Tony Cascarino implied that West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere could be a problem to his team as he couldn’t contribute defensively.
The pundit stated that in his opinion the 27-year-old Hammers midfielder wasn’t able to catch up with people who run behind him, and then stated if you can’t contribute defensively then you’re a problem to your teammates as it could see opponents hurt your side.
Cascarino then revealed that while he previously thought Wilshere was player who could be compared to Paul Gascoigne due to his ability to run past players, he thought injuries had taken their toll on him.
“Between Declan Rice and Jack Wilshere in midfield, if they opt to get a third one in there, Jack isn’t up to speed, he isn’t really capable of catching people who run behind him,” said Cascarino on talkSPORT (06:25am, Saturday, August 24th).
“Now I’m not sure you can ever discover that after a number of injuries as you have to be good without the ball.
“If you can’t contribute defensively, win balls, make tackles, then you’re a problem to your team, especially against the top-six, they will hurt you.
“So I think there’s a real issue about how he can find a formation that suits Jack, and Jack went to Bournemouth and he eventually found himself out of the team, and that was a couple of years ago now, it’s a real strange dynamic with Jack as I think there have been too many injuries there.
“Yeah, Jack is a brilliant individual who unfortunately had too many serious injuries and it’s hampered his game. You can quite clearly watch him and see it as he can’t get around the pitch like he once did.
“A young Jack Wilshere was a player who could go past, he had that Gazza in him, okay some people may go hold it, but I’m talking about being able to make runs through the midfield areas and there was a period where Jack was doing that, but too many injuries have taken its toll.”
Two games into the season and it seems every pundit under the sun is ready to write Wilshere off and it just seems ridiculously harsh. The 27-year-old struggled in the clash with Manchester City as he managed only 36 touches before being subbed off in the 55 minutes, as per WhoScored, and was even more lost against Brighton as he only registered 15 touches before being hauled off at half time (Source: WhoScored). However while Wilshere may have struggled to make an impact in the first two games of the season, the 27-year-old could still turn it around and be seen as an asset. The midfielder only managed to play 389 minutes of league action last season, as per Transfermarkt, so when you consider that, it’s understandable that he hasn’t hit the ground running this season. Wilshere needs time and patience to get back to his best, and maybe his performances should only be ripped apart and overly dissected once we’re at least 10 games into the season.