Jack Wilshere’s needless scuffle last night saw him acting his shoe size instead of his age.
Jack Wilshere’s importance to Arsenal at the moment is greater than it’s even been. He’s in a fortunate position where he’s undoubtedly one of the biggest players at a huge club, still at the age of 21-years-old.
His role in the Arsenal midfield means teams are going to be thinking of dozens of different tactical ways to stop him from having any influence over the course of 90 minutes.
When those tactics fail, teams will have to resort to thinking outside the box to knock him off his guard and affect him in a way which stops him from producing his very best form.
Everton’s Kevin Mirallas showed last night that he is vulnerable to childish tactics because he will react, drawing attention to himself and making himself a target.
If he’s going to develop into the sort of attacking midfield who represents everything which is good about himself and his club, he needs to rise above these sorts of antics and not draw negative attention onto himself.
Wilshere could easily have been treated much more harshly last night by the referee, following the scuffle or he could have simply waited to have a little dig back at Mirallas until the players were further down the tunnel and away from the cameras.
It all points towards the same sort of reasons as to why teams used to try and wind up Wayne Rooney when he was little more rash in his early Manchester United days.
Arsenal are a great side with players like Wilshere who can dominate the middle of the pitch, so if they can get an advantage by getting players needlessly booked or sent off, then they will try everything to do just that.
It’s hypothetical, but had that been the case then Wilshere could have been missed for vital games over the rest of the season, which could go a long way to determining whether the Gunners finish in the top four.
Sides can now get at him verbally throughout a match, staying in his ear, winding him up and just waiting for an opportunity to watch the bomb go off.
The most experienced players around in sides will focus on him in this regard because with respect to his game, he doesn’t have many weaknesses when it comes to his technique and the way he plays football.
Had Mirallas turned around and spat at him then you could understand the sort of reaction he produced but he certainly didn’t handle the incident as efficiently as he could have done.
How would you try and get under Wilshere’s skin?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald