Rare Wilshere double good news for Arsenal and England

Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:28am EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Overshadowed by Aaron Ramsey and new signing Mesut Ozil so far this season, midfielder Jack Wilshere offered signs that he was getting back to his best with both goals for Arsenal against Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Still only 21, Wilshere has long been touted as the man to lead Arsenal to a long-overdue Premier League title and also become the lynchpin of England's midfield.

Yet a succession of ankle injuries have disrupted his progress and this season, Wilshere has struggled to stand out in a midfield brimming with quality.

When Wilshere missed the entire 2011-12 season through injury his stock rose as Arsenal struggled to keep pace with the top clubs in the Premier League.

He was hailed as the club's savior when he returned last October but failed to score in the league and so far in this campaign, Arsenal's surge to the top of the table has been inspired by the goals of Ramsey and Olivier Giroud and playmaker Ozil's assists.

England manager Roy Hodgson, while a huge fan of Wilshere, underlined that the Arsenal player is not an automatic choice in the team when he was left out of the vital World Cup qualifier against Poland after a poor display in the 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Kiev.

While the focus has definitely shifted away from Wilshere, it could be good news for Arsenal and England.

WIDER ROLE   Continued...

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (R) challenges Olympique Marseille's Giannelli Imbula during their Champions League soccer match at the Emirates stadium in London November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh