In 4 consecutive matches for England, Jack Wilshere has been named the man of the match, and surprisingly for Arsenal fans, it has come while he was playing in the holding midfielder position.
The Gunners are used to seeing their young Englishman play in a more advanced role, more noted for his drive towards the penalty box to the ball than the more defensive midfield role that he seems to be particularly good at while playing for England.
Asked he would like to play in a similar position for Arsenal, he said, “Yes, but the formation we play at Arsenal is a bit different. I wouldn’t mind playing it at Arsenal and I’ve already spoken to the manager about it, and he doesn’t see me playing that role just yet.
“I enjoy my role for Arsenal as well because I can get a bit further forward, but I wouldn’t mind to play the holding role for Arsenal. That’s the manager’s decision. At the moment, I think Arteta is injured and Flamini is playing that role. It’s down to him. If he wants me to play there, I’ll play it.”
When it was pointed out that his best performances for England have come in that position, he agreed. “Yes, I’d probably say that. I’m really enjoying my new position.
“I’ve said before, after the first game in Switzerland, that I’d only get better and better. It was my first game ever playing in that role. The main thing is the coaches are getting their points across in terms of what they want me to do, not just over here but when we’re away from here. We’re working on it, because I don’t play that role for my club, but I am really enjoying it.”
However, it will be difficult to see him playing in a similar position Arsenal, considering Arsene Wenger prefers playing Mikel Arteta in that role. Even in the game against Swansea, he preferred a midfield of Ramsey, Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and asked Flamini to do the screening role.
But it would do a whole lot of good for Arsenal if Wenger took a leaf out of Roy Hodgson’s book and played Wilshere instead of Flamini. Jack has certainly more energy, and is intelligent on the ball as well. It will give Arsenal one more option on the ball without having to compromise on the defensive stability of the team.]
However, as Wilshere pointed out, Arsenal’s formation is a bit different from England’s, and it is also hard to see Wenger dropping his captain when he returns from injury in favour of Wilshere whom he sees as a more attack minded player.
It will be interesting to see how Jack’s career pans out, and if he can have the same impact as Ramsey has had last season. Arsenal definitely need someone other than Alexis Sanchez to step up, and fast!