Central midfielder likes playing in central midfield

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Jack Wilshere, a player who has made his reputation playing in the centre of midfield, says he likes playing in the centre of midfield.

The central midfielder, who didn’t get a chance to play in the centre of midfield for Arsenal following his late-season return from injury, played in the centre of midfield for England against Turkey at the weekend. He says he liked having the opportunity to play in the centre of midfield.

“With Arsenal I’ve been playing out wide, which is not me,” said Wilshere after he played in the centre of midfield.

“I’m not a wide man, but Roy seems to have faith in me in the middle, so I’m happy with that. I like to play anywhere in the middle.

“I played the holding role before and I really enjoy that, and, this time [against Turkey] I was a bit higher up the pitch and I enjoyed that as well.

“I’ve worked with Roy now and his staff for a number of years and they know what I bring [to the centre of midfield] and I know what they want from me as well [in the centre of midfield].”

We get the hint, Jack.

The 24-year-old also stressed that he’s ready for the physical challenge of playing regular football should he be confirmed in England’s squad for Euro 2016.

The central midfielder, who was sidelined between August and March, is part of the provisional 26-man squad but knows three names will be culled for the Three Lions head to France.

“You always have those days when you are in the gym where you think you’re not going to get back, but the thing that kept me going was I know what it takes to get back and I always had time on my side so I was confident,” continued Wilshere.

“I remember my first training session back, which was eight weeks ago, and ever since then I’ve just been trying to work, get better and get fitter each day.

“The most important thing for me now is to get games [presumably in the centre of midfield] and to get that match sharpness.

“I know what it’s like coming back from injury and with every game I’ll feel better.”

Watch Hodgson play him out wide in the next game.

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George
George

I like what I’ve seen from Jack when playing a little wider. That’s not to say he’s the world-class wide player we’re looking for, but as someone who is very good with the ball at his feet and likes to advance with it, and a good burst of pace too, playing him out wide allows him a little more freedom. When moves break down (which they inevitably will at times), it’s not as catastrophic as giving away in the centre of the park, and if it can also help cull some of those double-sandwich, injury inducing tackles he seems to always be the victim of when playing centrally, then why not try him out there?

Aaron Ramsey regularly played out wide for the best part of two seasons, and while he bitched and moaned about it a lot (still does sometimes), there’s no doubting it made him a more complete player, with the result being THAT 2013/14 season. Plus, with El-Neny, Xhaka, Cazorla, Coquelin, and Ramsey all vying for those two deep-lying central places, the more attack-minded Wilshere might actually have more luck taking that vacant spot on the flank that is currently contested between Walcott, Campbell, Iwobi, and Oxlade-Chamberlain, which none of them have made their own.

Bob Davis

Great to see him playing again. I hope he has a great World Cup. Perhaps he’ll get his wish and play in the middle for us if things go well for him. He’s got that fighting spirit you need in the middle to win games!

Towelie
Towelie

You know it is not World Cup this summer, right?

JB
JB

I totally spotted that before you mentioned it. Totally.

Bob Davis

Sorry I meant Euros. Multitasking not a good idea sometimes!

Stewart Robson's therapist
Stewart Robson's therapist

Wilshere has always struck me as the natural successor to Santi Cazorla in that deep-lying playmaker role. With added tenacity.

It would mean pushing Ramsey wide on a long-term basis, but I’m more relaxed about that than most. We’ve historically had players like Ljungberg and Parlour in wide positions – they weren’t natural wide players, far from it, but our style of play made it work. Ramsey could be the latest in that tradition.

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

Sanchez currently plays on the wide right, and is much better there (gives him more options rather than just cut in to his right foot as he does on the left), and I see no need to sacrifice that just to fit Ramsey into the starting 11 (and then hear him moan endlessly about how he doesn’t want to play on the wing).

As for Jack? Tbf he has been playing wide left recently. Isn’t that where the physio suite is? Wide left off the training ground?

Stewart Robson's therapist
Stewart Robson's therapist

Hilarious. Football must be the only context in the world where it is apparently morally acceptable to laugh at someone for getting their leg broken.

I honestly wonder whether it’s worth trying Ramsey wide left a la Pires, because I also prefer Alexis when he plays on the right.

Third Plebeian
Third Plebeian

Calm down.

Third Plebeian
Third Plebeian

*clam

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

You must be a hoot at the Christmas party.

I’ve also got a Paralympic friend who has no legs. Makes jokes about it all the time.

Pales in comparison to Jack having a hairline fracture in his ankle, so how about you stop being so serious.

Le Jim
Le Jim

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he play centrally in all three games he played for us last season?

