Allardyce: Steven Gerrard should be an 'inspiration' for Jack Wilshere

The West Ham boss feels the Arsenal midfielder can learn from the Liverpool captain.

Sam Allardyce believes Steven Gerrard should serve as 'an example and inspiration' for Jack Wilshere.

Arsenal midfielder Wilshere has received criticism for his recent displays and West Ham United boss Allardyce feels the critics have been harsh.

The 22-year-old has recently been deployed as a holding midfielder for the English national team and Allardyce feels it will take time for Wilshere to make that role his own.

But the Hammers boss thinks the Arsenal man can learn from Liverpool captain Gerrard when it comes to changing into a new position.

Gerrard was once played as supporting striker by Rafa Benitez, with the Reds skipper even playing as a false nine in the Champions League final in 2007 - but is now a holding midfielder.

"Steven Gerrard should be an example and inspiration for Jack Wilshere," Allardyce wrote in his column for the London Evening Standard.

"The criticism aimed at Jack recently was unfair. Whether he makes that holding position in England’s midfield his own, it has to be recognised it’s difficult - too difficult for some - to change the way you play, especially early in a career.

"It can be done, though, and Gerrard, who we’ll face tomorrow, is the proof.

"Steven should be applauded for so many reasons, not least the way he changed positions. It is a fantastic achievement for any player at that level to re-adjust their game to lengthen and maximise their career."

West Ham face Gerrard's Liverpool side at Upton Park tomorrow, with Brendan Rodgers' men having won twice and lost twice before their visit to the capital.

Last season, the Reds left the Hammers with a 2-1 win, although a Gerrard penalty was needed to secure victory after Rodgers was forced to revert to the diamond formation during what proved to be an extremely tough fixture.

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