Forgot Password




Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications

Login using

Email Reset


Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | England

Jack Wilshere challenged by Paulinho © Reuters Images

Wilshere evokes Gazza memories

English football held its breath twice this week because of Paul Gascoigne, firstly when he was admitted to an alcohol treatment centre and secondly after Jack Wilshere showed England may finally have found his heir apparent.

Gascoigne became a national hero with his performances and tears as England reached the 1990 World Cup semifinals but since drinking curtailed his career, England have been crying out for a ball carrier who can beat men and pick a perfect pass.

Steven Gerrard was perhaps the closest England had come but the 32-year-old captain was happy to sit back in Wednesday's 2-1 friendly win over Brazil and let a man 11 years his junior light up Wembley.

Not many players give away early penalties against the might of Brazil and end up being man of the match but Wilshere fully justified Gerrard's pre-match comments about the "scary" Arsenal man having the potential to become one of the best in the world.

Coach Roy Hodgson agreed after Wilshere's defence-splitting pass helped set up Wayne Rooney for England's opener after Ronaldinho spared his blushes after a debatable handball by having his penalty expertly saved by Joe Hart.

"As long as he is comfortable with the expectations, why should I worry?," Hodgson told reporters.

"To be frank, if Jack Wilshere keeps up that level of performance he will soon justify all the expectations. He was very, very good as was Theo Walcott, who terrorised the left side of their defence."

Walcott was indeed impressive and gave Brazil left back Adriano a torrid time but he has yet to boast the assuredness and maturity beyond his years of Wilshere, who overran the ball a couple of times but was otherwise in a different class.


Unlike troubled Gascoigne, who even as a player occasionally lost his head, Wilshere seems grounded yet fierce in the tackle.

His ability to ghost past defenders with his spindly legs is almost reminiscent of Lionel Messi while at the very least England can say he is their answer to Spain's Andres Iniesta.

It might have been very different for a midfielder who only came back from 15 months out with an ankle problem in October amid Arsenal and England fears that he may never play again.

Wilshere, only picking up his seventh cap, outplayed Brazil's much hyped Neymar, who despite his garish hair colour failed to shine and missed a sitter in the first half.

Fortunately for the Santos striker, who has surprisingly stayed in Brazil rather than headed for the European leagues, substitute Fred brought the visitors level after the break in Luiz Felipe Scolari's first game back as coach.

His goal owed much to a dreadful error from Gary Cahill in a reminder to Hodgson with March World Cup qualifiers in San Marino and Montenegro on the horizon, that all is not well in central defence after the exits of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

Another old stager Frank Lampard wrapped up England's first win over Brazil in 23 years with a fine finish on the hour and later praised the man who may have taken his first-team place.

"Jack Wilshere is a fantastic player, his technical ability, his quality on the ball. He is going to be a massive player for England and in the world," Lampard said.


Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
Xbox 360
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Sat, 19 Apr @ 12:15
Sat, 19 Apr @ 13:00
Fri, 18 Apr @ 05:00

Sports Talk

Iwedi Ojinmah
For Nigeria the noise will come
One just has to look at a map of Africa and South America to understand the special relationship...

Neil Tovey
Climbing the pyramid of success
The fact that an Al Ahly official said the club “have started negotiations with Oupa Manyisa”...

Segun Odegbami
Nigeria to win the 2014 World Cup!
If you were a betting man, who would you put your money on to win the 2014 World Cup? Or better...

Carol Radull
Respect your coaches please
I’m a little sick in the pit of my stomach over how Kenyan Premier Clubs are treating their coaches.

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Liverpool staying the course
In an incredible atmosphere at Anfield, Liverpool kept up their relentless pursuit of Liverpool’s...

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Give David Moyes a chance, would you?
All season long the name David Moyes has been on the lips of every football spectator and...