]," explained Arsène Wenger before the Wigan game. "It is a very small, small, small one. It is to remove a small pin. It will not be a problem. He will need very minor surgery, but we manage that as far as we can until the end of the season. At the moment, we use him only in games when I feel he is really needed."[39]

2013–14 season[edit]

Wilshere (second from right) celebrating his 29-second goal against Marseille with his team-mates in the Champions League on 26 November 2013.

Wilshere started the season playing on the left wing due to injuries keeping out Arsenal's first-team wingers such as Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.[40] He scored his first goal of the season on 6 October in a 1–1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.[41] He scored his second goal of the season on 19 October in a 4–1 win against Norwich City at the Emirates.[42] And, on 26 November, he scored his first career brace in a 2–0 win against Olympique de Marseille in the UEFA Champions League, the first being the fastest European goal scored by an English player in Europe's top tier competition, which was timed at 29 seconds.[43]

During a match against Manchester City on 14 December, Wilshere gave an abusive hand gesture and was given a two match ban.[44]

On 13 January, Wilshere played a part in both of Arsenal's goals against Aston Villa (a game which Arsenal won 2-1). Having scored in the 34th minute, Wilshere won the ball back from the kick-off and set up Olivier Giroud who scored Arsenal's second.[45] Wilshere picked up his fourth assist of the season in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Fulham, on 18 January, setting up Santi Cazorla close to the hour mark.[46] Despite what looked like Wilshere hitting form, on 6 March, Wilshere was featured for England's friendly against Denmark, sporing the number 7 for the Three Lions. However, following a tackle from Daniel Agger, Wilshere was ruled out for just over six weeks after suffering a hairline fracture on his left foot, subsequently missing key Arsenal fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City, along with missing a FA Cup semi final against Wigan on 12 April.[47][48] On 17 May, Wilshere came on as an extra time substitute in the 2014 FA Cup Final as Arsenal beat Hull City 3–2 at Wembley Stadium.[49]

On Wednesday 28 May, Wilshere's goal against Norwich City F.C. was voted goal of the month in the,[50] with his goal accumulating 39% of the votes.[51]

International career[edit]

Wilshere (top right) making his debut for England against Hungary, 11 August 2010.

Since 2006, the England national football team have decided to play Wilshere in an age group above his age. Wilshere was just 14 when he played for the England national under-16 football team at the Victory Shield in 2006. At the age of 15, he began playing for the England national under-17 football team. He was then named in the squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in May, starting the first two games, particularly impressing in the second match against Germany before going off with an injury which kept him out of the final game.[52][53] After the tournament, he was named among the 10 future stars from the tournament.[54]

On 11 September 2009, he also came on as substitute for his England U-21 debut against the Netherlands in a 0–0 draw.[55]

On 7 August 2010, Wilshere was called up to the England senior squad for the first time for their friendly against Hungary.[56] He made his England debut in the match played on 11 August 2010, coming on as an 83rd minute substitute for Steven Gerrard.[57] This made him the 10th youngest player ever to play for the English national team.

On 9 February 2011, Wilshere made his full England debut when he started in a friendly against Denmark. He impressed despite playing in an unfamiliar role just in front of the defence and was praised by manager Fabio Capello.[58]

On 25 March 2011, Wilshere made his competitive debut for England in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.[59] He made one further appearance in the qualifying phase but missed the tournament finals due to injury.

On 6 February 2013, Wilshere made his first start for England since 2011 due to injury, and was named man-of-the-match as England beat Brazil 2–1 at Wembley.[60] Wilshere's performance was widely praised by many including manager Roy Hodgson, captain Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.[61][62][63][64]

Style of play[edit]

Wilshere is known for his movement, vision, passing and combination play, as well as his leadership on the pitch.[65][66][67] He has been described by Arsène Wenger as having "Spanish technique, but an English heart."[68] Owen Coyle, the manager of Bolton during Wilshere's loan spell at the club, praised his ability to "tackle and take a knock," despite his lack of height. However, Arsenal head of youth development Liam Brady noted that Wilshere had problems with his temper early on in his career.[69]

"He can tick almost every box ... Jack has got a bit of everything. He can tackle, get up and down the pitch, create a goal, score a goal, he can pass. I think he's got the potential to become one of the best in the world...playing against him recently and in training, he's a one-off. He's a lot better than your normal Premier League midfielder. I have a lot of confidence in him."

Steven Gerrard[70]

Wilshere has been played in many different positions, including as an attacking midfielder, a winger, and most regularly, as a deep-lying central midfielder. Wenger has said that Wilshere is "a box-to-box player, more than just a holding midfielder."[71] Wilshere's style of play has frequently been compared to that of Arsenal legend Liam Brady,[72][73] while Brady himself identified Wilshere as the latest in a line of technically gifted English players from Glenn Hoddle to Wayne Rooney.[74]

Following his return from injury in the 2012-13 season, Wilshere received praise for his performances and potential from a number of respected players: Barcelona and Brazil defender Dani Alves referred to Wilshere as "a great player," and compared his potential to that of Barcelona legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi;[75] Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger called Wilshere "one of the best players there are [sic]" at his position;[76]and Borussia Dortmund and Germany forward Marco Reus hailed him as "a perfect player."[77]

Wilshere has stated that his ambition is to eventually captain both Arsenal and England;[78] Arsène Wenger has tipped him for both.[79] Current England manager Roy Hodgson has said, "Wilshere has got the personality, the ­character and the quality to accept ­responsibility, to accept the pressure. I foresee a fantastic England career for him. I would agree with Arsène Wenger and say Jack has got the ­qualities [to be England captain], there's no doubt about that."[80] [81]

Personal life[edit]

Born into a family of West Ham fans, Wilshere has been a lifelong fan of Arsenal.

Wilshere was arrested in the early hours of the morning on 29 August 2010 in connection with a "fracas".[82] However, it appeared Wilshere played the role of peacemaker and so did not face charges but received a caution.[83] In March 2011, Wilshere received a police warning for spitting on a taxi driver, who happened to be wearing a hat of Arsenal's rivals Tottenham, after the driver refused to drive him home because he was too drunk.[84]

On 29 September 2011, Wilshere's girlfriend Lauren Neal gave birth to their son, Archie Jack Wilshere.[85] On 26 September 2013, Neal gave birth to their second child, Delilah Grace Wilshere.[86]

Wilshere appeared on the UK and Ireland cover of FIFA 12 alongside Wayne Rooney.[87] In November 2011, Wilshere became an ambassador for St John Ambulance.[88]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 17 May 2014[89][90]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arsenal 2008–09 1 0 2 0 3 1 2 0 8 1
2009–10 1 0 1 0 2 0 3 0 7 0
2010–11 35 1 2 0 5 0 7 1 49 2
2011–12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012–13 25 0 4 1 1 0 3 1 33 2
2013–14 24 3 3 0 1 0 7 2 35 5
Total 86 4 12 1 12 1 22 4 132 10
Bolton Wanderers (loan) 2009–10 14 1 0 0 0 0 14 1
Career total 100 5 12 1 12 1 22 4 146 11

International[edit]

As of 7 June 2014.[91]
National team Club Year Apps Goals
England Arsenal 2010 1 0
2011 4 0
2012 1 0
2013 8 0
2014 6 0
Total 20 0

Honours[edit]

Arsenal

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]