Simon
Simon

Twice in middle, once on right. I suspect he’s aware something is up with Xhaka coming in for a lot if money as a nailed down central midfielder. He should lay off the complaining in case we buy Mahrez and then he’ll be discussing how he’ll play ‘wherever the manager want me for the good of the team’… Personally think he and Xhaka might be get a lot of games together in the middle.

Come2Ceboue
Come2Ceboue

So he prefers playing out wide or? I wish this article would specify clearly his preference in regards to his positioning on the pitch.

Lucas Northbank
Lucas Northbank

Would seem he wants to play in central midfield. Unless I am reading this wrong.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

According to the player ratings on the BBC sport website Jack got a 6 playing in central midfield against Turkey so they don’t seem to think he played that well in central midfield.

Personally I think their ratings are complete bollocks. They gave Delle Alli an 8 out of 10. Is it just me that doesn’t see what all the fuss is about?

They also gave Harry Kane a 9 for slowing the game down every time the ball came to him, shooting from anywhere instead of passing to players in better positions and missing a penalty (but I guess he scored a goal from an offside position so that makes up for his general shitness).

What do I know?

Woolwich Peripatetic
Woolwich Peripatetic

I’d be concerned with the number of Spurs players in the England squad at the moment that it’ll end in calamity.
Something like losing the final 4-3 having gone 3-0 up in the first half.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Well to be fair the opposing manager’s team talk would be easy:

“It’s Tottenham (players)”

Le Jim
Le Jim

…or maybe even losing 5-1 to a team who didn’t even qualify, somehow?

assistantref
assistantref

Beaten 5-1 in the last group stage match by a team that’s already eliminated?

Gooneron
Gooneron

Sounds very familiar

Fletcher
Fletcher

Does that mean he is a central midfielder or he wants to play in the central midfield as a central midfielder. ..I am confused.

Revamp
Revamp

Wilshere wants to play in the middle, Ramsey also wants to play in the middle… Well it’s simple Jack. First of all u have to prove your fitness that is very important, you can’t be playing two games in a season and expect to dictate the tempo of our play.. Secondly when given the chance you have to prove the manager wrong. Fortunately, now we have lots of options in the middle so everyone will have to work VERY HARD to earn that position.

JB
JB

Honestly it’s pretty hard supporting England right now with so many sp**s players all over the pitch and Vardy falling to the floor at any opportunity – I actually cheered when Kane missed the penalty.

It’ll probably be different in matches that matter but is anyone else having this problem?

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Yep. The 2 full-backs are complete C U next Tuesday’s as well.

In fact, the only one of the Spurs players I don’t mind is the open-mouthed one. He seems like a nice enough fella, if a little dim.

A Different George
A Different George

It amazed me that Vardy, with a real chance to score, preferred to veer into the defender’s leg and dive for a penalty–in a friendly! Oh, Jon Moss, we miss you.

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

I have the luxury of being English/Welsh mixed so I’m totally supporting Wales to not have to cheer quite so fully for actual mouthbreathers like Harry Kane and c*nts like Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Jamie Vardy, Joe Dandruff, Wayne Rooney…
not that I think Wales or England will have a hope in hell of winning the tournament given Germany have a crazily strong squad, Spain are able to leave out Cazorla, Costa, Monreal etc who would walk into the England side, Belgium have a wealth of good players, France have a stronger squad than England (although I’m not convinced by their midfield options apart from Pogba) and so on.

Boyd
Boyd

Perhaps Wheelchair needs to concentrate on adding some strength and tenacity to his glass ankles before trying to be ”picky” about where he prefers to play. I doubt if he will last the EUROs.

arseblog
Admin

Wheelchair, hahahahaha … nobody has ever pointed out the similarity of his name with wheelchair before and it’s funny because he’s injured a lot.

Dude, you’re a riot!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Deep breaths, blogs.

angel goon
angel goon

You must not live in london then. That’s what all the scum’s fans call him.

Bosscielny
Bosscielny

Sarcasm isn’t your strong suit, is it?

Mpls
Mpls

I didn’t know shit could talk.

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

Don’t you think you’re being S tad hypocritical though?
I mean on the last blog, you made a joke about Jose gouging Vilanova’s eyes and then he died and saying you would be worried if he got close to Arteta’s eyes if he becomes an assistant to Guardiola.

I of course didn’t go running to Twitter to moan about it, but I thought that was very distasteful, so to take the high horse on “Jack Wheelchair” is a bit uppity.

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

Not blog, podcast.

arseblog
Admin

I wasn’t ‘taking the high horse’. I was making a small joke.

