Jack Wilshere has revealed that he wants to emulate the career of Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard by demonstrating more of the leadership qualities which saw him help Arsenal to victory over Swansea.
The young Gunner was at the heart of everything good about Wednesday night’s FA Cup victory at the Emirates with his half-volley five minutes from time the cherry on top of a dynamic attacking performance.
Speaking after the game about developing his standing in the team, Wilshere told Arsenal.com that he felt a responsibility to be a spearhead:
“I think that [leadership] is part and parcel of my game. That’s the type of player I am.
“I like to pick the ball up and run at players, and I suppose drive the team on…We’ve got a lot of players who can pick the ball up and drive. Sometimes we need that. It changes the game if you’ve got someone who can pick the ball up and drive with it and open space for players.”
Speaking specifically about comparisons with England mentor Gerrard, Wilshere continued:
“I think I’m different to him. He’s a better long passer than I am as well. He’s a great role model. He’s been the heartbeat of Liverpool for years and when England have performed, he’s been the stand-out performer.
“If I can get anywhere near as good as him, and drive the team forward like he does… he’s someone I looked up to from when I was younger. He’s got 100 caps for England. For any young midfielder, he’s someone to base your game on.”
Arseblog News does begrudgingly admire Gerrard, obviously not for his weirdly consistent buzz-cut hair, proclivity for two-footed challenges, unswerving faith in a good dive and bar room brawling, but for the willingness he showed during the height of his powers to take a game by the scruff of the neck and lead his team to victory.
The term legend gets banded around far too much these days, but at Anfield Gerrard’s hero status will never be in doubt. Even for those with little time for the red side of Merseyside his swashbuckling exploits against Milan in the Champions League final were impressive and proof that with determined leadership and a bit of luck any side can win Europe’s most coveted jug-eared trophy.