|Desc||Jack Wilshere seen as the bright young midfield hope for both Arsenal and England, the 25-year-old shot to prominence during the 2010/11 season. His performance in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Barcelona at the Emirates in the last 16 of the Champions League only added to the hype but injuries have blighted his career to date|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||West Ham|
2012 12 17 Retrieve
[Arsenal are close to announcing that a core of five British players have signed new five-year contracts with the club worth a staggering £71.2 million] I’m talking to the club and I will probably be committing my future to them in the next couple of weeks
2016 11 12 Retrieve
[England midfielder Jack Wilshere opens up about his struggle with injuries] I nearly did [fall out of love with football]. The injury last season was the hardest to take mentally, because I have been through a lot. I missed the fight of the Premier League, being involved in all the big games and making a difference for a team and I wanted to feel that again and almost fall back in love with the game again. I wanted to get back playing week-in week-out, being involved in the Premier League. I have missed a lot of football. When you are injured and injured for a while it is hard. You have to go to the training ground and go and watch everyone go out and play, go to the Emirates and watch them play. It is difficult. I needed it [the move] for myself. When you are playing football it is the best job in the world. Everybody wants to do it. You wake up in the morning and you go and play football with your mates. I did that for a while and to have that taken away and have to go the gym. I’m only just getting back to my level now
2018 10 04 Retrieve
[Special Emile Smith Rowe can become an Arsenal star under Unai Emery] When he has stepped up to train with the first team, he hasn’t looked out of place and that’s a sign of someone who has a real opportunity of not just making a career, but playing at this club, which I know is difficult. You can see over the years the good players that haven’t quite made it, but he has got something a little bit special, and he has a real chance
2019 03 23 Retrieve
[Wilshere targets West Ham return before end of season] I am back in full training. It has been a long time, frustrating, but it was something I had to do after speaking to the specialists
I am trying to get fit but it is not a great time to come back because you get fully fit, maybe play a couple of games and then the season finishes.
It is going to be a big off-season for me as well, but I am feeling good and I want to play again this season [Wilshere believes Pellegrini deserves credit for changing the mood around the club] I think it was always going to be difficult because of last season, it wasn’t a great season for West Ham. They obviously got a big-name manager in, who has won the Premier League, and suddenly the expectations go through the roof.
It was always difficult the first few games at home and people spoke about the stadium. I think one big thing he has done this year is to change the atmosphere around the stadium and the team have done well. We still need to finish strong and push for that Europa League place. Everyone is happy. We are playing better football and we have brought in good players, so I am looking forward to getting back in there with the boys.
2019 05 05 Retrieve
[Jack Wilshere has no plans to rest this summer and will instead work hard on getting back to full fitness after an injury-disrupted first season at West Ham] It will be a summer of work for me. I’ve worked so hard to get to this level and I want to maintain that, getting back to pre-season where I have left off. I don’t want to lose my fitness so I have to work through the summer.
It’s been a frustrating year but I wanted to get back before the end of the season to get some minutes and confidence going into pre-season, so it feels good.
I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, it’s a big off-season for me because I’m now quite fit and I don’t want to go away and come back and start again.
So I have to do some work in the summer. I’m confident in my body. This injury just took its time to heal. I’m confident I can play far more games next season
[Capped 34 times by England, Wilshere accepts that injuries may strike again but that he is being sensible in his return] Injuries can happen at any point. I’m not naive enough to think that is the end of my injury problems but I will do everything I can to avoid them with strength and rehab work. I’ve been training for a while but training and playing games is a completely different type of fitness. I know from previous injuries that when you are back to training you are not there. You have to work hard to get to the level players are playing. I’ve done that by working hard but this is just another step. I had ten minutes a couple of weeks ago, now I have got 25 and I want to get even more next week and push on.
