Arsenal midfielder needs to shape up or risk getting dropped

Jack Wilshere's latest suspension raises questions about his attitude at a time when his form has been well below par.

A two-game suspension for a key midfielder is the last thing a manager needs ahead of a crucial Premier League game.

Yet that is exactly the plight Arsene Wenger faces ahead of Arsenal's clash with Chelsea on Monday, with Jack Wilshere having been ruled out for two games after the FA punished him retrospectively.

What for? Not for a heat-of-the-moment, lunging tackle that might have won his side possession. No, Wilshere instead chose to make a rude gesture to fans while his side were losing against Manchester City. Brilliant sportsmanship.

This isn't the first time Wilshere's attitude has been questioned this season, either. The 21-year-old was caught smoking a cigarette earlier in the campaign and promised his manager he would sort himself out thereafter.

His antics against City were probably not the sorting out Wenger would have hoped for.

And all this, of course, comes at a time when Wilshere is hardly setting the world on fire with his form.

In October, the Arsenal midfielder scored one of the goals of the season against Norwich - but little has been seen of him since.

In 15 Premier League appearances, Wilshere has just two goals and one assist to his name, with a passing accuracy that is lower than that of his team-mates. The 21-year-old's stands at 85% in the league, below Mesut Ozil's, Mikel Arteta's, Aaron Ramsey's and Santi Cazorla's.

That is not to mention the goals and assists Ozil and Ramsey have contributed for the Gunners this season.

No, Wilshere's form makes him a prime candidate for the drop. Just what does he offer that other Arsenal midfielders don't?

Indeed, when the chips are down, Wilshere will have to do better than making rude gestures - or his place in the Arsenal team could be at stake.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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