It may feel like an awful thing to say or even think, that is to suggest a professional player should retire before their playing years are done and dusted. But one wonders if retiring now would actually benefit West Ham’s Jack Wilshere.
Wilshere has been dogged with injury his whole career and signed for West Ham this summer, although he has only played 5 games this season and has been out injured with an ankle injury for over four months. There is no update on when the player will return although it was first announced that he would be back in Manuel Pellegrini’s team in November and that just got delayed week by week and day by day. As we enter into 2019 there is still no sign of him.
Wilshere has played in 10 previous football seasons with his most games played in season 2010/11 where he played 35 times from 38. However unfortunately since then the most games he has been able to play is 27 games which was a couple of seasons ago when he was on loan at Bournemouth.
The truth is though from 470 possible games that he could play, he has only appeared in 171 games. That works out at less than 35% of games he has been available in. It is nothing short of a tragic story.
And tragic it is because Wilshere is a top player and a great midfielder, who distributes the ball so well, can stand up when being counted and tries always to win and be a very difficult opponent. We haven’t even talked about some of his silky skills too so it is worrying and a real loss to football that Wilshire has been injured so many times in his career.
The ex Arsenal player is only 27 years old and if he was to retire it would be seen as a shock. The good news is he would be backed up, a career in punditry and some other form of media would be a given. But there are also many coaching roles he could take on, it’s not the same scenario it was for some footballers in the 1970s and 1980s where early retirement could signal problems in their personal lives.
Hopefully Wilshere can recover and get a few more seasons in and win some trophies but surely all of these mounting injuries cannot be doing his body any good long term, and one can wonder if he will have problems health wise in the future.
For now the best of luck must be shown Wilshere’s way for a full recovery even if history says otherwise. Right now West Ham could do with his influential style and performances.