2019 06 11 Retrieve
[Wilshere opens up on nightmare years on and off the pitch] It was 2016, and I picked up an injury in training. It was tough to take, because I was making my way back to where I wanted to be. I came home and all of a sudden my four-year-old son was having seizures on the floor. It happened time and time again and it happened every day for three or four months. There were times when, in the middle of the night, I’d be rushing to the hospital. Me and my wife would sit up most nights because the seizures were mostly happening at night. We’d put him to bed but we couldn’t sleep because we didn’t know what was happening with him. We would just sit up. I just sort of forget about football. I can remember saying to my wife ‘I’m not sure I can do this anymore
It makes you realise that football isn’t everything. As men, we don’t like to show weakness and we don’t like to talk about things. That’s why I speak so highly of Arsene Wenger. He said to me ‘you deal with your son, you take out however long it takes’. That’s why this injury took so long. People say ‘he’s always injured, he’s injury prone, he’s never going to be fit’, but they don’t realise what goes on behind closed doors
I didn’t want to be rehabbing. I was in and out of hospitals, I wasn’t sleeping, and I didn’t really care to be honest. My main focus was my son. I sort of switched off from the outside world a little bit, and it makes you change the way you think about things and life. I’m a footballer, and that’s great, but family comes first always. I try to be the best dad and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. Everything I do is for them.
Thankfully now, my son is good. Thanks to the doctors and the specialists he’s good and under control now. I want to come back for him, for my daughter Delilah and my new baby Siena, who hasn’t seen me play football yet. You should never give up. I want to play for as long as possible. I do genuinely love football. It’s my life, it’s my kids’ lives, we’re a football family. My goal is to get back in the team and win as many games as possible. At the moment, that is all I’m focused on
2019 07 20 Retrieve
[Wilshere planning to pile pressure on Arsenal by lifting West Ham above Gunners] That has to be our target, but the Premier League, you know what it is like, you have to fight every game, every week. Our problem last year was not against the big teams, it was against the other teams where we dropped points. We need to make sure we start right, last year we started badly, lost the first four games and then we are playing catch-up and it is difficults
That’s what we’re going to aim for. I am not saying we are going to win the Premier League, but we want to push as high as we can. We beat Arsenal last year, we beat [Manchester] United, we beat Chelsea, so we know we can beat them. It’s against the smaller teams where we need to focus more and pick up points
2019 08 12 Retrieve
[From West Ham’s side, the post-match narrative involved complaints of City’s apparent tactical fouling, with Manuel Pellegrini attributing this to his team’s lack of creativity. Jack Wilshere had no issue with City’s tactics, suggesting West Ham need to learn from such elite opponents] That’s football. When you play against experienced players who understand the game, it’s going to happen. You can’t get frustrated. They’re clever players. A team like us who like to attack could learn from that. They do that counter-press. They lose the ball and bang, they go straight away. They’re going to make fouls. If you do get out of it, it happens so quickly and they bring you down
2019 11 30 Retrieve
[Wilshere looking to follow lead of Lampard & Gerrard as he plans coaching future at the age of 27] When I talk about what I want to do after my playing career, what interests me is the development of kids. I like coaching and giving advice to kids. It is rewarding. I know Steven Gerrard started working with Liverpool’s youth team, used that as a stepping stone. Frank Lampard is at the top already. I see myself going into coaching kids, going into an academy and see if I enjoy it. When you have a playing career for 15 years, there’s a lot of pressure, travelling away and it would be nice to spend a bit more time at home with my family but I definitely want to do some kind of coaching
I look at Lampard and Gerrard and I think: ‘wow - fair play to you.’. They’ve gone into a pressure situation where they are coaching, they are working but they also have to win games and that’s even more pressure
There’s maybe a little less pressure working with kids where winning is not everything, your goal is to develop players, get them ready for the next step. That’s what interests me first, but then things change
Lampard did great at Derby but probably didn’t expect to be at Chelsea this soon and he’s doing unbelievably well. Things change and things come up, you never know.
I’ve got a few years left playing, but it will be interesting to speak to Steve or Frank and see how young or how early they were thinking about being a coach, they probably were about my age because it takes a while to get your qualifications. I want to keep it ticking over with the Elites, getting more experience with your coaching because you’re then ready when you finish
2020 04 12 Retrieve
[Wilshere reflects on decision to leave Arsenal] It hasn’t worked out for me, I’ll be honest. It hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to, I’ve missed too much football, I haven’t played enough games. I want to get back on track, get my career back on track, get playing games week-in, week-out and start to feel like a footballer again
The last couple of years have been frustrating. I obviously started [my career] really well at Arsenal, I was enjoying it, I was loving it, almost taking it for granted. Then I picked up an injury and I sort of started to understand my body, started to understand that this happens in football.
