Jack Wilshere Reveals Paul Scholes Phone Call to Challenge TV Criticism

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2014

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal warms up ahead of  the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on May 11, 2014 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Arsenal and England international Jack Wilshere has revealed he rang Paul Scholes after some heavy criticism directed at him from the Manchester United legend, on Sky Sports.

Matt Barlow of the Mail Online writes that Wilshere phoned the ex-player, whom he calls "the best English midfielder of all time," and challenged him after Scholes had said he had not improved as a player in the last five years.

Barlow quotes Wilshere saying: 

I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I just wanted to hear what he thinks. I respect him so much. We had quite a good chat. He’s entitled to his opinion. He explained it a bit better and told me what I should work on. 

He was right in a certain way. I can’t keep saying I’ve been injured a lot. There comes a time when you stop being a kid and I think that’s what he’s referring to. This season I’ve improved a lot, scored a few more; got a few more assists. It’s those stats that matter. That’s what I have to build on.

Scholes criticised Arsenal during his assessment of Arsene Wenger's side, saying that the team had no leaders or discipline. 

He professed that he felt sorry for Arsenal fans having to watch a team that "does nothing" and that Wilshere "doesn't look any better than when he was 17."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal with his daughter Delilah and son Archie on the pitch following the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium on May 4, 2014 in London, England.  (Pho
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Wilshere featured heavily in the first half of the season as Arsenal showed their form and dominance and powered to the top of the league. But once again his injury jinx struck and pulled him out of the first team at a vital time for the Gunners.

He managed to play in 24 Premier League matches this season, per Squawka, but he missed the last two months of the year. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal ackowledges Jack Wilshere of Arsenal as he comes off with an injury during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and  Borussia Dortmund at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 20
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Scholes was harsh in his assessment of Wilshere but there certainly was some truth in his words. Many felt that the Arsenal midfielder would be one of the world's best by now but he has not reached such heights.

The World Cup will be a great stage to show that he has developed as a player but it could also prove that Scholes is correct.

Next season, Wilshere will have to increase his performance levels further, and playing with the likes of Mesut Ozil should aid this. If not, both he and Arsenal will continue to flatter to deceive, and their chronic underperformance will further manifest. 

The FA Cup final is a smokescreen for the Gunners in their attempts to improve and be consistently successful.

They need to show they can go through a full Premier League season as one of the challengers rather than fail at the vital times, as is so often the case.