Jack Wilshere encouraged by form since return from injury


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The Independent Football

Jack Wilshere is convinced he will soon to get back to the kind of form which led to him being branded England's saviour.

Wilshere was hailed as England's next big star when he broke in to Arsenal's first team two years ago, but a serious foot injury then sidelined him for 17 months.

The 20-year-old made his comeback against QPR last month and has since gone on to play two more games for the Gunners.

Roy Hodgson was so impressed with Wilshere's form since his return he called the midfielder in to his England squad for tomorrow's friendly against Sweden despite the objections of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Wilshere himself has been encouraged by the way he has played since he came back.

"I'm quite surprised actually," he told Arsenal Player. "When I first played in the [under-21s], I was really rusty and I think it was clear for everyone to see. Everyone was just being nice to me saying 'you played well'.

"Now I'm feeling better and better as every game goes on. There's no hiding place when you're playing at the Emirates, at Old Trafford and you're in front of everyone. You have to be at a certain standard so you don't let your team-mates and your fans down.

"Mentally it has been tough because you question yourself all the time. You go to the Emirates, you watch games and you think 'Has it got quicker? I don't remember it being this quick. Can I get back to this level that I was at before?'

"But I feel good now and hopefully, with a few more games, I can get back to my best."

Wilshere played 54 times for club and country in the 2010-11 season.

The player's confidence and creativity prompted comparisons with Paul Gascoigne, who captured the imagination of England fans for the best part of a decade with his performances in midfield.

Wenger has urged caution regarding Wilshere, saying recently he may need time to "get his burst back" and the player himself agrees.

"I know exactly what he means by that," he said

"The boss always says it to me when he's reminding me to do my gym work and train hard.

"It just means literally the first five yards. That was one of my strengths of my game - the first five yards, to beat a player. He says it's slowly coming back so hopefully it will come back soon."

Wilshere is glad Wenger only sprung the news he would be starting against QPR on the morning of the game.

"I think the boss did it quite cleverly because maybe if he'd told me the day before, I'd have been a bit anxious and not slept as well," he said.

"I was just preparing to sit on the bench and hopefully come on at some point in front of the crowd.

"He told me at half 10 [on the day of the game that] he was going to start me. I was nervous but I didn't have time to worry about it. I just went out there and I thought I did quite well.

"The intensity was totally different from the under-21s. I played 90 minutes for the under-21s but after 60 to 65 minutes, my legs started to go and the boss took me off."

Wilshere's midfield colleague Emmanuel Frimpong, meanwhile, has quashed speculation he will leave Arsenal.

The Ghanaian, who has 18 months left on his contract, does want to secure a loan deal though, with Wolves and Ipswich thought to be interested in the player.

"Subject to rumours am not leaving afc I am positive of going on loan this week which am really excited about and I am fully committed to afc," Frimpong said on Twitter.

"And am not in my last year or looking to be sold just to clear matters thank you and going on loan to get games and cum back to arsenal."