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

The difference is that Jack Wilshere didn’t gouge someone’s eyes because he’s not a massive c*nt like Mourinho. The joke made in the podcast was at Mourinho’s expense not Vilanova’s, thus it wasn’t particularly distasteful.
Making a joke about Wilshere for basically being unfortunate (although it could be partly due to his constant winding up of Sp*rs fans) is far more distasteful.

Eric
Eric

What a hack! You killed this one.

Goonertown
Goonertown

Such a talent, wherever he plays. I believe strongly that if he can stay fit he will become the best midfielder in the premier league. Although that is a gigantic “if”. I hate to say it but I think the likelihood of Jack being able to contribute anything significant to Arsenal is very low. It’s a bonus if he is fit, the team cannot be built around him.

Knight
Knight

He can stay fit if he adjusts his style of play. At present he just invites too many unnecessary challenges.He need to keep things simple and tidy.

Flashmob
Flashmob

With the squad-depth we have, I think there is a good chance that a couple of players will not be satisfied with the game-time he will have next season. Next to rotation I think it would be nice to see different formations as well (so our probably most used players (Özil, Alexis, Santi, Xhaka?) can rest a bit and the others can stay in form). For example in a 4-3-3 formation like this:
————— Someone ————–
Welbz ————————- The Ox
— Ramsey —-Coq —- Wilshere —

or…

————— Welbeck————-
Iwobi ———————- The Ox
— Ramsey —-Coq —- Wilshere —

Chamakh
Chamakh

You know welbeck is out for 9 months?

Flashmob
Flashmob

OK – you’re right, but the emphasis is on the middle!
6 player (that are used to play constantly) for 3 places
(Santi, Ramsey, Xhaka, Coq, Elneny, Wilshere)

In my opinin Wenger will have to come up with some good ideas, otherwise there will easily (and quickly) be a couple of discontent faces…

Moreover: with Conte, and Guardiola in the PL – I think it is possible that we will have to show some flexibilty (and creativity) next season as far as our formation(s) concern.

Boyd
Boyd

True JB, I for one struggled to watch the friendly against Turkey….so many Spuds players wearing white made my bowels grumble…I went to the toilet three times and was never anxious to hurry back to watch the match. The team stinks and Dale Ali is over rated big time!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Dale Ali = autocorrect?

Alex
Alex

Wilshere played as n°10 at the start of last season with Özil on the left and it was a catastrophe. Everybody was blaming Özil but when Özil played n°10 again against Villa and Gala, Arsenal shone again. Back to JW as n°10, back to medocrity. It’s fact: if this guy wants to play AM, then it’s over for the team. DM? Then what about Elneny, Xhaka, Coquelin?
This guy should start on the bench until he realises that the team is bigger than his ego. Same for Ramsey.

Chamakh
Chamakh

If I remember correctly it was more like a 3-man midfield with one DM (Arteta?) and Ramsey and Wilshere as CM, at least against City.
———–DM———–
—-Ramsey—Wilshere
Ozil———————Alexis
———–Giroud—————
However it didn’t seem to work too well must admit.

Mpls
Mpls

Ramsey and Wilshere have never really worked together in the center regardless of the formation.

I remember the disastrous ‘double-pivot’ attempt with those two. Neither disciplined enough to hang back when the other went forward.

Flashmob
Flashmob

As I remember Ramsey and Wilshere hardly played together so far, so I think it is still too soon to form a judgment about this…

By the way:
I would be very interested in how they can play next to each other so if I’m wrong and anybody can name 2 or 3 games when they played togerher in midfield I would be thankful for that…

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

Yeah that’s great and all that but we’ve got a thousand midfielders to squabble over where they like to play….more importantly, any sign of that striker we desperately need or we’ve got no chance of winning the title?

Mark
Mark

What is it with British players and their obsession with playing in the middle? We’ve spent five years listening to Walcott whine about how he needs to be a striker, now we’ve got Ramsey and Wilshere moaning about how they need to be central midfielders. Wilshere has been living off one good night against Barcelona for five years, the only thing these three should be arguing about is who gets to sit centrally on the bench.

Stewart Robson's therapist
Stewart Robson's therapist

Maybe they talk about playing centrally because they’re answering questions about playing centrally.

Mark
Mark

All he needs to say is “I’m happy to play wherever I’m asked to.” I know that Wilshere isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don’t think that’s too difficult. Given that his biggest contribution to Arsenal over the past three years has been getting pissed at the FA Cup victory parade and singing some songs about Spurs, I think he can keep his positional demands to himself for the moment.