I enjoyed my time at Arsenal, and obviously I went to Bournemouth, had a good year but picked up another injury. I came back, was told that I could leave but managed to stay and fight my way back into the team and had a good year. Then I made the decision to leave Arsenal and join West Ham
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Jack Wilshere has proclaimed that West Ham team-mate Declan Rice is the best young player in the Premier League] You know what, there’s so many good young players, but the one that I get to see every day and I get to play with [is] Dec - Declan Rice. He can go all the way, he’s unbelievable. Left foot, right foot and he’s a great lad. Love you, Dec!
2020 04 21 Retrieve
[Former Gunners team-mate Jack Wilshere says Mikel Arteta will get the best out of his Arsenal squad if given time at the club] They’ve got world-class players. They spent £60 million on [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, £40m on [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Mesut] Ozil is world class. I think they’ve got a good manager now who can get the best out of them. I think you need to give Arteta a transfer window and a pre-season.
Everyone who I’ve spoken to since leaving Arsenal or even when I was at Arsenal would say they wouldn’t mind playing against us because they knew they could get opportunities. Going forward we were always a joke. I’m not just talking about the defence but defensively, as a team, they would get chances and I think Arteta has changed that a bit
When I was playing with him you don’t really think about that but, when I look back, you could tell. He was one of those guys in training who was always on it. He wouldn’t accept anything less than 100 per cent. Even if we were doing possession, he would try and base it around a game and try and talk to you about what we should be doing. Around the training ground he was first in, never late, he would do everything properly. His discipline was unreal. On the pitch as well, he was the leader for us. In the dressing room and around the place he wouldn’t get involved in any banter. His English was good, he knew the game, he was good. He was a big player for us
2020 04 26 Retrieve
[Wilshere reveals how he was reluctant to join Gunners] I was playing for Luton and we were playing against Barnet and the ref was actually scouting for Arsenal. He came up to my dad afterwards and told him he wanted me to come along. He didn’t even say it was a trial. He just wanted to sign me for Arsenal.
It was strange because there must have been some sort of transfer window where that sort of thing could happen but, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t want to go. I was 15 minutes from Luton to get to London every day. My dad with his job he would have to finish work early.
My dad didn’t put any pressure on me but, at the time, I didn’t know what to do. I remember it so clearly, I was nine and I was in the park with my mate. My dad pulled up in his little red van and said: ‘This is your last day you’ve got to make a decision’.
I said to my mate: ‘F*ck it. I’m going to Arsenal’, and the rest is history. Fair play to my dad because we didn’t have much as a kid, he was a plumber. He used to finish work at 4pm, then we’d be out the door and it would take an hour to get to London from where I lived and that was like three times a week from when I was 10
2020 05 11 Retrieve
[Jack Wilshere has opened up on breaking into Arsenal’s first team] Cesc would always give me words of advice. Kieran Gibbs was around the team and then Aaron [Ramsey] came in. We’d all got close in that pre-season because we were the young players, young players tend to stick together when they come into the first team. I was quite quiet at that stage, it sounds mad but I didn’t really feel like I deserved to be there. I felt like I was a kid and there was a lot of injuries and I’d got my chance. Cesc was good. He would give me words of advice because at that point I was with the first team, then with the reserves. Cesc would always say, ‘I watched you the other night in the reserves and you did well’.
