Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere is no longer with the club. He left earlier today, after talks with the new manager, Unai Emery, revealed that, along with reduced wages, he would get significantly less playing time going forward.
Captain Captain Jack will remain mythical
One of England’s most technically gifted midfielders of his generation, the loss of ‘Super Jack’ will no doubt light up a heated discussion on the Arsenal fan YouTube page. A figure that mesmerized and disappointed fans in equal measure, there will be plenty of fans gutted to see him leave, and an equal number pleased to see him free up his wages and squad number. His injury record left fans, majority of whom are notoriously intolerant of dips in form, left to ask ‘what if’, in consensus, agreeing that he didn’t live up to his potential.
Left off the England squad to this editions World Cup in Russia, the decision to leave his boyhood club, (he’s been there for 17 years), will no doubt be the biggest test that he has faced yet. Self doubt. Anger. Questions. Regret. All these will no doubt be on the 26 year old’s mind as he ponders his next move.
No World Cup for Jack
For anyone that doesn’t follow football, or the English Premier League to be specific, it’s another announcement. For fans of football however, this will only be another reminder of how indispensable we all are. That the man touted as the heir to Arsenal’s, and even England’s, captaincy is staring at never playing for either again, after this recent occurrences. Given that his is a pre-season departures, that means his exit will be low-key, no fan fare at all, just a press release from the club, and a highlight reel of his best moments from his stay at the club and it’s all over. No fans crying at a waving figure at the middle of Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s imposing home stadium, no flowers thrown his way, no engulfing nostalgia at his former stomping ground.
Just silence. His thoughts reflecting on what his next move will be. England? Which top six side will afford his wages and grant him a starting position? Abroad in a competitive league, a team that challenges domestically and in Europe? And the unlikely, but financially lucrative Chinese league option. That a man whom so much expectations lay on his shoulders will leave with nothing but memories, two FA Cups and a lengthy Instagram post, should remind us how fickle life is. That one minute, during Arsenal’s match at Barcelona in 2010, when a then-19 year old Wilshere ran rings around a Catalan midfield of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets in their prime and he had the world at his feet, and the next, he was left out of the World Cup because the manager felt he wasn’t good enough.
That night against Barcelona.
Not for lack of ambition or effort, (he went on loan to Bournemouth last season to play regiular football), Wilshere leaves today, disappointed but a millionaire courtesy of the generosity of elite-level football. A quintessential baller, he was the poster boy for the Wenger-era, unwavering belief in home-grown talent that played entertaining football. There is little sentiment attached to football nowadays, to life in general, and Wilshere is a reminder of how thankful we should be for the opportunties that life grants us. One day you’re the cock of the walk, the next, you’re a feather duster.