West Ham captain Mark Noble believes that Arsenal were wrong to allow Jack Wilshere to leave them this summer. At the same time, he is glad to have the 26-year-old as a team-mate.
Wilshere left his boyhood club during the summer and joined West Ham on a free transfer. The Englishman had been hoping to stay on with the Gunners due to his love for the club, however he eventually had no choice but to leave after manager Unai Emery did not provide him with assurances over first-team football.
Wilshere is hoping to earn himself a recall to the England team and it was perhaps the best decision for him to leave the club and start afresh if he is to achieve his target.
Once rated as the future of English football, Wilshere has sadly seen his career progress halted by a series of injury problems.
Saturday will be a very emotional day for him as it will see him play against Arsenal for the first- time in his career. There is no doubt that he will be aiming to prove to Emery what he has missed, but if he does happen to score, he will probably not celebrate out of respect to the Arsenal fans and club.
West Ham are targeting a strong finish on the top half of the standings this season. They should that they have big expectations for this season by hiring former Premier League manager Manuel Pellegrini to be their new boss as well as making a number of new signings during the summer transfer window.
If one thing looks certain, it is that Wilshere is likely to be a key part of Pellegrini’s midfield this season.
The veteran Noble is glad to have Wilshere as a team-mate.
He told the London Evening Standard: “If I was the Arsenal manager, Jack Wilshere would be in my starting line-up for sure.
“He’s had his injuries, but he is a fantastic player and we are glad to have him here. It will be strange for Jack going back to his old club this weekend. In my view, he needed to leave Arsenal — and he would probably say so himself: he was in a no-win situation there.
“He had been there for a long time and every time I watched Arsenal play, the talk after would always be about Jack. It’s probably because he is English, but other players would give the ball away three or four times and the commentary would still be about Jack. Every time he made a bad pass, everyone said he was not good enough any more. Oh, come on!
“I hope we can see the best of him here at West Ham. You forget sometimes that he is only 26. I am not cutting his career short, but he has probably got seven good years left. If he can play at West Ham for seven years, then he will have a great time here.”