Quick links


Spurs legend: Wilshere cannot play this position and Wenger knows it

Several footballing legends of yesteryear agreed that the Arsenal midfielder is not suited in this midfield role.

Before the game against San Marino, the ITV studio were asked whether it was better to play Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in a more advanced midfield position than he occupied against Switzerland.

Given how Arsenal have been crying out for a top class holding midfielder, it is telling that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hasn't tried Wilshere in that defensive role.

"Jack's game is about getting the ball down and beating people, not spreading passes from deep," former England manager Glenn Hoddle said.

Ex Arsenal stars Lee Dixon and Ian Wright also agreed that Wilshere has looked better for Arsenal in a more advanced position on the left of a midfield three and that "Wenger knows" that is his best position. 

Having started the game in the more advanced role, Wilshere actually went on to feature from the base of the diamond in the second half, and enjoyed a much stronger performance from that position than he managed in the first 45 minutes, even winning the man-of-the-match award from commentator Andy Townsend.

The Arsenal midfielder controlled the game comfortably from deep, and caught the eye with a couple of wonderful looping balls to Wayne Rooney that as Glenn Hoddle pointed out, "took out the whole team with one pass."

However, Wright, Dixon and the former England manager all agreed that Wilshere enjoyed the game from that position because there was so little pressure and defensive responsibility for the 22-year-old to worry about. In their eyes he had the time to pick such wonderful passes against a team as tired and defensively susceptible as San Marino.

Given that Roy Hodgson may feel Wilshere's game improved when he moved him to that defensive midfield role, it may be that England supporters see the Gunner take up a similar position in what will surely be a tougher game against Estonia in Tallinn on Sunday.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch