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

08:38 06 February 2013


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


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 16:02
Chris Rainsford (left) in action on the road for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers were crowned national champions on Sunday as the prestigious UK 10k road race championships were held as part of the 30th anniversary of the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.

Yesterday, 15:58
Great Britain's James Ward (far right) with Great Britain captain Leon Smith, Jamie Murray and Andy Murray

Great Britain stand on the verge of history in the Davis Cup as they prepare for this weekend’s final, bidding to win the crown for the first time in 79 years.

Yesterday, 15:51
Karl Oliyide (left) scored Wingate & Finchley's goal on Saturday. Pic: Martin Addison

Wingate & Finchley missed the chance to go second in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday after conceding an 88th-minute equaliser away at East Thurrock.

Yesterday, 12:33
Harry Kane celebrates his second goal against West Ham on Sunday (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Ex-Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt believes Harry Kane can become an all-time great for club and country.

Yesterday, 11:30
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (left) celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game against Dinamo Zagreb. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako says the club’s record signing is making the most of his peak years.

Yesterday, 06:59
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (right) celebrates with Olivier Giroud after scoring his side's first goal against Dinamo Zagreb.

Arsene Wenger is confident that Arsenal can defy history by overcoming Olympiacos in Greece next month to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

Tue, 21:32
Alexis Sanchez scores Arsenal's third goal (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win at home to Dinamo Zagreb to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Here’s how we rated the Gunners.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder