Jack Wilshere

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Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere Oct 2010 (cropped).jpg
Wilshere playing for Arsenal in 2010
Personal information
Full nameJack Andrew Garry Wilshere[1]
Date of birth(1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22)
Place of birthStevenage, England
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[2]
Playing positionMidfielder
Club information
Current clubArsenal
Youth career
2001Luton Town
Senior career*
2010Bolton Wanderers (loan)14(1)
National team
2006–2007England U162(0)
2007–2009England U179(1)
2009England U191(0)
2009England U217(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:00, 29 December 2013 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2013
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Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere Oct 2010 (cropped).jpg
Wilshere playing for Arsenal in 2010
Personal information
Full nameJack Andrew Garry Wilshere[1]
Date of birth(1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22)
Place of birthStevenage, England
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[2]
Playing positionMidfielder
Club information
Current clubArsenal
Youth career
2001Luton Town
Senior career*
2010Bolton Wanderers (loan)14(1)
National team
2006–2007England U162(0)
2007–2009England U179(1)
2009England U191(0)
2009England U217(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:00, 29 December 2013 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2013

Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere /ˈwɪlʃər/ (born 1 January 1992) is an English international footballer who plays for English club Arsenal and the England national team. He plays primarily as a central midfielder.

Wilshere came up through Arsenal's youth academy and impressed from an early age. He made his first team debut in 2008, becoming Arsenal's youngest ever league debutant at the age of 16 years, 256 days.[3] Wilshere has earned a number of accolades including the PFA Young Player of the Year award, nomination to the 2010-11 PFA Team of the Year, and Arsenal's Player of the Season award, as voted for by fans for his performances in his first full campaign for Arsenal during the 2010–11 season.[4]

Wilshere is an England international, having previously represented his country at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels. He made his debut for the senior team against Hungary at the age of 18 years and 222 days, making him the 10th youngest player in England's history.[5]

Early life[edit]

Wilshere was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and currently lives in Hitchin, where he grew up and captained his school team.[6] He captained The Priory School football team to County Cup and District Cup glory from Year 7 through to Year 10, and also added the Under 15s National Cup to his list in Year 8.

Club career[edit]

Youth and Reserves[edit]

Wilshere joined the Arsenal Academy in October 2001 at the age of nine, after a short spell in the Luton Town youth programme.[7][8] He rose through the ranks, and at the age of 15 was named the captain of the under-16s; he also made a few appearances for the Under-18s. In the summer of 2007 Wilshere featured in the Champions Youth Cup and upon his return to England, Arsenal Academy coach Steve Bould gave him a start for the Under-18s first game against the Chelsea Under-18 team.[9] He scored his first goal against Aston Villa Under-18s in a 4–1 win.[10] He then scored a hat-trick against Watford Under-18s, helping his side to an Academy Group A title.[11] He finished his first full season with the Under-18s with 13 goals in 18 appearances, most of which coming at age 15.[12]

In February 2008, he made his debut for Arsenal Reserves aged 16 against Reading, and scored Arsenal's only goal of the match, which ended in a draw.[13] He scored a memorable goal against West Ham reserves in March, picking the ball up and curling a shot into the top left corner under the watching eye of Arsène Wenger.[14] He managed to record two goals and two assists in just three appearances for the reserves at the end of the 2007–08 season. He played in the Under-16s victory in the Ferroli Cup, being named as player of the tournament.[15] He played an important role in Arsenal's 2009 FA Youth Cup win, scoring goals in the semi final[16] and producing a man-of-the-match display in the first leg of the final against Liverpool, assisting two goals and scoring himself.[17]

Wilshere warming up before a game against West Bromwich Albion

2008–09 season[edit]

In July 2008, Wilshere was selected in the first team for the pre-season friendlies. He made his first team debut against Barnet as a half-time substitute for Henri Lansbury, setting up a goal for Jay Simpson.[18] Wilshere scored his first two goals for Arsenal in a 10–2 win against a Burgenland XI, and again two days later in a friendly against Stuttgart.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger gave Wilshere a place in Arsenal's first team squad for the 2008–09 season,[19] and he was given the number 19 shirt.[20] He made his competitive debut in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in September 2008, as an 84th-minute substitute for Robin van Persie.[21] At the age of 16 years and 256 days, he was Arsenal's youngest-ever league debutante, a record previously held by Cesc Fàbregas.[22] Ten days later, on 23 September, Wilshere scored his first competitive Arsenal goal in a 6–0 victory against Sheffield United in the Football League Cup.[23] On 25 November 2008, Wilshere came on as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv, becoming the fifth sixteen-year-old to ever play in the Champions League.[24] In January 2009 Wilshere signed his first professional contract,[25] extending it in July the same year.[26]

2009–10 season[edit]

