Being an international football player for England is not an easy job, and Jack Wilshere has finally admitted it.
The Arsenal midfielder is only 22 and is a genuinely brilliant footballer who is set to achieve great things, but even at such a young age, he is feeling the pressure of representing his country.
Wilshere made his debut for the Three Lions when he was just 19 while Fabio Capello was in charge and has since gone on to play in 15 matches for his country. He was an instant hit, his maturity and ability to make quick decisions in central midfield led many to hail him as the ‘saviour of English football’.
England’s one and only World Cup success came back in 1966, and despite the promises in the last decade or so, they have been largely a failure. Wayne Rooney was supposed to be England’s ‘next big thing’, but he is now 28 and the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil is perhaps his last shot of having a winner’s medal around his neck.
Wilshere is young and has endured lots of injuries and heartbreaks with Arsenal in his career. All this has made him tougher and he insists that even if playing for his country brings its own pressure, it is something that he relishes.
“It’s brought pressure on me,” he told RWDmag.com. “I’m not sure it’s unwanted pressure. I think when you play at the highest level, there is pressure all the time.
“Also a lot of fans pay good money and a lot of people come and watch like friends, family and the media in particular. That’s their job. So they have to analyse your performance and they have to have someone who they can sort of put up on a pedestal.
“So I think especially in England, it may be a bit worse than in other countries, but there is always pressure, you have to just deal with it.”
Wilshere is currently sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and will sit out Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final tie against Wigan Athletic at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
However, he is expected to make his return this month and England fans will hope that by the end of the season, he will have fully regained his fitness and his form, because they will need him at his best in Brazil.