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Yakety Yak- Don't Rush Jack

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged caution as to the possibility of an imminent Jack Wilshere return. With the British press dribbling maniacally on the subject in every press conference ("how can we build him up and destroy him again when he`s not even playing?") Wenger has said that Arsenal "go day by day2 with the situation.

Wilshere picked up a stress fracture of the ankle playing for England against Switzerland last June at Wembley. Following a pre season of rest, Arsenal`s medical staff felt the problem might heal alone. In his exuberance and desire to play, young Jack concealed the fact that he still felt pain from the medics until the Emirates Cup in late July. He hasn`t played since, with Arsene admitting last summer that Wilshere had been playing "in the red zone" for the last few weeks of last season.

Injuries to Fabregas, Diaby, Ramsey and Denilson for prolonged periods led to the youngster playing more football than had been planned. In hindsight, that probably accounted for his stress fracture. On the flipside, one can well imagine what the reaction from Arsenal and England fans would have been had Jack been rested at the time. The 20 year old had been due to return in January, but suffered a setback, meaning he has still yet to kick a ball in anger this season.

But the manager thinks there is still a chance he could participate, "Wilshere is back with the ball and for us that is a huge step,' he said. 'The work we do with the ball is always quite demanding.

'Today we can say if all goes well now in three weeks he will be back with the squad. Then another two weeks to get fit. I don`t have to hold him back yet because at the moment he suffers a lot for fitness. But after three weeks we`ll have to.

'I think he will play this season if he has no setbacks now. His last scan was positive, so he should be capable to play

Personally, I wouldn`t be surprised if the situation panned out to be the same as with Thomas Vermaelen last season, with Jack making a few sub appearances towards the end of the season. But of course, that raises the thorny issue as to whether Wilshere will be ready for England`s Euro 2012 campaign. Arsene seemed calm on the subject. Indeed, if he hasn`t played much football for Arsenal this season, a summer tournament wouldn`t be as damaging from our point of view as it might otherwise be; "That`s a decision fortunately I don`t have to make,' he said. 'I will only intervene if I believe medically he is at risk.

'He is an England player and if he has played some games before the end of the season it is a possibility [for him to go to Euro 2012]. If he has not played at all before the end of the season I don`t think it`s realistic.

'The next three weeks will decide how well he progresses. We have gone for a very cautious attitude with him. We will not force him into training with any pain. So we might have to be slower than expected. If all goes well he will be back in full training in three weeks. But that is not sure yet

On the subject of the Olympics however, Arsene was decidedly surlier, "The Olympics destroys the start of the season for us. If he could play, we'd rather he went to the Euros than the Olympics,' he said. Rightly so too, considering the Olympics is supposed to be an event for amateurs, I`m not quite sure how football has come to play such a big part. I`d imagine because the likes of FIFA coin it in significantly. In any case, I think we`d have every right to demand a player we`ve developed since the age of 9 and have just spent a year treating be available to actually play in our own games once he is fit.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 26 2012

Time: 9:09AM

Your Comments

I would love to see him back for a couple of games this season, but with the way Rosicky is playing I really don't think we need him now. Rather rest him up, give England ZERO reason to pick him so we can have a massive boost for the new season. Song, Wilshire, Arteta midfield will win us the league!! I just hope Walcott and RVP sign new contracts.
The trouble with the England set up is that they are desperate. They always have been, they'll pick Jack no matter what, I'm sure of that.
This is one of the area where I think we have one or two things to learn from ol' red nose. A player who has missed so much football, should not even be allowed to contemplate any exertions beyond getting fit for next season. What is in it for Arsenal football club? Why should he go and tire himself out, or run the risk of re-injuring himself at the games? Let's wrap him in cotton wool until next season, he'll be like a brand new signing, ala Wenger.
Send him to the Olympics, it's a once in a lifetime experience.
Henry Baker Brown
Football is actually one of the founding sports of the Olympics and Olympic football is huge in South America. It's not a FIFA sponsored competition, tho. They don't recognize it when ranking teams, for example. The Olympics ceased to be about amateur sports many yrs ago, unfortunately. Wish that were not the case. I honestly don't care about Olympic football myself & am certainly more interested in the Euros (which I think offer the best quality football of all the int'l tournaments, incl the world cup) - I'd prefer that NONE of our players play in the Olympics. Just pointing out that attitudes toward Olympic football are different elsewhere. Gold medals in Olympic football are counted among trophies for national teams in South America. So, for example, Uruguay & Argentina count their gold medal Olympic wins among their football trophies (Brazil has never won an Olympic gold medal, just silver & bronze-it's a constant thorn in our side).
Have to agree with you rocky, especially with the bad press the fa have had with the management issue and a certain captain. Wilshere fits the mould as the FA's new poster boy regardless of his talent. I love watching jack play for England, I just think this tournament is to soon for for the Olympics, I'm not even going to waste my breath!
A fair point jaelle.
Little Dutch
I'd rather he didn't play any football at all this season and concentrate on getting fit. Yeah, it'll be quite a blow on his career missing out on the Euros or Olympics, but truth is there's will be others. Another setback, which is probable, will only postpone his full recovery and will cause more harm than good to everyone - club, country and Wilshere. Get well soon Jack.
I don't see the comparisons between Jack coming back and Rosicky's place in the starting XI. Jack rarely played as the "man in the hole" or the central attacking midfielder, he played the role that Arteta currently plays. As good a player as Jack is, he is not ready to take the burden of being our main creator and goal scorer like Fabregas was and Rosicky currently is. An example in point is Ramsey and how he looks good in the general midfield role but when the ultimate responsibility falls upon him he struggles. It's too early for a young one to play that role imho.
Fair point londonGooner, I was under the impression that once Jack is back, he would go back to his B2B mid role and Arteta would take on Ramsey's role. After all, that was his role at Everton.
That probably says more about Wenger's ideals than it does about the players. We all seem to think that square pegs go into square holes but Wenger seems to want to make all of our midfielders jack of all trades (to expand their all round ability and experience) and currently it seems to be working.
This is hindsight, but it would have been nice if the club had treated this with 'extreme caution' back in Dec/Jan, which may have given Jack a better chance to play this season. The whole point with our mid field (and there was an article on 7 am abt this) is that its fluid. Sometimes Song steps up in attack sometimes Arteta does. I think Wilshere can slot in for either of these 2 players and I think Wenger sees the team that way, so he will choose 3 of the available mid fielders we have and play them together.
Who would have thought we would have this kind of selection 'trouble' seeing Jack play last season and seeing as our midfield has gelled this season. For me, it is a desirable headache. Good thing, it won't be on my head.

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