Trez
Trez

I hope to God wenger doesn’t switch to a 4-1-4-1 with Ozil on the left just because Wilshere has a problem playing on the wing. Till he can play 15 games without getting injured, he needs to stay modest and learn from the world class santi and Ozil.
Come to think of it, a 4-3-3 with Xhaka, Santi/Elneny,and Wilshere/Ramsey with Ozil as rw/lw would be a good alternative. But Ozil is the best number 10 in the world. You build a team to accommodate him, not Wilshere.

NewSeason
NewSeason

If Hodgson plays him out wide, watch Jack give him the “middle” finger.

Paul
Paul

I am always sceptical about stories of where players want to play. I am not believing this one until his preferred position is announced on Arsenal.com or until he gets injured in central midfield after a long run of internationals and club games and some friendlies in central midfield.
🙂

B
B

Nothing special about that. I know atleast 4 or 5 central midfielders around the world who likes to play in the centre of midfield.

Mark
Mark

As others have said there is going to be a ton of competition for the two deep lying spots in the center of the midfield with Carzola, Elneny, Ramsy, Xhaka, Coquelin and Wilshere (in no particular order). Of those six Ramsey and Wilshere are the most capable out wide and will have to get over the “I want to play in the middle” bit if they want consistent game time. I don’t see a 35 million (or whatever the fee is) player riding the bench and Carzola clearly is a favorite to play alongside him if healthy given his track record there. Playing wide allows Wilshere and Ramsey to have more freedom of movement in the attack and both will often come into the middle while Ozil drifts wide. They both have good workrates and the defensive responsibilities shouldn’t be an issue for them.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

C A Z O R L A

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

Thumb down for not knowing how to spell “Cazorla”. Smeg’s sakes, he’s only been with the team for what, three years? How long does it take you to learn a simple seven-letter word?

Sean
Sean

When reading these comments, let’s also keep in mind Wilshere’s not allowed to say that it’s understandable he gets selected in the middle more often for England because Henderson and Barkley are complete horse shit compared to Santi and Ozil.

Alexstratz
Alexstratz

“With Arsenal I’ve been playing”, stopped reading there.

Scott P
Scott P

Bit harsh

Putney S.
Putney S.

It is a bit puzzling to me that Wilshere is considered a wide player by Wenger after really stellar performances in the national team for the Euro qualifiers (being named MOTM several times unless I’m mistaken). The only thing that seems logical is that he has been so injury prone that Wenger has not been able to rely on him, thus not willing to give a core position to him. It’s clear to that Wenger likes playing a central midfield of Cazorla and Coquelin with Ozil in front of them. I think that Wilshere has the qualities to play in either Cazorla or Ozil’s position but he’s simply not been fit enough to take that place. If he does have a good Euros and come back to the season in good shape, then there is no reason why we couldn’t see a midfield of Wilshere and Xhaka with Ozil in front of them. With Alexis and Ramsey on the wings, I think that’s probably out best team. There is no doubt to me that Wilshere is world class, only his injuries are holding him back.

Mpls
Mpls

Wenger doesn’t consider him a wide player, he just puts him out there to get him game time when he’s fit and he also does that with central players at times to hone their use of space.

With the more reliable and recently established middle players we have and are adding Jack just might have to eat what’s been put in front of him for a bit until there is an opening.

Chris
Chris

Meanwhile…
Frimpong: I want to be a fire engine!

Mpls
Mpls

B E E E E N N C H!
Frimmy always got his d’s and b’s mixed up.

santori
santori

Jack should play in the link role next to the DM.

Santi of course partners very well with Coquelin.

Jack needs to find similar understanding with Coquelin and (should he come in) Granit.

I think Jack and Santi are the top choices in this role particularly because they can not only hold the ball but both can waltz through a player or two as well giving us a vertical dimension where Ramsey and Elenny tend to be more pass and move and get stuck going sideways in traffic.

Ramsey IMO should play further up in lieu of Ozil when opportunity presents. He is better timing himself into the box and finishing. His flick goal was IMO the best goal last season.

Elneny to me is a utility man who provides energy and hardwork. His other asset of course is shooting from range.

I would keep Flamini for another season in case as he can cover Rback as insurance should Chambers get the nod. but also would be content with sitting in the bench and coming on if necessary.

Zelalem is the other player who should be under consideration in a link/deep lying role. He has been excellent for Rangers and the school of hard knocks second division Scottish league.

70's
70's

By the way. Sp*rs – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JamesTurnipBaker
JamesTurnipBaker

It’s all true. Too bad about the porcelain ankles.