Wilshere can still roar for Three Lions


Jack Wilshere was contemplating retirement in 2016, but could he now have one eye on a future England recall having scored his first goal for West Ham?

The 27-year-old looked like he would become a mainstay in the Three Lions ranks given that he was called up as an 18-year-old in 2010 and made his debut against Hungary.

Wilshere remained a firm fixture in the national team, but missed out on Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012 because of injury.

He did go to the 2014 World Cup, but only featured as a late substitute in the opening defeat against Italy and started the final group match against Costa Rica with England already eliminated.

Wilshere was a prominent figure in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, picking up the man-of-the match award in six matches.

However, a 10-month injury lay-off at Arsenal because of a broken leg meant he struggled to figure in the finals, where England crashed out against Iceland.

Wilshere admitted that during his long absence retirement was not far from his thoughts, especially as his son, Archie, was also suffering from seizures at the same time.

But, having carried on, a loan move to Bournemouth in summer 2016 also ended prematurely with another fracture of the fibula suffered at Tottenham in April 2017.

And, having largely been overlooked by the current England boss Gareth Southgate, his hopes of a recall to the national team looked further away than ever.

Wilshere faced more disappointment when he was included in the preliminary squad ahead of last summer’s World Cup in Russia, only to miss the cut when Southgate named his final 23 players to make the trip.

That coincided with his decision to leave Arsenal on a free transfer as he hoped the change in scenery could kick-start his career.

But, Wilshere was again plagued by injuries as two separate ankle problems limited him to just seven Premier League appearances, of which only four were starts.

He has since worked hard on his fitness over the summer and finally broke his duck for the Irons with the opener in the 2-0 Carabao Cup second-round win at Newport.

Boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident that Wilshere will get better if he stays fit.

He said: “The way Jack continues working every day and playing in games, he will continue improving his performance.

“You cannot expect that he will be the top player when he plays so few minutes last season.

“But in the way he is playing he is demonstrating the good player that he is.”

It will be difficult for Wilshere to force his way into the Hammers’ midfield with skipper Mark Noble and starlet Declan Rice regulars in the engine room.

But, if he can finally end his injury jinx and recapture the form that made him one of Hodgson’s England regulars, there is no reason why he can’t make Southgate sit up and take notice.