Dec 24, 2013, 8:41 AM EDT
Jack Wilshere claims he gave Manchester City fans the middle finger because they insulted his children.
The news comes after Wilshere sat out yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea, the first of his two game suspension handed down by The Football Association for flipping the bird to Manchester City fans during the Gunners 3-6 loss on December 14th.
He will also miss out on the Boxing Day match at West Ham.
On Tuesday, the Arsenal midfielder hit Twitter to explain his frustrations, tweeting:
“Gutted not to be Involved last night! Shouldn’t of reacted the way I did but I know all you dads out there love your kids the way I do….
“Suppose I will just have to take the abuse about my kids in future……anyway, one more game to go! Can’t wait to be back! #AFC”
For Arsenal fans, it’s great to read that Wilshere is eager to return to the pitch. They certainly could have used his grit and playmaking ability against Chelsea where the Gunners midfield appeared a bit subdued and flat.
Of course, that display was largely due to the averting (borderline insipid) tactics of Jose Mourinho, putting nine men behind the ball at any given time. Point being, guys like Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and even the typically influential Aaron Ramsey didn’t have the answers to counterbalance Chelsea’s approach.
Perhaps Jack the Lad may have had them. Or perhaps not.
An equally likely scenario is that Wilshere would’ve come undone by Chelsea’s style. In fact, there’s little doubt in my mind that if Wilshere received the cleats-up crack that John Obi Mikel dealt to Arteta, he would’ve gone ballistic. Heck, even if he didn’t receive the tackle – if he were merely on the pitch – the odds are Wilshere would’ve lost it.
It’s a point that myself, and countless others, no doubt, have noted throughout his career: The boy needs to mature.
Granted, he’s only 21-years old (about to turn 22 on New Years day) but he’s been playing in the top-flight of English football since 2008. That’s five years of experience. Plus, he already has two children.
In other words, he’s been a full-grown man for some time now.
Yet still, it’s been five years of Wilshere moaning, squaring up to opponents, whining to referees and getting riled up by the fans.
From a neutral’s perspective, it’s getting old.
There’s no question that Wilshere has bags of talent. Anyone watching him on TV can see that. And if you’ve been lucky enough to watch him life, he’ll blow you away with his strength, power, lateral movement, change of pace and creativity. For me, he has the chance to be the best English center-midfielder since Paul Scholes.
But if he’s going to reach his full potential – and not got the way of Arsenal wasted talent like David Bentley or Jermaine Pennant – he must mature, immediately. Because the fans are always going to insult your children. Especially now.
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