I don't know if I'm the only one and it probably doesn't help that I have a few friends who are hardcore Arsenal fans, but last season I got a bit sick of the way some people over exaggerated the performances of Wilshire and his ability in general. Of course nobody is doubting that he is a good player, but for me at least, I really don't think he has shown a great deal YET, and thus some of the things being said about him are in my opinion over the top.

I can't remember exactly where I read it, but a few months ago somebody wrote an article titled Cleverley: the next Wilshire (or something along those lines). I guess for some people this is fair enough given that Wilshire was an Arsenal regular all the way through last season whereas Cleverley had never played for United, but normally when somebody is said to be the next somebody, the former (in the sense that he gained his repuation first) should be an established player, no? For me Wilshire doesn't fall into that category. I just don't think he has really done enough so far.

It probably doesn't help that Capello if I remember correctly came out saying he would be a great future captain etc etc (or praised him highly anyway, I don't remember exactly what was said) but I do feel people are trying to fast track him based on potential and not on how well he actually has played so far in both an Arsenal shirt and for England. It could be argued that he played in a less advanced Arsenal role last season, although he did make 35 league appearances, scoring 1 goal and getting 3 assists.


So, I just wanted to ask my fellow Sport Witnessers how long it is before we can start raving about Cleverley? Last time I checked he had started the season pretty well and is playing arguably as well as Wilshire was for Arsenal last year. Granted it's only been three games. But seriously, it is also worth remembering Wilshire is around 2 years younger than Cleverley.

Tags: arsenal, cleverley, manchester, united, wilshire

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I understand your point about Wilshere but TBH I think people are already raving about Cleverley and have been since the CS against City...I just hope it isn't premature!

To be honest I can see why people rate Wilshire so highly and I do think that he's already a good player with the potential to become a very good player and one of England's best midfielders if not the best and he has impressed me in the few appearances he has made for England. He's only 19 which is still incredibly young and he's already made over 50 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and Bolton.


I think it's still too early to tell regarding Cleverley however the early signs are very good and I can't help but feel excited by the thought of him becoming first choice at the club. The thought of a player coming through the youth system and breaking into the first team to then become first choice excites me a lot more than if someone like Sneijder had been signed. The next few games will be a good test for Cleverley, the midfield and our young defence in general and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they get on against the likes of Bolton, Chelsea and Stoke.

Tbh in terms of talent their pretty even. Cleverley's better with movement and quick passing, but Wilshere's probably better at possession, and defensive positioning. They've both been developed for their respective clubs style's, whether or not these gel for england I don't know, but I have no doubt both will be easily England quality.


What really annoys me is that even when Arsenal fans admit that ability wise their pretty even, they go on about how Wilshere's a few years younger. Its stupid. Players progress at different rates. For a player of the style of Cleverley, 22 is the earliest you can expect them to start looking like a class player. Wilshere's style you'd expect maybe 20/21, but considering the fact that he's physically well built, 18/19 isn't unreasonable. Cleverley has had the ability for years and showed it at Watford, simple fact is if he wasn't such a slim build, he would have been playing for us last season. You've also got the fact that Wenger was more or less forced into playing him. He didn't have enough quality midfielders, you'll see the same thing this season with Frimpong and Ramsey, only worse. Ferguson had the luxury of taking his time, waiting till Cleverley was completely ready before sending him out. This will show at the end of the season. Last year Wilshere effectively went into burn-out and has been injured since, you could bet a fair penny the same will happen to their other young players being pushed through this season.


This is my concern for Wilshere. While Jones, who is the same age has Vidic, Ferdinand, Smalling and Evans all able and willing to step in when he stumbles, Wilshere has nobody of sufficient quality to pull Arsenal through without him. No young footballer can develop properly under that pressure

I do feel the whole Wilshere thing has snowballed. When he wasn't allowed to the U21 tournament that added more to it and now the fact he's injured seem to be making him a better player - I can this 'The Joe Cole World Cup 2010' effect.


They'll be a lot of pressure on Wilshere and perhaps it's best Cleverley doesn't get that just for now. I believe Wilshere believes some of his hype and sees himself as Arsenal's saviour. Not sure whether this will help him or not.

"Cleverley: the next Wilshire"


It does not really work when the former has more experience than the latter either.

I'm just glad that England have these prospects coming through now,I've grown tired of club rivalry concerning English players.

Jones,Wilshire,Cleverly,Welbeck,Smalling,Sturidge and others clearly have the intelligence to develop further while also having very good modern day football attributes.

Kelly too

I wonder  if there are any potential stars at left-back for England? If Kelly gets over this current run of injuries he's had since the end of last season, I'm sure he'll become first choice at right-back for England. I think Briggs was playing at left-back for the under-21s last night, but I haven't seen enough of him to make a judgement. 


Possible future England team might be, Hart; Kelly, Smalling, Jones, LB; Henderson, Wilshere, Cleverley; Sturridge, Rooney, Welbeck. Doesn't include Walcott or Adam Johnson in that either, who are already regulars in the England squad.

I'd say Micah Richards is the long term right back and Kelly would have to do an awful lot to jump ahead. Richards is only 2 years older than Kelly but has played over 150 Premier League games and will now get CL experience.

Both Kelly and Richards can play CB too.


I find these youngsters for England predictions a little pointless to be honest.  What if an unknown emergers and blows the other players out the water...?  Such as owen and Rooney did.  in fact, even Micah Richards burst onto the England scence for a while not so long back.

I wouldn't even call Richards first choice right-back at City (in fairness, Kelly isn't at Liverpool either). Zabaleta and Richards played 23 and 18 games in the league, respectively last season and Mancini seems to be rotating them. Plus Richards is prone to temper-tantrums and has what, 12 caps in 5 years? His first game for England was in 2006, before Johnson had established himself in the team.

Not sure what your point is there as, like you say, he starts more games than Kelly.


Like I said, I don't think Kelly is near the picture at the moment. I'm obviously not biased on this as one plays for City and one plays for Liverpool but I think Richards is miles ahead of Kelly in the England rankings and Kelly will have to go some before getting near him.


I also think Smalling is ahead of Kelly but didn't say that for fear of having bias thrown at me.  I even think Smalling is younger than Kelly. Richards and Smalling are in the England squad as right backs this time around and Kelly needs to push on a lot to change that.



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