Jack Wilshere has been a part of the Arsenal first team squad for several seasons now, and the midfielder has never failed to impress in his outings. But the Englishman has struggled with fitness problems, and seems to spend more time on the sidelines than on the pitch itself.
However, a good season last year saw him net five goals, the highest he has ever managed in a single season. And he has also started this season very well, with several promising performances, especially the ones against Chelsea and Manchester City. In the Chelsea game in particular, he was the only Arsenal player who seemed to really be up to the task, and against Manchester City he found the net with a nice finish.
In the aftermath of those games, Wilshere spoke to arsenal.com and said that he was finally feeling like he was achieveing what he is capable of. Similarly, Arsenal’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has backed up his teammate, saying that Wilshere is close to becoming the complete midfielder.
He has done well.
Obviously there is a lot of competition for his spot because you have Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey, plus Mikel and Mathieu playing that bit deeper.
So it’s hard for him but every time he has come in and got his chance he has done very well. He got a good goal against Man City – I’m not sure he meant that! – but I’m very happy with him.
Both the comments of Szczesny and the displays we have seen from Wilshere make one thing clear. He is not an out-and-out attacking midfielder, he simply does not find the net often enough. Cazorla, Ozil and even Ramsey are better at that role than he is. Neither is he a defensive midfielder, he loves to get forward and is not as defensive minded as Flamini or even Arteta. He is a pure central midfielder, who acts as an orchestrator but not a finisher, who sits behind the front line and feeds them, but does not get in front of goal himself.
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This type of player is somewhat of a rarity these days, and most teams seem to have no place for such a player. In the England setup, he is played as a DM and in Arsenal, he slots into whatever position Wenger chooses to play him in. But this way we are not utilising the midfielder’s full potential. By giving him that traditional CM position, we should be able to see more performances like his game against Chelsea. But whether Wenger will ever choose to do so remains a big question mark.