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Resurgent Jack Wilshere’s discipline

Jack Wilshere was not short of admirers during Arsenal’s 3-2 victory at Selhurst Park. Vernon Davis Jersey His first touch was a beautiful piece of velcro control as the ball dropped on to his left boot in the first minute, making everyone in the away end go weak at the knees, and the Arsenal midfielder even had a fan in the opposition’s technical area. It was Roy Hodgson, of course, who sent eyebrows rocketing skywards when he named Wilshere in England’s Euro 2016 squad.

Wilshere had only just returned from one of his many injuries, but that misguided show of faith from Hodgson was easier to understand after watching him help Arsenal recover from a sticky spell in the second half to take Palace apart. Like Arsène Wenger, Hodgson is a believer, even though the Devan Dubnyk Womens Jersey 25-year-old has not produced much of note since that wonderful performance against Pep Guardiola’s great Barcelona side.
Recently there has even been plenty of talk that Wilshere might be allowed to leave Arsenal when his contract runs out next summer. There are times when even hopeless romantics like Wenger have to be cold and ruthless.
Fortunately for Arsenal’s manager, however, there remains a chance that he will be rewarded for listening to his heart. Loaned to Bournemouth at the start of last season, it felt like Wilshere was approaching the end of his time as an elite footballer when he suffered a broken leg in April. That curtailed his preparations for this campaign, meaning that he was in danger of becoming Arsenal’s forgotten man just when he was supposed to be approaching his prime. He turns 26 on New Year’s Day and instead of being a regular starter in the league, he was forced to adjust to the slog of appearances alongside the kids and the reserves in Max Tuerk Jersey low-intensity Carabao Cup and Europa League games.
Wilshere embraced the challenge, however, and here he was on a bitterly cold December evening in south‑east London, starting for the fourth consecutive league game and looking every inch like the talent who was once hailed as the future of Arsenal and England’s midfield.
A player who has received as many blows as Wilshere must be careful not to ask too much of his body. There have been times when his bravery in possession, the way that he pushes the ball forward and tempts opponents into forceful challenges, has conspired against him, leading to long spells on the sidelines. Clearly, though, Wilshere is not afraid of hard work, which he demonstrated with a smart early challenge on Wilfried Zaha.
He has been impressive since winning back his place in the first team and there are signs that he is giving Arsenal’s midfield more balance. He is more disciplined than the injured Aaron Ramsey, who likes to burst forward in the style of Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard, but he is also technically sound and it was his glorious pass from a deep position which allowed Alexis Sánchez to calm Arsenal’s nerves midway through the second half.
Arsenal had been rocking after Andros Townsend equalised for Palace shortly after the break. The visitors dominated the opening period, taking the lead when Shkodran Mustafi stroked home the rebound after suspect goalkeeping from Julián Speroni, and they had chances to take the game away from their lowly hosts. Mesut Özil and Alexandre Lacazette missed decent chances, though, and such profligacy left Wenger’s side vulnerable.
They have been disappointing on their travels in the league this season – they had only won at Burnley and Everton before arriving in this corner of south-east London – and their flakiness resurfaced after Townsend swept home Zaha’s cutback from the left. In those moments it was possible to see why there can be no guarantees Arsenal will regain their spot in the top four. Sloppy defending also allowed James Tomkins to nod home Palace’s second in the 89th minute, creating a nervous finale.
Ending Palace’s eight-match unbeaten run required a gutsy display, however, especially as Arsenal were beaten 3-0 here in April. Those memories briefly came flooding back after Townsend’s leveller, but Arsenal’s individual brilliance made the difference. Sánchez roused himself, lashing a venomous shot past Speroni, and then Wilshere superbly released the Chilean to score his second.

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