Jack Wilshere: It is important to talk about feelings and mental health

The midfielder added that depressive thoughts do not care if you are a footballer.

Jack Wilshere 

Jack Wilshere is 29-years-old and is currently without a football club. The former Arsenal midfielder is out of a job since he left Bournemouth in May.

The midfielder made almost 200 appearances with Arsenal in over 10 years. He was regarded as one of the greatest English talents when he broke through the Arsenal first team. He delivered one of the best performances in midfield against Barcelona in the Champions League as an 18-year-old when the Catalan team played the likes of Xavi and Iniesta in the middle. However, his career was marred with various niggling short-term injuries and several long-term injuries. He never cemented his starting spot at Arsenal due to his bad luck with injuries.

He left the club in 2018 and joined West Ham United but he never settled there too.

Jack Wilshere on mental health

Wilshere told Sky Sports about the challenges of footballers’ mental health, saying:

“When I spoke out that I was training on my own, that I was having these thoughts of. The response from everyone really – but mainly people in the game that I respect, ex-players, people that I look up to reaching out to me, saying you’ve still got a lot to give – it made me even more hungry to come back and just enjoy my football again. We as players have to be willing to speak up, speak about our feelings and realize it’s not a weakness, it’s brave and people will help you if you need help.”

Wilshere said that opening about his mental health has made a big difference in his life.

He said:

“The biggest feeling is a relief – sometimes you don’t even know that you’re holding onto these feelings. Some people might think it’s normal to have these feelings, especially when you’re a footballer and things aren’t going well, you question everything. I always thought that speaking out or speaking to someone – especially in the media – would almost come across as a weakness because the general perception of footballers is that ‘they have everything, what have they got to moan about? They’ve got a great life.’ The depressive thoughts don’t care if you’re a footballer. I think it’s important to speak out.”

Arteta opens the door for Wilshere to train with Arsenal

Arsenal manager last week opened doors for Jack Wilshere to return to Arsenal and train with them.

Arteta said:

“He is someone that I know who I shared the dressing room with, someone who is so loved around the club with every person here and our doors are always open.”

Wilshere in response to Arteta’s offer said, that he has spent most of his life at Arsenal. He feels going back would only help him.

“Being around good players, training with world-class players, and as well just being in a team environment is something I’m interested in. I’m sure that I’ll have a conversation with someone at the club over the next couple of days.”

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