In the preparation for the 2009–10 season, Wilshere scored twice and was twice awarded Man of the Match as Arsenal regained the friendly tournament, the Emirates Cup.[27] On 22 September 2009, he started for Arsenal in their 2–0 Football League Cup win over West Bromwich Albion. In the 37th minute of the match, he was involved in a controversial incident with Jerome Thomas as Thomas pushed Wilshere's face and was shown a red card.[28]

Loan to Bolton Wanderers[edit]

On 29 January 2010, Wilshere joined Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the 2009–10 season.[29] He made his first league start in the away game at Manchester City on 9 February, and scored his first Bolton goal, his first in the Premier League, on 6 March 2010 in the 2–1 victory at West Ham United.[30] He impressed at Bolton and they tried, unsuccessfully, to sign him on loan for another season.[31]

2010–11 season[edit]

Wilshere on the ball for Arsenal in 2010

The 2010–11 football season was a year of breakthrough for Wilshere. On 15 August 2010, he made his first start in the Premier League for Arsenal against Liverpool at Anfield.[32] He followed that up with another start the next weekend against Blackpool contributing with an assist. On 15 September, Wilshere started his first Champions League game of the season providing an assist.[33] Wilshere was named Arsenal's Player of The Month for September 2010.[34] On 16 October, Wilshere received his first straight red card in first-team football in a Premier League match against Birmingham City for a challenge on Nikola Žigić.[35] On 19 October, Wilshere scored his first Champions League goal with a chip over Andriy Pyatov at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal in a 5–1 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stage.[36]

On 1 November, it was announced that Wilshere had signed a new long-term contract.[37] On 27 November, Wilshere scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal in a 4–2 win at Aston Villa. Wilshere was praised for his highly influential display against Barcelona in Arsenal's 2–1 victory, he completed 93.5% of his passes overall and 91% of his passes in the final third of the pitch.[38][39] Manager Arsène Wenger described his performance as "outstanding".[40] In April 2011, Wilshere won the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and was also named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2010–11 season, along with Arsenal team-mates Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna.[41] In his breakthrough season he was also voted Arsenal's Player of the Season, ahead of the likes of Fàbregas, van Persie and Nasri.[42]

2011–12 season[edit]

During the summer leading into the 2011–12 season, Wilshere suffered a stress fracture ankle injury during an Emirates Cup pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls. The injury proved a persistent problem throughout Arsenal's pre-season and on 26 September, Wilshere underwent successful surgery, and was to be ruled out for four to five months. However, on 27 January, he suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury,[43] and in April 2012 he was ruled out for the remainder of the season. The injury meant that he did not participate in a single club match all season as well as the 2012 Olympics and England's UEFA Euro 2012 campaign.[44]

2012–13 season[edit]

"It's such an honour for me. Getting the No 10 shirt again at the Club means so much to me as I wore it all through the youth teams at Arsenal. It has a special place for all attacking or creative players. I feel proud to wear it now after some real Club legends have worn it, such as Dennis Bergkamp. Now I am even more excited about returning to action and honouring the shirt."[45]

Jack Wilshere

After Robin van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United on 17 August 2012, Wilshere was given the vacant number 10 shirt.[46]

After 14 months out from football due to a persistent injury, Wilshere returned to regular first team training with Arsenal on 20 September 2012. On 27 October, he made his first Premier League start since May 2011 in a 1–0 win over Queens Park Rangers, playing 67 minutes before being replaced by Theo Walcott.[47] He started the following league game against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but was sent off in the 69th minute after receiving 2 yellow cards and Arsenal lost the match 2–1.[48] Wilshere played the full 90 minutes in a UEFA Champions League match against Schalke on 6 November which ended in a 2–2 draw.[49] On 21 November, he scored his first goal since returning from injury in a 2–0 win against Montpellier in the UEFA Champions League.[50]

On 19 December 2012, it was announced that Wilshere, along with teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson, signed a new long term contract with Arsenal.[51] On 16 January 2013, he scored the only goal in a win against Swansea City in the FA Cup.[52]

In April, Wilshere was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the season, his second nomination after he won the 2010–11 award.[53]

After Wenger chose to rest Wilshere in the March and April period of the season, he featured sporadically in mostly substitute appearances towards the end of the campaign. In the summer of 2013, Wilshere was to have a very minor surgery to prepare him for Arsenal's preseason.[54]

2013–14 season[edit]

Wilshere started the season playing on the left wing due to injuries keeping out Arsenal's first-team wingers, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.[55] He scored his first goal of the season on 6 October in a 1–1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.[56] He scored his second goal of the season on 19 October in a 4–1 win against Norwich City.[57] On 26 November, he scored his first career brace in a 2–0 win against Olympique de Marseille in the UEFA Champions League, the first being the fastest European goal scored by an English player, timed at 29 seconds.[58] During a match against Manchester City on 14 December, Wilshere gave an abusive hand gesture and was given a two match ban.[59]

International career[edit]

Wilshere (top right) making his debut for England against Hungary, 11 August 2010.