To be honest, I didn’t even think I was [playing that well]. I thought I was doing alright. When we got to half-time, I had done a few good things in the first half but I felt like they had dominated. They had a way of making you feel like you were running around in circles for no reason. They used to make these little passes in midfield and you didn’t know whether to press or to hold back and wait for them. It wasn’t until after the game actually [that I realised how well I’d played]. It was Paul Akers, the kit man, who was like, ‘You just had Xavi and Iniesta in your pocket’. I said, ‘no chance’ and he was like, ‘I’m telling you’. Then I got man of the match. It’s difficult when you’re in a game to know how well you played and what people are thinking of games. Over the next few days I remember Nasri saying to me after the game, ‘You need to stay at this level now, you’ve just gone up a couple of levels, this needs to be your level, week in, week out’. It’s alright everyone else saying it, but when it comes from your team-mates, the people who see you every day, it meant more
2020 05 14 Retrieve
[Emery’s advice that forced Jack Wilshere out of Arsenal] I got offered a new deal at Arsenal. I obviously had a year left and even into January I was playing in the team and there were still no discussions happening. Then finally the discussions happened. I got offered a new deal and I wasn’t really happy with it. I’d have conversations with Arsene and he was doing all he could for me. We sort of got to the point where we’d almost agreed it and I was almost ready to sign. Then the news came that Arsene was leaving and I just thought: ‘How can I sign a new deal at a club that is based on appearances? I need to play to get a decent amount of money with a manager who I don’t know if he likes me’. I wanted to see who was going to come in and then when Emery did come in I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him. He said to me: ‘If I was you I would leave, you’re not in my starting XI’. He had plans to buy a midfield, I think he bought [Lucas] Torreira and a few others and I wasn’t in his plans. That was the moment when I decided. A lot of people who I’d grown up with, the staff, the physios, my friends basically [had left] - it felt like the club was going in a different direction and I decided to leave. I was part of Arsenal, it’s a massive club and I was a big part of it, it was difficult. It was a sad time to leave and even now I look back and think: ‘Yeah, that was a tough time’.
2020 05 14b Retrieve
[Wilshere says Wenger didn’t play him in preferred position at Arsenal] We disagreed on that a few times. But we laughed about it as well. When I first got into the team I played on the right wing and I actually really enjoyed it. I never saw myself playing there but I really enjoyed it, cutting in from the right, taking either a shot or a through ball and I really enjoyed it. Then when I started playing in the Premier League, we used to play a 4-2-3-1 and I’d play in the two in midfield. I think that was only because of the injuries at the time but then I took my opportunity, he stuck by me and I learnt that position that year. Then when I came back from that injury, I think he saw me playing further forward. He wanted me to play as a No.10 and, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it but I found it more difficult playing there. I enjoyed it more playing a little bit deeper and getting on the ball, controlling the game. And then obviously, I started playing holding midfield for England and I loved it.
[despite his success in the role with England, Wilshere says that Wenger never saw him playing as a No. 6, causing a bit of a disagreement between the two] Things went really well when I was playing there and I felt like I was learning that role and then I came back and had a conversation with Arsene and he was like, ‘No, I don’t see you playing there’. We didn’t really play that formation where there was that one holding midfielder anyway but I wanted to play in the two but he kept playing me in the No.10 role which I enjoyed. Listen, I was playing No.10 with the No.10 on my back so I was living the dream but I just felt I could give a little bit more when I was deeper.
2020 05 26 Retrieve
[Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has lamented the star departures at the Emirates in the early 2010s. Van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United in 2012 was particularly difficult to swallow] I was devastated. He had just scored 30 goals the season before. He was our captain. It felt like we were just about to challenge [for the title] again and all of a sudden he left to go to our biggest rivals. It was difficult to take. I was there when Fabregas left, Nasri left, big players. If we had kept that team together I think we would have gone on to win the Premier League - and who knows from there?
[The midfielder struggled with injuries in north London and following the exit of long-time manager Arsene Wenger, his replacement Unai Emery admitted that Wilshere wouldn’t be part of his first-choice line-up] I sat down with my family and my wife. Arsene had announced he was leaving, and it felt like the right time to move on. I had done it before [joining Bournemouth on loan]. I knew there was life outside of Arsenal. I just thought it was the right time to move on. Times were changing at Arsenal. I spoke with the new manager who said: ‘You can stay but you are not in my starting XI’. Arsene knew what I could do and trusted me. I knew if I got fit, I would play and I didn’t get that vibe off Emery. It was tough.