by Nia Griffiths

Jack Wilshere refuses to stop dribbling with the ball, despite having his career plagued by injuries.

The midfielder is notorious for holding onto the ball and dribbling up the pitch, driving the team forward. However, when it doesn’t go to plan it can be frustrating to watch and, at worst, results in the opposition lunging in to win the ball, only to injure our player.

Despite this, Wilshere says he’s not going to be changing the way he plays any time soon.

“When I was injured a few people said I should change my game, I should get it and pass it,” he said. “It did go through my head. I thought maybe they are right and I should. But as soon as I came back and I got on the ball, I just wanted to run with it. Look at the best dribblers in the world, Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta, and the ball seems to stick to their foot, so I can work on that when I am dribbling. But I’m never going to change my game.”

The 23-year-old is no stranger to injuries and has sustained more than his fair share of serious ones already. Just this season, he had his ankle ligaments damaged against Manchester United when they came to the Emirates.

Speaking about the frustration he felt, Wilshere said, “There have probably been more lows then highs, although winning the FA Cup makes you realise, after all that hard work in the gym, that it was all worth it. It has been a frustrating season for me getting injured in November and not coming back until April. It is frustrating when you see all the players going out to training and playing in the games but I am back now and hopefully I can have a fully fit season next year.

“I’d come back from the World Cup and my ankle was fine, felt good, and then all of a sudden I got tackled [by McNair].”

Although he highlighted that the tackle from Paddy McNair itself was poor, Wilshere added, “It wasn’t a great tackle but it wasn’t done on purpose. It was just one of those things. It was a pretty straightforward injury, quite common in football: just syndesmosis, with the ligaments. I just had to respect the time limit the specialist gave me and, since I’ve been back, I’ve had no problems with it; no pain. I got a cyst around it so they took the wire out but that took four weeks and I was fine. My first ankle injury had been different as a stress fracture, and the screws they put in had irritated me.”

It’s impressive that he’s learnt so much about the injuries he’s sustained. Presumably, knowing the exact damage, where it’s happened, why and how they’re treating it would help in his rehabilitation. Although I’m sure there are many footballers who wouldn’t take such an interest such a brutal part of the game, Wilshere might’ve had to.

Comparing his season and amount of games played, which totaled 24, and how he was going to approach the summer break, to fellow midfielder Santi Cazorla, he said, “It’s different with me. Look at players like Santi Cazorla, who needs the rest because he’s had 55 games this season [including with Spain] and needs to go away and put his feet up. For me, I will probably have a week off and then get back to training, back to the gym, back to jogging, hitting the gym every day.”

You can call Jack Wilshere many things, but unmotivated definitely isn’t one of them. It’s good to see him taking his football so seriously and looking forward to the new season already.