Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has come under criticisms in recent weeks, both for his on-pitch and off-pitch activities.
The 22-year-old did not have the best of seasons in 2013-14 and also struggled for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Then came the infamous smoking incident, as the English youngster was caught with a cigarette in his month during his summer break.
Wilshere first burst onto the footballing scene as a teenager and was said to be ‘the next big thing’ in the Premier League. However, the Englishman has not progressed as much as he would have wanted to in the past two or so years, although injuries have not helped his cause.
Heading into the 2014-15 campaign, though, Wilshere, who has the potential to be a ‘complete midfielder’, should feel confident.
The Gunners ended their nine-year trophy drought with FA Cup success in May and followed that up with FA Community Shield triumph at the expense of Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.
Wilshere is not guaranteed a place in manager Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up given the fierce competition for places in Arsenal’s midfield, although he did start against City at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The England international knows that very well, which is perhaps why he has identified one area of his game that he thinks he should improve upon.
‘I wouldn’t say I’m a defensive midfielder, of course I wouldn’t, because I like to go forward as well’, he told talkSPORT. ‘I like to play the deeper role too, so I can do both, but I need to work on my defending. I’ve got to work on my game a little bit more’.
Versatility is a boon for any footballer, especially for a midfielder in the Arsenal team. The Gunners have a number of top-quality and experienced midfielders, and if all of them remain fit, then competition for places will be arguably the fiercest in the Premier League in that department.
Which is Wilshere identifying his weakness and pledging to work on it should be admired. The youngster may have been justifiably criticised in the past, but this time he should be lauded for publicly admitting that he needs to improve.
Can Jack Wilshere become the best midfielder in Europe in his career?