Search

Liverpool man hails Arsenal star as a ‘one-off’ talent

08:38 06 February 2013

Arsenal

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

England and Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard believes Jack Wilshere has the potential to become one of the best players in the world but warned “one man can’t carry a nation.”

Gerrard wants expectation levels surrounding Wilshere to be held in check if he makes his first England start for 17 months in tonight’s friendly with Brazil at Wembley.

He is aware Wilshere is being viewed as the great saviour who will provide the spark to lead England towards the trophy glory that has eluded them since the 1966 World Cup.

But Gerrard feels it is crucial not to put too much pressure on Wilshere who has impressed with Arsenal since returning from his long lay-off with an ankle problem.

Gerrard said: “Jack has got a bit of everything. He can tackle, get up and down the pitch, create a goal, score a goal, can pass. He can tick almost every box, and he’s going to get better and better.

“He’s only 21 and a fantastic talent. We’re all delighted he’s back and happy to play with him.

“I think he’s got the potential to become one of the best in the world - and I don’t want to add any pressure. That’s unfair.

“But playing against him recently and in training, he’s a one-off. He’s a lot better than your normal Premier League midfielder. I have a lot of confidence in him.

“He’ll get better than he is now which is a scary thought. I hope he brings out the best in all of us.

“He’s a top player and I hope he gives the dressing room a lift. We need competition for places if we’re going to get to Brazil.”

But Gerrard stressed: “I think it’s vital we don’t all put too much pressure on Jack and that there’s not too much expectation. One man can’t carry a nation on his own. He needs other players to help.

“He looks as if he can cope with the pressure. You’ve still got the likes of (Wayne) Rooney, (Frank) Lampard and (Ashley) Cole, other top players in the group, and we’ll share the responsibility out.

“It’s up to us to put our arms round him and make sure you lot (the media) don’t put too much pressure on him.

“He needs other players to help. I can only tell him to try and keep his feet on the ground and try and enjoy it.

“His career will be full of ups and downs, and I think he has the mentality to handle it.”

Gerrard knows there is strong competition for places in midfield but will fight to keep his spot in the side.

He said: “As far as my shirt’s concerned, it’s not just Jack who’s after my shirt. There are the Under-21 players, Michael Carrick and Scott Parker. They all want my shirt.

“But I have to make sure I keep performing. I’m prepared to fight with anyone in this country to keep my shirt.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Christian Eriksen scored a 90th-minute winner as Tottenham came from behind to win on the road in the Premier League for the second time in a row.

Mauricio Pochettino. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Mauricio Pochettino admits his Tottenham tenure has not started as smoothly as he imagined in the summer, but he insists he has the support of chairman Daniel Levy.

Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino says Kyle Walker has returned to training and could return in December – but the Spurs boss has injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s trip to Hull.

Most read sport

The final GP in the UAE may not have been a thriller, but it did kind of sum up the season for a lot of drivers.

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition