2 away games. 2 wins. 2 clean sheets. No Jack Wilshere.
One short sentence packed with inference.
The return of Jack was heralded from high. Every red-top, every media outlet hailed the return of Arsenal’s midfield Napoleon, but what wasn’t considered was how he would affect the balance and organisation of the team.
To be clear from the outset of this post, I am a huge admirer of Wilshere, he is the best English player I have seen since Mad Gazza and Perry Groves, but in my opinion Arsenal have yet to find out where and how he should play. Wilshere can single-handedly change a game; he can lift the tempo, slow the game, move the ball at pace, pass accurately and ingeniously , beat a player with the drop of a shoulder and slalom upfield. He can tackle as well as a DM, he has remarkable balance and we know from his youth (!!) he can score from distance.but …..
How many clean sheets have we had since JW returned? Just 5 from 26 games. And before? 4 from 12. (BR is awful with stats so if this is wrong…. sorry )
Now, it would be very simplistic to point to JW as the reason for our defensive frailties, he is just one cog in the machine, but the fact is we look more secure without him.
It appears that Arteta works better as a screening defensive midfielder when playing with Ramsey or Diaby than with Wilshere.
Could AW’s return to 4-4-2 be a nod to the problems raised by Jack’s inclusion?
Against Swansea Cazorla played in, what for me, is his best position, in the hole behind Giroud. We don’t need to see Santi defending around our penalty area – he needs to influence the game in attacking areas. With Ox playing deeper on the left and Diaby on the right there was better balance to the team. Was it because JW was absent?
Can and should Mr Wenger and his successor build The Arsenal around Jack, and if so, how? Because it seems to me that if we are to build a team around one player then it has to be Cazorla. He is the nearest to Cesc in the PL.
Jack’s youth and inexperience has to be factored in – time will show where he works best, when fit he just has to play. How else does he get experience?
Before you cyber-beat me up, this post is designed to question how we integrate England’s best prospect. At the moment I do not believe AW is getting the best from him.
This “injury” over the Interlull has come at a good time in Wilshere’s Arsenal career – it allows him to reflect upon his season’s work and how he can function best within the team. Furthermore, it will make Mr Wenger assess why the defence appears to be better without JW on the pitch.
I said “your man” …. you numpty
“2 clean sheets doth not a defence make” (Shakespeare. Taming of the Shrew). There is an improvement but it could equally be improved communication, the inclusion of Jenks or even (and most likely) the bounce of the ball. I realise that to blame Wilshere is simplistic but maybe ……
So, where do you think JW fits into the team, and who plays alongside him?
Written by Big Raddy