5 Areas in Which Jack Wilshere Still Needs to Improve

Tom Sweetman@@Tom_SweetmanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2013

5 Areas in Which Jack Wilshere Still Needs to Improve

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    Jack Wilshere has won plaudits for his performances for both club and country ever since his return from 14 months on the sidelines.

    He has already made sure he is one of, if not the, most important of Arsenal’s players—and that will soon follow at international level in due time. 

    The 21-year-old is already performing on a consistent basis that even some of the most accomplished players could only dream of reaching.

    It is frightening to imagine how good Wilshere really can become. 

    There is always room for improvement, and here are five areas that the Arsenal man can improve on to become the complete midfield player.

5. Leadership

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    If Wilshere sets his mind to it, there is no reason why he cannot become both a future Arsenal and England captain.

    There are already cries at Emirates for the armband to be passed along to the midfielder since Thomas Vermaelen’s struggled with the responsibility at times this season. 

    Wilshere has the potential to become a fine leader.

    He leads by example with the way he plays the game and has the ability to grab a match by the scruff of the neck, pulling his side through to the other side to claim a result. 

    If he can add a vocal element in the shape of someone like Tony Adams, and can get in the faces of his teammates when the time is right, then he will have the full set of leadership skills needed to become the perfect captain. 

    The Arsenal team of late has been wishing for a new Adams and Wilshere could soon well be that man.

4. Defensive Responsibilities

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    Wilshere can certainly put in a tackle when he needs to, but it is safe to say tackling is not the strongest part of his game. 

    He has clearly used those 14 months out injured to beef up in the gym and the boy is no pushover. If the England international can work on his defensive capabilities the way Steven Gerrard has improved that side of his game, then with Wilshere's creative side continuing to flourish, he really will become the complete midfield player. 

    In an age where the box-to-box midfielder that can attack and defend in equal measures is becoming more and more of a vital asset, Arsenal could certainly do with someone that fits that mould down to a tee.

3. Temperament

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    Whenever Jack Wilshere crosses that white line, you can be sure he is going perform with plenty of fire in his belly.

    This is a good thing since it is his huge passion for both the game and Arsenal that means he will always go that extra mile—when many players may not. 

    You only have to look at recent Arsenal defeats, such as Blackburn and Bayern Munich, to see that losing hurt him more than it did any of his teammates.

    He refused to give up until the final whistle. 

    However, too much passion can eventually spill over, and as Wilshere matures, he needs to keep a check on this.

    It is all well showing how much the club means to you by instantly springing to the defence of a teammate to defend his honour (I’m thinking scuffles with the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Owen this season), but it counts for little if you end up having an early bath.

2. Goals

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    Any player can always improve their game by scoring more goals (unless you are Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo) and Jack Wilshere is no different.

    Two goals in his 27 appearances this season is a fairly modest record and someone of Wilshere’s ability should be looking to improve on that by adding a goalscoring knack to his ever-growing locker of talents. 

    The midfielder has regularly been compared to Steven Gerrard, who has often weighed in with a number of goals, and important ones at that, for both club and country. Wilshere would do well to replicate his England teammate in that department. 

    Shooting from distance, a la Gerrard, would also be something that would only improve his game.

    Understandably it is in Wilshere’s game to always look for the pass.

    However, these days you see Arsenal knocking it around but getting nowhere. The best option is often to take on the shot from distance, which is something well within the youngster’s capabilities.

1. Fitness

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    Perhaps the biggest key to determining how far Jack Wilshere really can improve and develop as a player lies in his ability to stay fit for the rest of his career. 

    Obviously avoiding injuries is out of his hands. So, you could say it is his luck with injuries that needs to improve. 

    Being ruled out of action for 14 months due to ankle and knee problems at the age of 20 is not the best start to a career. Wilshere, as well as any true football fan, will hope it is last of that length he will suffer. 

    To really understand what an incredible footballer the boy is, you only need to look at his form since coming back from the wilderness.

    Lately it has been nothing short of outstanding. 

    And to do that after such a lengthy spell out takes some work (you only have to look at the troubles Aaron Ramsey has had getting over his broken leg). 

    Wilshere has done the hard part. The only thing that stands in his way of developing into the finished article is the possibility of another career-threatening injury.