Much discussion today about Jack Wilshere, whose return we pray is imminent, and his potential return to the international fold ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
Lots of people have weighed in on the debate and chief among them was Martin Keown, who was clear that the decision should be one Jack takes himself.
Keown told Sportsmail: “Jack must be concerned that Arsenal have waited a long time for him to be fit, and a premature return to action could impact his next season at the club. He himself will need to consider whether he should go.”
From an Arsenal viewpoint, I’d prefer it if Jack stayed at home this summer. If all the hard work and investment in time that has gone into getting the 24-year-old fit again is spurned by some ridiculous incident at the championships then we find ourselves back at square one.
I wonder too, if one more serious setback would be enough to convince Jack to call it a day? Extreme, yes, but how much punishment has his body taken already? The litany of injuries to his feet and ankles has been endless and there seems to be more metal in his body than bone.
Quite apart from that, it would seem to me to be difficult for England manager Roy Hodgson to justify picking a player based on a handful of games played at the back end of the season. The sharpness, fitness, and the time to build momentum crucial to any sustained period of performance will all be painfully lacking.
But, on the other hand, would time training with England, and perhaps even getting some game time, allow Jack to get his pre-season going early? A chance to work on his game in a competitive environment is one that should be welcomed and, if he does remain injury free, he could be nicely prepared and ready to go in time for August.
I can’t help but feel, however, that it is all just too risky. I don’t think injuries and misfortune will ever not be a feature of Jack’s career, much as it was with Abou Diaby, so why expose him to the danger?
Leave him at home, let him work at the club, and let’s keep fingers crossed that he is ready to fire again for the next campaign.
Well yes, as it should happen. In conversation with the club website, ace forward Alexis Sanchez spilled the beans (some, not all of them) about his life away from the daily rigours of football, and more specifically about his love of the piano.
He said: “I’m not an expert pianist but it does help me relax, because the whole day revolves around football. I go home, then football.
“It allows me to disconnect from football and that’s really good for me.
“When I go home I don’t want to watch any more football, I just want to play with my dogs and spend some time with my family, because that helps me recharge for the next day.”
Who knew? Where most men take a shower, stretch out on the chez-lounge, or get a few cups of tea in order to relax, the Chile international tinkles his ivories. Truly a man of many talents, as if further proof were needed.
As to his favourite tune, Alexis gave nothing away in his interview, unfortunately, but the EastEnders theme must be a strong contender, surely?
I leave that one out there!