Where does Wilshere fit in the Arsenal team? – Or does he?

My thoughts about Jack Wilshere have often been that he should be a deep-lying playmaker in the mould of Andrea Pirlo, the 2006 World Cup-winning Italian midfielder. Jack has an excellent range of passing and a decent first touch. However, he is usually deployed higher up the pitch with more offensive orders by Arsene Wenger, which, quite often, results in him getting kicked and fouled a lot more than otherwise and, unfortunately, exposes him to more injuries than most other players in Arsenal’s team.

I think that Jack has most of the skills to become an excellent deep-lying playmaking midfielder next to Francis Coquelin, who has become one of the best defensive-minded midfielders in the league. It is quite astonishing to see how quickly Coquelin has progressed since his abrupt return from Charlton. It should also be noted that Jack and Francis have played together a number of times for the reserves and U21 sides and are familiar with each other’s attributes. Jack and Coquelin should be Arsene’s future focus as the “double-pivot” in a 4-2-3-1 system – Coquelin is very strong in the tackle and able to physically dominate matches, whilst Wilshere has good distribution skills and more creativity than Coquelin, which should be a good match for the future.

However, Wilshere has a few obstacles in his way to his path into the starting eleven. One of those obstacles is Aaron Ramsey – the Welshman has largely had a poor season, but is starting to return to form and played a particularly strong match vs. Liverpool. Another obstacle is Santi Cazorla – the Spaniard has been superb as a box-to-box midfielder since midfield injuries started coming to the fore in October 2014. Another obstacle blocking Wilshere’s easy path is Mikel Arteta – the Captain is one of Wenger’s favourites and is able to maintain a cool head in situations when Jack might possibly lose his and, like Wilshere, is just returning from injury. Another major obstacle is Arsene Wenger himself and where he thinks Jack could fit into the squad and, if he thinks that the defensive midfield position needs strengthening in the summer.

The last obstacle is Wilshere himself – he needs to learn to control his temper more on the pitch and not give away petulant fouls. It would also help if he learned to move with the ball not so close to his feet – it is my thinking that, when he runs with the ball very close to his feet, that if opposing players challenge him for the ball, he is more likely to get clipped if they are even slightly late in the tackle and therefore Wilshere has a stronger chance of getting injuries. It’s either that or we accept that Wilshere will always get injuries and that 10-15 matches a season is all that we can realistically expect from him, which would be a sad state of affairs as he is one of the best prospects that the academy has produced.

It then has to be considered if Jack’s future is best served at Arsenal or elsewhere – Wilshere is a decent player and a huge fan of the club, but, unless he can make those changes, I can’t see him staying more than another year here. It’d be sad to lose a player who is such a fan of the club, but, sometimes, that is just football and it is Arsene Wenger’s job to put forward the best possible squad each match and to build the strongest squad possible with the resources that he has available. Whether that squad includes Wilshere in the near future remains to be seen.

Thanks for reading!

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6 Responses to Where does Wilshere fit in the Arsenal team? – Or does he?

  1. semwanga April 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    first of all, comparing wilshere to the likes of pirlo, carzola, rosicky and other great midfielders, is a disgrace to football. for two seasons now, this lad has been the worst midfielder in the premier league. its no coincedence that arsenal has been consistent without him. am just wondering how u can even compare him to ramsey. ramsey even in goal drought, u can see maturity, decissiveness, quality and determination in his work on the pitch but cant talk about wilshere with the same lines. as if this guy only comes for showbiz on the pitch. its high time he got serious with his job otherwise he sh’d follow the likes of clichy, nasri, sagna…..

  2. Shukran April 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    Wilshere ofcourse fits as Deep lying midfielder,,up front we have more offensive options in the name of Cazorla,,Rosicky,,Ozil ,,, playing Coq next to jack ahead Alexis,,Cazorla,,,ozil up fornt Giroud in a 4-2-3-1 back line with Bellerin(Debuchy),,,Koscielny,,,Mertasacker,,,Monreal,,, thats one of the best first 11 in Premier league

  3. Shukran April 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    He fits in XI yess

  4. Stephen April 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    nice post

    I think there’s enough room for Jack in the squad, and if he’s fit he’ll play games… sooner or later.
    I’ve been looking at the 25 man squad for next season and Jack’s not one of the players I’d like to change. He’s our no 10 and in 2 years time Rosicky and Arteta will be gone maybe even Cazorla, I think Jack’s happy at Arsenal but he’d be happier if he played more. I don’t think you can change the ‘nature of the beast’ with regards to the way he runs with the ball but he (like most players) must think about self-preservation, sometimes if you can give the ball away you can try to recover positionally rather than diving in trying to win the ball back. He is so all action maybe he should try to tone it down a notch. Many Gooners forget how young he still is, with another 8-9 years left at the top level, maybe even more. Even if he may be injured more than other players I think with a 25 man squad + the under 21 players there’ll always be room for a player with as much talent as Wilshere at Arsenal.

    Players I think we should move on/loan out this summer are…

    Wellington Silva

    Then bring back Jenkinson and Martínez from their loans…

    …that will leave 2 places in the 25 man squad for new signings who wouldn’t have to be ‘home grown’.


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