Like Stu Holden, Jack Wilshere’s career derailed by injury once again

Stu Holden and Jack Wilshere

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

In soccer, young, promising players are constantly coming up through academies and clubs around the world. Some achieve great success and move on to long careers. Unfortunately, the game is also littered with sad tales of players whose careers were cut short.

When that reason is due to injury, those tales become even harder to take.

Stu Holden, now 28, and Jack Wilshere, 22, are both players that have a tremendous amount of potential and would aid their clubs and countries in so many different ways. However, they both continue to be snake-bitten by injuries.

After suffering an ACL tear in the Gold Cup, the US Men’s National Team player was nearing a comeback. Taking part in an Under-21 match for Bolton against Everton, it looked like Holden could begin getting himself back into the Wanderer’s first team plans. However, after only 22 minutes, Holden was down on the pitch clutching his knee. Although he did walk off on his own volition, it is feared he re-injured the previous knee condition.

Holden also had his leg broken in a friendly against the Netherlands by Nigel De Jong in 2010 and missed more time after a bad gash to his knee from a Johnny Evan’s tackle the following year.

Breaking into the Arsenal first team as a teenager, Wilshere is also becoming an injury-prone player. His problems began after suffering a stress fracture in his ankle in a preseason friendly against the New York Red Bulls prior to the 2011-12 season. After suffering several setbacks, Wilshere returned to the pitch 14 months later. The following campaign, he was held out in several fixtures towards the back end of the season to keep him healthy.

After staying fit through the midway point of this season, Wilshere was bitten by the injury bug once more. He is set to miss six weeks after breaking his foot in a 1-0 England friendly victory over Denmark.

The time Wilshere has missed continues to effect his development as a player. Looking like Arsenal’s crown jewel in the midfield after Cesc Fabregas’ departure, Wilshere’s play hasn’t lived up to quite what was expected. In many games this season, the young midfielder has struggled with positioning and overall play. In fact, Wilshere was on the fringes of the first team early on as Aaron Ramsey seemed to surpass him in the pecking order.

With youth on his side, Wilshere still has a long career ahead of him. With proper rest and strength training, he can still recover and fulfill the flashes of promise he has shown in his young career.

Holden, however, may see the dawn of his career setting before it ever really got started. The American is still going to continue his pursuit of getting back to regular first team action.

One player he can look to for some inspiration? Wilshere’s Arsenal teammate Tomas Rosicky. After dealing with injuries for several years, the Czech midfielder’s performances continue to be vital, adding experience to the Gunners midfield. He also was just recently awarded another contract extension at the London club.

In both cases, young talent continues to be derailed from reaching their full potential. While Wilshere still has year’s to recover, it will take a miracle for Holden to do the same.