There could be an Emirates return for Jack Wilshere this weekend even as his injury problems continue.
Jack Wilshere and his ankles have never had the best relationship and it is his ankle that, once again, could rule him out on Saturday against his former side.
Wilshere has played just 35 competitive minutes since 26 October, struggling through a groin injury, a hernia issue that needed surgery and, now, another ankle problem. He did make an appearance pre-season but that was all that was needed to break him again.
His club foolishly don’t believe it to be serious and, in his pre-match press conference, West Ham manager-for-not-much-longer David Moyes said that Jack was already back training after a scan.
“Jack had a scan on his ankle on Wednesday,” Moyes said. “He’s got a little bit of bone growth on his ankle which is causing him irritation. He rolled his ankle and felt it, so that’s why we got it checked, but he’s OK and he’s back out training.”
Whether he will play or not, even if fit, is another matter altogether. West Ham may want to showcase him as they try to get him to cancel his contract, fed up paying him through his injury problems. They may not.
Arsenal, however, believe he will not feature.
“Sad (he won’t play), it’s a big shame,” Arteta said when asked about Wilshere at his pre-match press conference. “First of all, for Jack, who as a person – I was going to say as a kid because he was a kid when I played with him – but he’s such a special character with such, talent, ability and personality on the pitch.
“He could have achieved much more, but injuries have been really tough on him. He’s shown time and time again after that it doesn’t matter how bad those look, he always finds himself in a position to get back and hopefully he can do that again. I think not just me, but everyone else here wishes him all the best.
“I hope he can come back, he’s done it many, many times. I hope he can maintain that mental strength and that willingness to still be as good as he can, because he deserves that.”
Wilshere was fit for their opening day defeat against Newcastle, but didn’t feature in the squad.
Manuel Pellegrini convinced the West Ham board to offer Jack a three-year deal as an optimistic ‘show of confidence’ in both the manager and player.
Pellegrini was sacked 17 months later while Wilshere has played just 18 times for the Hammers since moving there just over two years ago. He has managed one goal and one assist in his 747 minutes of West Ham football, 1,200 minutes fewer than he played while on loan with Bournemouth.
Wilshere played the full 90 minutes in his first three Premier League games after moving to West Ham in the summer of 2018. He hasn’t played the full 90 since.
You can read more about Jack’s injury problems below.
Wilshere on almost signing Arsenal extension & why he left
May 14, 2020
Jack Wilshere was almost ready to sign an Arsenal contract extension before Arsene Wenger left, but a conversation with Unai Emery convinced him to leave.
Speaking to Arsenal’s In Lockdown podcast this week, Jack Wilshere discussed how his departure from the club came about. Though he wanted to stay, it was clear he didn’t have much of a future post-Arsene Wenger.
“I felt like it went on forever because the (contract) discussions probably started in February and then we got to a point where I was going to sign it,” Wilshere said.
“I wanted to stay at the club, I love the club, I knew everyone at the club, I felt like it was my family and then Arsene left so that dragged on. They didn’t announce Emery for a while and the club was going in a different direction.
“I had conversations with my dad, my family, my wife, my agent around that time about waiting to see who came in [as manager]. To see if he liked me because of the way the contract was set up.
“It seemed like it went on forever and then as soon as Emery said to me, ‘Look, you’re not in my starting XI’, I was like, ‘Okay, right, I need to leave’. It was very difficult as I said, it felt like Arsenal was my family.”
Why Arsenal’s contract offer had Wilshere stalling
When Wilshere talks about ‘the way the contract (offer) was set up’, it’s pretty easy to guess what he means. Reports at the time suggested Arsenal were actually planning to reduce the midfielder’s wages, but with larger performance-based bonuses.
If he signed on and played regularly, he’d end up earning more money than he did before. If he signed the deal and then sat on the bench or the treatment table, he’d earn a lot less.
You can understand why Arsenal made that offer, given Wilshere’s history. You can also see why it would put him off once Emery confirmed he wasn’t a starter.
Even if he stayed fit, he probably wouldn’t have played enough at Arsenal to avoid a pay cut. Then, he’d be earning less and also playing less than he could, hopefully, elsewhere. Hence the move. A totally logical decision and one that was probably for the best for all involved.
Well, maybe not West Ham as things have panned out…
Jack Wilshere has operation after another injury setback
January 30 2020
Jack Wilshere has had another operation, this time on a hernia, though West Ham are hoping it won’t keep him out for too long.
After yet another injury setback, Wilshere had a hernia operation in Qatar on 29 January 2020, according to reports. The Evening Standard wrote that West Ham hope the operation won’t rule him out for a long time, but you never know with the former Arsenal man (he’s played 35 minutes since).
Wilshere was only up to 16 appearances for West Ham by that point, mostly due to three long-term injury problems in 18 months. Even when he was healthy, he didn’t always start though. Only half of those 16 appearances were from kick-off.
In the past, Wilshere talked about how his son’s illness also affected his ability to focus on recovery. I’ve seen some fans on Twitter reference that when talking about the limits on his West Ham appearances.
But there’s no suggestion that applies to his injuries with the Hammers, just his 2015/16 setback with Arsenal. Unfortunately, fitness remains the central problem for Wilshere’s career.
The 28-year-old already missed the last three months with a groin injury. Good luck to him with his latest recovery!
Jack Wilshere’s injury woes continue
8 January 2020
Jack Wilshere has suffered another injury setback delaying his return from this latest problem.
Jack Wilshere has been sidelined for West Ham since October with a pelvic problem but hoped to return to full training this month (January).
That has now been pushed back as Wilshere continues to feel pain in the area despite scans seemingly showing no problems.
At present, his return to training is expected to be delayed another three to four weeks but knowing Jack, sadly, only a fool would place any money on that happening.
Since leaving Arsenal in the summer of 2017 on a free transfer, Wilshere has managed to play just 712 minutes, less than half he played for Bournemouth during his season on loan there, where he also suffered a broken leg.
In total, Wilshere has appeared for West Ham just 16 times and it looks like he could well be trying to find another home sooner rather than later.
When Wilshere signed for the Hammers, the club agreed to give him a three-year deal to please Manuel Pellegrini, who has now been sacked.
With just 175 league minutes under his belt this season so far, and another 148 in the EFL Cup, it’s hard to see West Ham, who pay Wilshere £100,000-a-week, wanting to extend his deal that expires next summer.