Jack Wilshere made almost 200 total appearances over 10 years with Arsenal, and scored one of the greatest goals at Emirates Stadium when he finished off a fantastic team move against Norwich in 2013.
Although He broke into Arsenal’s first team aged just 16 and was due to be Arsenal’s future, but at 29 now, his future is up in the air after he left Bournemouth in May and has been without a club since.
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: ‘what am I training for?’
“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.
“Us as players have to be willing to speak up, speak about our feelings and realize it’s not a weakness, it’s actually really brave and people will help you if you need help.”
However, Wilshere said: “The biggest feeling is 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.”