The huge turn Arsene Wenger has pulled over the last couple of seasons, partially because of his refrain from big spending, and trying to create a basis of young English talent to lead Arsenal in the future is a welcomed one, but trying to mislead everyone, including himself, by putting too much on the shoulders of Jack Wilshere will only lead to more disappointment in the future.
You don’t need one superstar to build everything around – that’s not the only way for a football team to succeed. The German domination in the Champions League this season is a perfect example of how to do things the right way. But while Borussia Dortmund truly are out of the game of big signings on a European level, Bayern Munich do have one of the more expensive teams in Europe. Acquiring great talent, even if it’s not the Messi-Ronaldo kind, costs a lot of money.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to build your way up from the bottom by using players from your own academy, but unless your ambitions aren’t too great – meaning less than titles, Champions League and such, you have to find the right kind of blend in your squad-building. Arsene Wenger has failed to do that, partially because of a decreasing evaluation of talent quality.
Since Arsenal beat Barcelona in a first leg match in the Champions League, we’ve been hearing about Jack Wilshere as the future of the English game. A midfielder who can do it all, only to be thwarted by injuries, missing the entire 2011-2012 season, and once again overused by Wenger (who keeps warning everyone about overusing Wilshere) and succumbing to injuries.
Wilshere is a talented youngster, but not the second coming of any great central midfielder you can think of from the past 20 years. He’ll be lucky to get close to the level Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard reached during their career, but I doubt he’ll be as good, although there is still plenty of time to prove doubters wrong.
The problem for Arsenal (one of them at least) is thinking Wilshere is that good right now, and trying to base their entire tactical view on his ability and skills, while it seems to be that a team with Wilshere as its best player isn’t going to reach great heights anytime soon.