Filling Jack’s boot’s

So Jack Wilshere went under the knife yesterday in an attempt to repair the stress fracture to his right ankle.

Jack was in good spirits after the op, could be the morphine

We obviously all knew that this operation was coming as young Jack himself had Tweeted about it on the weekend. It had been hoped that the fracture would heal itself whilst encased in the protective boot the lad has been sporting since the season started, but sadly it was ultimately deemed that surgery was necessary.

From Jack’s Tweets and the clubs statement it would appear that the operation has been a success, or at least as far as anyone can tell at this early stage – including the two ‘world renowned surgeons’ who performed the procedure.

The recovery period has been set at four or five months, so at best the player could return to training at the end of January, although some newspapers seem to be suggesting this morning that we may not see Jack again until April or even next season.

There is no doubt that this is a massive blow, as well as a sign for those who believe we are injury cursed. What is without any doubt is the impact the youngster had last year, which was his debut season. It has all the hallmarks of Tommy Vermaelen doesn’t it – comes in and straight away he looks as if he has been in the Arsenal first XI all his life, come the following season he suffers what is initially foreseen as an innocuous knock which eventually requires surgery and costs the player a whole season of his career.

It’s so frustrating for us as fans to see players unable to perform their most primary function, especially when they have quickly become fans favourites like Jack & Tommy. But of course the important thing is that the right steps are taken with regards Jack’s treatment and that when he does return he suffers no ill effects or picks up little niggles here and there. He obviously has a very long footballing future ahead of him so whilst it’s disappointing, for him especially, to miss this much football so early on its impportant to consider that most important is his longterm prospects.

The onus, somewhat ironically after his own recovery from the injury inflicted upon him by Shawcross, falls perhaps to Aaron Ramsey. But as I’ve said before, he and Jack are not the same type of player and we shouldn’t expect the Welshman to fill anyone’s boots but his own. Also just as important is not trying to squeeze too much out of young Rambo this season less we see him burn out. I’m not ultimately putting the blame for Jack’s current plight on Wengers shoulders but he himself has admitted that the midfielder was over used last season.

So all of this has to open doors for other players. I’ve already seen Abou Diaby’s name be bandied about by many Gooners. The Frenchman is expected to return from injury after the upcoming international break but I’ve two bones to pick with the perception of him being billed as some sort of saviour. Firstly you wouldn’t bet against him either suffering a set back between now and our game with Sunderland on October 16th or indeed soon after any playing return. Secondly, I know many disagree but I just don’t think he’ll ever perform to the standards that he seems capable of or indeed showed in flashes before that challenge by Dan Smith against the Mackems at the Stadium of Light back in his debut season of 2005/06 which led to a nine month absence for the then nineteen year old.

I would love to see him fulfill all of his early promise and if he could come in and do that whilst Jack recuperates then even better but I think ultimately the door is now open to both Emmanuel Frimpong and Franny Coquelin to stake their claims for more regular first team action. I don’t see that meaning starting births for either of the young midfielders, but they’ve both shown signs, when given first team opportunities, that they are capable of performing at this level.

There is no making up for the loss of Jack, he is almost a one of a kind and we miss him, but when you look at the players we have in midfield then we should certainly be able to make do whilst he mends.

Fingers crossed that it’s a full and speedy return to action.

Thanks for reading.

Paul.

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