Since 2006, the England national football team have decided to play Wilshere in an age group above his age. Wilshere was just 14 when he played for the England national under-16 football team at the Victory Shield in 2006. At the age of 15, he began playing for the England national under-17 football team. He was then named in the squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in May, starting the first two games, particularly impressing in the 2nd game against Germany before going off with an injury which kept him out of the final game.[60][61] After the tournament, he was named among the 10 future stars from the tournament.[62]

He has also been praised by former England manager Fabio Capello, who indicated there was a chance that he would include the young midfielder in his 2010 FIFA World Cup squad,[63] though this did not happen. He also came on as substitute for his England U-21 debut against the Netherlands.[64]

On 7 August 2010, Wilshere was called up to the Senior squad for the first time for their friendly against Hungary on 11 August.[65] He made his England debut on 11 August 2010, coming on as an 83rd minute substitute for Steven Gerrard against Hungary.[66] This made him the 10th youngest player ever to play for the English national team.

On 9 February 2011 he made his full England debut when he started in a friendly against Denmark. He impressed despite playing in an unfamiliar role just in front of the defence and was praised by Fabio Capello.[67] On 6 February 2013, Wilshere made his first start for England since 2011 due to injury, and was named man-of-the-match as England beat Brazil 2–1 at Wembley.[68] Wilshere's performance was widely praised by many including manager Roy Hodgson, captain Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.[69][70][71][72]

Style of play[edit]

Wilshere is a player known for his movement, vision, passing and combination play, as well as his leadership on the pitch.[73][74][75] He has been described by Arsène Wenger as having "Spanish technique, but an English heart".[76] Owen Coyle, manager of Bolton during Wilshere's loan spell, praised his ability to "tackle and take a knock", despite his lack of height. However, Arsenal head of youth development Liam Brady noted that Wilshere had problems with his temper early on in his career.[77]

"I think Jack Wilshere's got the potential to become one of the best in the world, I don’t want to add any pressure. That’s unfair. But playing against him recently and in training, he’s a one-off. He's a lot better than your normal Premier League midfielder. I have a lot of confidence in him. He's got a bit of everything, he can tackle, get up and down the pitch, create a goal, score a goal, can pass. He can tick almost every box, and he's going to get better and better. He's only 21 and a fantastic talent. We're all delighted he's back and happy to play with him. I hope he brings out the best in all of us. He's a top player and I hope he gives the dressing room a lift. And he'll get better, and better than he is now. Which is a scary thought."

Steven Gerrard[78]

Wilshere has been used in a number of positions, including as an attacking midfielder, a winger, and most regularly as a deep-lying central midfielder. Wenger has said that Wilshere is "a box-to-box player, more than just a holding midfielder."[79] Wilshere's style of play has frequently been compared to that of Arsenal legend Brady,[80][81] while Brady himself identified Wilshere as the latest in a line of technically gifted English players from Glenn Hoddle to Wayne Rooney.[82]

Following his return from injury in the 2012-13 season, Wilshere received praise for his performances and potential from a variety of fellow professionals; Barcelona and Brazil defender Dani Alves referred to Wilshere as 'a great player', and compared his potential to that of Barcelona midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi,[83] while Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger called him 'one of the best players there are' in his position.[84] Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus hailed him as "a perfect player".[85]

Wilshere has stated his ambition to captain both Arsenal and England,[86] and has been tipped by Wenger for both roles.[87] England manager Roy Hodgson said: "Wilshere has got the personality, the ­character and the quality to accept ­responsibility, to accept the pressure. I foresee a fantastic England career for him. I would agree with Arsène Wenger and say Jack has got the ­qualities [to be England captain], there's no doubt about that."[88]

Personal life[edit]

Wilshere was arrested in the early hours of the morning on 29 August 2010 in connection with a "fracas".[89] However, it appeared Wilshere played the role of peacemaker and so did not face charges but received a caution.[90] In March 2011, Wilshere received a police warning for spitting on a taxi driver, who happened to be wearing a hat of Arsenal's rivals Tottenham, after the driver refused to drive him home because he was too drunk. [91] On 29 September 2011, Wilshere's girlfriend Lauren Neal gave birth to their son, Archie Jack Wilshere.[92] And on 26 September 2013, Neal gave birth to their second child, Delilah Grace Wilshere.[93] Wilshere appeared on the UK and Ireland cover of FIFA 12 alongside Wayne Rooney.[94] In November 2011, Wilshere became an ambassador for St John Ambulance.[95]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 5 January 2014[96][97]
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
Bolton Wanderers (loan)2009–101410000141
Career total93410112121413610


As of 19 November 2013.[98]
National teamClubYearAppsGoals






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External links[edit]