Adrian Durham namedropped West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere when discussing the Hammers’ top-six ambitions but the 27-year-old shouldn’t exactly be flattered.
The talkSPORT host was discussing the Hammers’ ability to finish in the top-six this season with Darren Gough and former Hammers attacker David Connolly ahead of Manuel Pellegrini’s side facing Crystal Palace.
Gough listed off talented Hammers player after talented player, he didn’t mention Wilshere, before Connolly highlighted the Hammers midfield options while backing his former side to be good enough to break into the Premier League’s top-six.
Durham responded to the pair’s remarks by suggesting the Hammers should be capable of finishing at least sixth, while also playing some great football, and also suggested that Wilshere could end up being useful to their cause if he stays fit.
“So not only should they be doing well due to the money they’ve spent, but they should be playing some great football due to the players they have,” said Durham on talkSPORT (17:47, Friday, October 4th).
“They’ve also got someone like Jack Wilshere to add to that as well, to come in, if he stays fit.”
While Durham namedropping Wilshere could be seen as a positive, he does suggest he could make a positive difference, his verdict on the midfielder implies that the 27-year-old is just an added bonus.
The talkSPORT host doesn’t see Wilshere as being someone regularly involved or even one of the club’s first-choice options and highlights the fact he is still unsure about whether the midfielder can stay fit.
The English midfielder may have only played 138 minutes of Premier League action this season, as per WhoScored, but you could argue that’s a reflection of Pellegrini trying to be careful not to overuse him due to the player’s injury-hit 2018/19 campaign rather than it having anything to do with where his ability sees him lie in the pecking order.
Yet Durham makes it seem like Wilshere is just an extra option for the Hammers, regardless of his fitness status.
Granted the 27-year-old has struggled in his league outings, he has averaged 1.3 poor touches per game and been dispossessed 1.3 times per match (Source: WhoScored), and was part of the Hammers side who lost 4-0 to Oxford United, but surely he isn’t an afterthought already based on a slow start to the season?
Also when you consider Wilshere has avoided missing playing time due to injury this season, although Claret & Hugh reported he faces a fitness check ahead of the clash with Palace due to picking up a knock, Durham should at least be a little more confident about the midfielder’s fitness than before.
However, while Durham’s implication about the Hammers midfielder can be debated, surely Wilshere should still feel worried by the talkSPORT’s host remarks as it does suggest he faces an uphill battle to feature and that at least implies he needs to up his game to silence any doubts about him.