Arsène Wenger tips Arsenal star Jack Wilshere to be England’s Zinedine Zidane
Manager says midfielder can take whole nation’s pressure and expectations on his shoulders
Saturday 14 September 2013
Arsène Wenger is so confident in Jack Wilshere’s ability to handle pressure that he believes his young midfielder can be as big a figure as Bobby Moore, Zinedine Zidane or Michel Platini.
The Arsenal manager was discussing what, through history, makes national teams successful, and he identified the crucial presence of a player brave and talented enough to take a whole nation’s pressure and expectations on his shoulders. “National teams need a guy who absorbs this type of pressure and takes it,” Wenger explained. “We had Zidane. When the France team played well it was all Zidane, but the others could play.
“Before, we had Platini. In the history of the French national team, the results stop when Platini stops. And they stopped when Zidane stopped. You need a good generation but you also need one player.”
When asked whether Wilshere could follow England’s Bobby Moore in such a role, Wenger agreed. “Jack can take that, he is young, only 22. He has the characteristics to do that. But he needs to play six months without any problem.”
It is very high praise, comparing Wilshere to some of the all-time greats, but Wenger continued to give it, saying he had a mentality like Zidane’s, who won a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League and Ballon d’Or between 1998 and 2002. “He is not fazed by the importance of the game,” said Wenger, when asked for similarities between the two. “He is not inhibited. Jack has the personality to be a top, top, top player.”
The arrival of Mesut Ozil, Wenger believes, will be good for Wilshere. The two will not clash with the England man set to play in deeper positions. “We all benefit from being with top-level people in our job,” Wenger said.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account