Jack Wilshere has shed light on some of his darker days on the sidelines, revealing that some days, he didn’t feel like he’d ever be back but that’s he’s not afraid.
After spending so much of his time injured, it must be difficult for a midfielder to return to the field and face the kind of tackles that could have finished your career. Of course, it would make even the most brave person hesitate and some may never return to the pitch, which is something Wilshere admitted he thought about.
“You always have those days when you are in the gym where you think you’re not going to get back but the thing that kept me going was I know what it takes to get back and I always had time on my side so I was confident,” he told the Guardian after taking part in England’s 2-1 win against Turkey.
“I remember my first training session back, which was eight weeks ago, and ever since then I’ve just been trying to work, get better and get fitter each day.
“The most important thing for me now is to get games and to get that match sharpness. I know what it’s like coming back from injury and with every game I’ll feel better.”
An important part of a player’s rehabilitation is the mental aspect. Being able to take chances and go in for tackles that could, once again, injure them must be terrifying but Wilshere insists that he knows it’s just part of the game and that he’s not afraid.
“That’s part and parcel of international football,” he continued.
“You’re up against players who grew up in a different culture to us and that’s part of their game – little niggly fouls. But I’ve had a number of them in training this week and before with Arsenal, so I’m not afraid of that.”
It’s hard to believe that the 24-year-old England international isn’t feeling even the slightest edge of fear going into the Euros this summer but he’s right to keep that to himself. He needs to be strong, even if it is for show right now, and gradually, the confidence will return. Fake it ’til you make it, as they say.