Something Is Stirring. It's...Jack Wilshere

Loins at Wembley are trembling as the nation awaits the return of the unpolished and incomplete prospect that is Jack Wilshere, the boy who will save us all for sure...

Last Updated: 09/11/12 at 14:18 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Gordon Strachan

Post comment

Chippy arse? Aye...do you want some? Wee Gordie is never anything other than entertaining, even if he is wearing adult man¿s shorts as trousers. Especially so....

F365's Transfer Guide - Part Five

Post comment

Our final part, and the question of what on earth will happen at West Ham? Plus there is much to ponder for Spurs - evolution or yet another revolution at White Hart Lane...

All Articles

Something is coming. Behind all the usual clamour, chunter, chirrup and counter-chirrup of the Premier League, behind the t-shirts and the armbands, behind the race rows, the protests, and the patronising bromides of the old, white men that make up the English football establishment, there is a whisper, faint but insistent, and growing stronger.

He's back!

In the corridors of Wembley, pens are being pushed with extra vigour. Overseers and coordinators have a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step. Roy Hodgson has suddenly noticed the beauty of the light catching the autumn leaves. Trevor Brooking has been telling that story about how he once scored a header with a newfound fervour and glee. Stuart Pearce had an extra Digestive this morning.

Jack's back!

In north London, reports of strange happenings. Clumps of journalists have bloomed at reserve games, drawn from their usual haunts by the rumours of a miracle. The apple of Arsène Wenger's eye has risen from his bed, put his boots on, picked up his bed, put his bed down again (since you can't really play football if you're holding a bed), and now walks among us again.

Jack Wilshere's back, baby!

Absence, so they say, or at least, so we are told they say, even though we're not told who they are, or what their agenda is, or who they are funded by, makes the heart grow fonder. But when it comes to football, the usual trick is for absence to skip the heart and goes straight to the brain, ramming into the centre of thought like an evening spent in the company of alcohol plus fruit juice plus loneliness: He's gone. Wasn't he great? I miss him. How great was he? Really, really, really great. Remember that time he did that thing? And that other thing? And ... falls off chair.

It's only natural. Look what used to happen to Joe Cole every time he spent a month in the treatment room. Injured players don't have to expose themselves to the messy business of actually trying (and so frequently failing) to play as well as they can. Instead, they sit ruefully on the sidelines, their talent swelling with every misplaced pass and ill-timed tackle that mars the scrum beneath them. Reputation, like Anderson, expands to fill available space.

With Wilshere, though, nobody wants to get ahead of themselves. Fires are being banked. There's no international tournament on the immediate horizon, and so the two-year cycle of collective national hysteria is at its lowest ebb. (It also helps that England are playing like a damp flannel.) Despite the usual giddy fits at the back and confidences crises up front, Arsenal can at least say that the midfield is more-or-less functional. All things considered, there couldn't be a less demanding time for Wilshere to make his return, and this, for those that give one, is a Very Good Thing.

England have just unveiled an eleventy-squintillion pound training complex inside an abandoned volcano near Burton that will, so they say, in the fullness of time and via some unspecified cultural osmosis, produce players exactly like Wilshere. Intelligent. Technical. Imbued with an inchoate and occasionally hilarious pride in St George and the nation St George never visited in his life. This in turn will beget a brave new England, a national team that can stand alongside those tricksy foreign types without having to cling to the faint hope that This Lot, unlike all the other Lots, actually don't like It up Them.

But Wilshere's here already (or he will be back here soon, maybe, if everything goes to plan, perhaps). And for all that he's still an unpolished and incomplete prospect, a mere 83 games into his career, he's an opportunity for England and their fans to have a little taste of the future now. That's why his return demands not the usual currents of Hype (and its inevitable follow-ups Disappointment and Backlash), but something sweeter, purer, and altogether more healthy: Hope. His injury-free gambol through a few reserve fixtures and the unexpected place on the bench for Arsenal's brainfart against Norwich will doubtless be followed by setbacks, by slumps, by disappointments and doubts. But for once, there's a little bit of time. There's room, perhaps, for patience.

Let's just hope that he doesn't come back, play well for a while, then snap something important two months before Brazil 2014. Then we'd learn new lessons in hysteria.

Andi Thomas

Andi also writes for SB Nation and The Score, and is on Twitter. He also contributed to the Surreal Football Magazine #1, which is out now, and available here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ang on there!! We've only just won the second in a row. Don't we have to win three, like Brazil, to get to keep the Cup permanently at our stadium? ;-)

gutbukkit
Emirates to sponsor FA Cup

T

ypical Bodgers, in desperate need of a defensive midfielder and go for a floaty number 10 type midfielder. BODGERS OUT.

uncle monty
The Home Gossip

B

enteke is an absolute steal for £32.5m, he would get into any team in the world (except Barcelona) at the moment. I've seen many very good strikers in my 30+ years as a Villa fan. This guy is the best without question.

sparkigol
Benteke's £32.5m release clause

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Newcastle to talk with Patrick Vieira over managerial vacancy

Patrick Vieira will hold talks with Newcastle over the managerial vacancy at St James' Park, Sky sources understand.

Southampton into Europa League after Aston Villa lose FA Cup final

Kelvin Davis says Southampton should be proud of their season after their place in the Europa League was confirmed.

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa: Dominant Gunners seal record FA Cup victory

Holders Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 12th time after beating Aston Villa 4-0 in a one-sided final at Wembley.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company