Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has praised Jack Wilshere for playing out of position in the last couple of games, and feels he will benefit from playing a different role.
The Gunners are light on left wing options at present with the likes of Lukas Podokski, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky out injured, and with Aaron Ramsey in exceptional form in the middle, Wilshere has shifted out of position onto the left.
On the left side of midfield he is given more of a licence to roam forward and float inside regularly like Cazorla, switching with Ozil occasions. Wenger knows this is not his best position but is thrilled with Wilshere’s attitude to help the squad by playing out of his favoured position.
Wenger told Arsenal Player:
Jack is always ready to sacrifice himself for the team and that is absolutely fantastic.
It [the left flank] is not his best position, we all know that. But he has a lot of freedom to move inside and he plays a little bit in the Cazorla role. He does that well.
I think he will benefit from that transitional period there and physically he will become much stronger. He needs that.
Overall, he is very disciplined as well. He can do the physical job on the flanks. It’s the hardest job today in the modern game and he does that very well. I’m very pleased with his performances.
Wilshere has received plenty of criticism from the English press recently after some sloppy performances something that is not usually associated with his slick passing game. He has been under an enormous amount of pressure, and thankfully the likes of Ozil and Ramsey can take away some of the creative burden in the meantime.
Wilshere will take some time to regain his full fitness and sharpness after such lengthy, inconsistent spells on the sidelines that has prevented the Englishman from playing regularly over the past couple seasons. Ramsey is living proof of what confidence and regular game time can produce, we can expect Jack to have the same impact in due time.
Another positive with Wilshere occupying the left flank is the space he creates for Kieran Gibbs to exploit. The left back has been in fantastic form of late and will continue to venture forward and attack when possible.
The Gunners are playing some fantastic football at present with so many ball-playing midfielders on the pitch, now they face a tough task this weekend – dissecting the resilient Stoke defence. With so many creative players at Wenger’s disposal, the Potters should be a walk over at Emirates.
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