Calico Jack

He has to be the man and not for only one reason. Jack Wilshere owes it to the fans of Arsenal football club to deliver on the obvious promise he exhibited from so young. He owes it to himself to be the man. He owes it to Arsène Wenger and he owes it to Santi for he deserves a peak Jack to carry on the good fight. They’re not the same, but if there’s anybody currently at the club and, by extension, the world that exudes shades of Cazorla, it is Jack. There’s something in how he carries the ball, glides and glances up that says “This is the man to take over”. Arsène (or his successor) doesn’t need to scour the globe for the man as he’s already in his squad. Arsenal need the original Jack and not a pirated copy.

Facts are that there were few finer central midfielders in the game whenever Santi played there for Arsenal. For those who recognised and appreciated this, kudos. For those who didn’t, watch again.

Jack Wilshere should strive to be more like the Little Magician, simply put. There are signs he could be just that from this season and his previous best between 2011 and 2013. Cazorla was more involved in passing as he was the fulcrum for the origins of Arsenal’s attack when partnered beside the more static Francis Coquelin, while Granit Xhaka is the volume man for Arsenal in it’s current dispensation. With what he has of the ball, Wilshere is not leagues off in creative output (Add Wilshere’s chance creation to Ramsey’s to get that of Cazorla. Fun fact). Santi is the better, more incisive passer, better dribbler, and, slightly better defensively (who thought we could say that about the 65-inch tall man), but there are things that are somewhat encapsulated in the sum of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka. Individually, none are as rounded or dynamic as Santi. The good thing is they probably don’t need to be. Xhaka, Ramsey and Jack all bring parts to the whole that is Santi Cazorla. As a single man, though, the most crucial piece is a fit, prime, Jack Wilshere.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Arsenal’s (L) Jack Wilshere celebrates his goal with (R) Granit Xhaka during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 3, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He’s the man who can unlock defenses from deeper, make those wavy runs, and see passes that few others can from a more withdrawn starting position. With the shuffle at the top leading to a more defined Arsenal in terms of creators and finishers, Jack is the man to bring it all together.

Santi speaks life. In the words of Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, he’s lived a humble and meek life. That’s what endears him to so many.

Farewell, Santi…please…and come forth Jack Wilshere.