Arsenal would’ve won Premier League if they kept their team intact, opines Jack Wilshereby SportsCafe Desk
Arsenal’s struggles to compete for a Premier League title since their Invincibles 2003/04 season has affected both the club and their fanbase. It has seen the Gunners lose key players over the years after various other sides came calling with the offer of domestic and European trophies. That was something that the North London side struggled to win or even offer on at all which saw players like Thomas Vermaelen, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Ashley Cole, and others leave.
But the summer of 2011 was the one that hurt the club the most because after what seemed like decades, Arsenal had a great group of players but struggled to compete alongside the giants of Europe. That summer saw the club lose Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy with Robin van Persie, Alex Song and others leaving a year later and Wilshere admitted that it devastated the team. The former Arsenal star also confessed that he believed that had the club kept the team together, they would have won the league title.
"I was devastated when Robin van Persie left. He had just scored 30 goals the season before. He was our captain. It felt like we were just about to challenge [for the title] again and all of a sudden he left to go to our biggest rivals. It was difficult to take. I was there when Fabregas left, [Samir] Nasri left, big players. If we had kept that team together I think we would have gone on to win the Premier League - and who knows from there?” Wilshere told BBC.
The West Ham midfielder was once though off as Arsenal’s future but injuries have plagued Jack Wilshere’s career and it saw him eventually leave his boyhood club in 2018. However, the decision was reportedly forced by then manager Unai Emery after the Spaniard told the 28-year-old that he had no first-team future at the club. Wilshere admitted that the conversation did take place and even added that Arsene Wenger’s departure played a role in him leaving.
"I sat down with my family and my wife. Arsene [Wenger] had announced he was leaving, and it felt like the right time to move on. I had done it before [joining Bournemouth on loan]. I knew there was life outside of Arsenal. I just though it was the right time to move on. Times were changing at Arsenal. I spoke with the new manager who said: 'You can stay but you are not in my starting XI.’ Arsene knew what I could do and trusted me. I knew if I got fit, I would play and I didn't get that vibe off Emery. It was tough,” he added.