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Blackwell on seeing 16yo Arsenal kid Wilshere: I could not believe what I was seeing

Former Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell recalls when Jack Wilshere scored his first senior goal for Arsenal in their 6-0 Carling Cup win over Sheffield United.

Blackwell was manager of Sheffield United that night and remembers it well.

He told the Daily Mail: "We had him watched for Arsenal reserves so we had an inkling of what he was about. Even so, his movement and awareness took even some of our most senior players by surprise.

"When I think back to the way he ran the show at 16, his selection for England just seems a natural progression. He was not fazed by being up against senior players, not fazed by a 60,000 crowd and not fazed by constantly finding the ball at his feet.

"I could hardly believe what I was seeing. It is every manager's dream to have players so sure of themselves they want the ball under any circumstances and are able to pick the right pass and play it at the right pace.

"As I watched him repeatedly demand the ball from more senior team-mates, even with someone right up his backside, I had to keep reminding myself he was only 16. It was one of those moments in your career when you have to hold your hands up and say, that was a bit special. As long as he keeps his focus, there is no limit to what he can achieve."

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Tribal Football Staff

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