Jack Wilshere has expressed sympathy for the situation Mesut Ozil found himself in at Arsenal, comparing the German’s plight to his own at West Ham.
Jack Wilshere signed for Bournemouth on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
The midfielder came on as a second half substitute against Derby in a 1-0 defeat that saw former Arsenal youngster, Krystian Bielik, named Man of the Match. They were the first minutes for Wilshere since September.
So what happened at West Ham?
“It doesn’t take a footballing genius to know it didn’t work out, and I’m fine with that,” Wilshere told the Daily Telegraph.
“If I felt like I had finished, and done everything I wanted to do in the game, I would have called it a day when I left West Ham.
“I’ve been lucky enough to earn good money throughout my career, but being out of the game for three months made me realise I want to play this game for as long as possible.
“I just wanted to get out and play some games. If I am honest, I didn’t think it would take as long as it did [to find a new club]. When you are training in the park and going through lockdown, sometimes your mind can play games with you. It was tough, but now I am here and I think that inspires me even more and makes me even hungrier. It’s down to me to keep myself here.”
Jack Wilshere on West Ham v Bournemouth playing style
“I said it before and got a bit of stick for it,” Wilshere said. “But it was not me trying to be big time or think I’m too good for certain teams. It’s literally my style of play. Similar to when I was at Arsenal, a team that wants to play football.
“I tried to play in a different way and it didn’t quite work out. So that was a big reason why I came here as well, because I know the way the manager wants to play. We will be, whether we like it or not, one of the favourites to get promoted, but I like to play in those circumstances.”
Jack Wilshere on Mesut Ozil
“I am sure it was as difficult for him as it was for me,” Wilshere said.
“It is not nice to be in a position where you are not given that fair opportunity to try to challenge for a place in the team.
“I am happy he has found happiness and hopefully he can go on to be successful in Turkey.”
Jack Wilshere – What really happened at West Ham?
After leaving West Ham, Wilshere was at pains to stress that he had been fit for a large chunk of his time at West Ham and this is not a false statement.
It is, sadly, a misleading one, though.
He signed for West Ham on a free transfer when it was made clear to him that he would not be a starter at Arsenal. Manuel Pellegrini talked a reluctant West Ham board into giving the midfielder a three-year deal as both a show of faith in the player and the manager, a move that turned out to be misguided.
In his statement when he left the Hammers, Jack wrote, “I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the last eight months – training hard every day – but unfortunately have not been give the opportunity to play.”
That sounds impressive until you remember that out of those eight months, there was no football for four-and-a-half to five of them due to the lockdown. In fact, Wilshere had a groin injury that ruled him out from 26 December 2019 until the break, when he got fit.
Across two seasons, Jack played just 837 minutes in 19 matches with one goal, one assist and two yellows. He played the full 90 in his first three games for West Ham after signing for them and then never again in any competition except the League Cup, where he did it once.
Wilshere managed 64 minutes, 56 and 45 once each in the league and 82 and 66 in the EFL Cup. Beyond that, his appearances read 5, 5, 22, 23, 20, 15, 12, 27, 22, 13.
Wilshere played a total of 198 times for Arsenal.
There is, as we have always known, a tremendous player inside Jack Wilshere.
From the days when he tormented Pep Guardiola and Barcelona as a teenager until now, we all know what a talent he is.
Sadly, that skill seems to have been delivered to earth in a body not meant for top-level sports.
Let’s hope he can finally prove us all wrong with the Cherries.
Next up for Bournemouth is a home tie against Crawley Town on Tuesday in the FA Cup 4th Round.