Exclusive: Jack Wilshere Speaks On England's Chances At The World Cup
Jack Wilshere might not have been on the flight to Russia with England for this summer's World Cup, but he's still an avid supporter of the Three Lions.
Speaking to SPORTbible at the William Hill Arms, Wilshere tells us his thoughts about England's World Cup tournament so far.
"England have done really well so far at this World Cup," he said.
"They're into the last 16 now, and, if they go into the last eight, who knows what could happen? I think there'll be a quiet confidence in the group, but they know they need to take it match by match."
Despite the loss against Belgium, it seems as though the mood hasn't dampened among England supporters. It's clear that all the players are trying their utmost to bring the trophy home - but who has been a standout performer for Wilshere?
"I think everyone knows just how good Harry Kane has been, but, at the same time, I'm a big fan of John Stones and the way he plays. His calmness under pressure and his technical ability with the ball is excellent. He's even grabbed himself a couple of goals, so he'll be feeling great about this tournament."
The midfielder - like the rest of the nation - will be wearing his England shirt and cheering the side on, as they look to overcome Columbia in the Round of 16 and progress to the quarter finals of the tournament. But how does Wilshere think England will fare against the South Americans?
"Colombia are obviously a strong team with strong players who can make a difference in the final third," Wilshere said. "They can make things happen, but we just need to concentrate on ourselves, realise how good we are, and what we're capable of doing to the opposition, so we should be confident going into the game."
The press will have you believe that at the England camp right now is a collection of players with a close relationship, but Wilshere insists that it's always been this way:
"There has always been a sense of togetherness in the England squad, but this time the side seem to have that extra sense of unity," Wilshere explained.
"I've always been in squads I've enjoyed, and I have good memories of those times. I've never come away from a squad having not enjoyed the experience but there is a strong sense that this side is gelling very well.
Gareth Southgate is in his inaugural tournament with England but has already smashed records, using the unconventional method of deploying three defenders at the back - and Wilshere is a fan of the manager's tactical setup:
"I like the formation that Southgate is using. Obviously, it means playing out from the back - and we've been doing that well. The keeper, Jordan Pickford, has been calm and playing well, while the defenders, they seem to enjoy having the ball. I think this formation has really helped the players that we have. "
And what of the future for Wilshere? Does he see himself pulling on the England kit once again?
"Of course I would like to get back into the squad one day. I'm a proud Englishman, I love playing for my country, and I've been lucky enough to do it quite a lot of times. I would never give up. I will always have that little bit of hope while I'm still playing. I want to be playing for England."
Jack Wilshere, was speaking at the WilliamHill.com Arms which offers fans the ultimate England experience with expert analysis, Love Island stars serving William Hill's own craft lager, Fat Les singing Vindaloo and Kirsty Gallacher's fan Q&A. Join the fun by searching #ThisIsMore on social media #itscominghome