Jack Wilshere believes that he has been unfairly criticised over the years as critics tend to forget that he is still young and developing as a player.
Wilshere, 21, has been a mainstay of the Arsenal midfield since 2010, when he and Cesc Fabregas combined to pull off one of the greatest performances by an English team against Barcelona. The grit and determination shown by Wilshere was unprecedented which resulted in a meteoric rise to fame for the young Englishman. The youngster was heralded as the saviour of English football and the most accomplished player to grace the pitch since the likes of Paul John Gascoigne.
However, injuries had its toll as he missed a major chunk of two seasons on the sidelines with an ankle injury which threatened his career and stunted his development. On his return to fitness, he showed glimpses of his capability, notably against Brazil at Wembley in a friendly earlier this year when Wilshere bossed the midfield and played a part in both England's goals in addition to creating a myriad of goal scoring opportunities. He is back into the squad this season, having had a full pre-season under his belt and everyone is hoping that this is the year that he breaks free and announces his return to the world.
"Yes, I do think [people forget my age]. Not just because I've been around for a long time, but people hear I've got two kids and it's not often you hear about a 21-year-old with two kids," he told www.arsenal.com.
"I've been in the first team since I was 16 so that's five years and that's quite a long time in football terms.
"I made my debut when I was 16 and the aim was to play for England and it came pretty quickly - when I was 18. Then the main thing after that was to keep my place in the Arsenal team week in, week out and I did during that season.
"I then had a frustrating year with injury and it's tough when you're out injured, you've got to come back. People think that when you're out injured you don't do a lot of work but you do, trust me.
"It's tough but last season I got back into the team, got fit again and had 30-odd games which was nice, and this year I've stayed fit so far and that's the aim for the rest of season," he concluded.