Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Arsenal's Wilshire latest victim of England hype machine

Here we go again.

With the class of 2010 ruthlessly chewed up and spat out by the media; labelled spoilt over-paid, over-rated wasters, the press hordes have moved onto their next target.

That person is Jack Wilshire, a young player of extreme talent yes, but one who is already been placed on a pedestal he is not yet qualified to fill.

Fabio Capello was warm in his praise of the youngster in a pre-game press conference, comparing his nurturing of the 19-year-old to his time at Milan, where he managed young players like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini – who went on to become household names worldwide.

But he was always going to say that wasn’t he? The lad is set to start tonight against Denmark for the first time in an England shirt, so what else was Capello meant to say? He wants him to take to the field confident in the knowledge his manager is behind him.

But no, the press take Capello’s comments as licence to run wild and write all manner of over-hyped articles. Sod Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney, Wilshire is now the greatest English talent to wear the three lions, one journalist even compared Wilshire to Bobby Moore!

Now I know the scribes have deadlines to meet and pages to fill, and somehow trying to justify the importance of this ill-timed friendly is also a concern. But the over-hyping of Wilshire shows that they haven’t their lesson from the World Cup either, namely the over-hyping of the players and whipping up a national frenzy to such an extent unrealistic and over-bearing expectations are placed on the squad's shoulders.

We can only hope Wilshire can keep his feet on the ground and England fans, myself included, keep their expectations in check, something we have failed to do in since we won the you-know-what in 19-you-know-when.

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