Wenger: We didn’t push Wilshere out, he wanted to go

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With a midfield crisis to deal with as we head into tomorrow’s Premier League showdown with Chelsea, it’s understandable that Arsene Wenger was asked about Jack Wilshere at his press conference today.

The England international would have been a very useful option right now, but the Arsenal manager said the club acceded to Wilshere’s demands to leave because of the competition he faced to get into the team.

The midfielder had previously said that not making the England squad was the catalyst for his departure, but Wenger seemed to suggest the fact the Arsenal midfield was replete with options was a key part of the 24 year old’s decision making.

Asked if he could do with him at the moment, Wenger said, “Yes, but I would like to reiterate that we didn’t push him out – he wanted to go somewhere and play and I agreed with that.

“He wanted to go because of the level of competitive players we have in midfield.”

I suppose we could, you know, have told him to shut his mouth, get his head down and work hard, but that’s by the by at this point.

It looks as if Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be the duo deployed at Stamford Bridge, beyond changing the formation to play three in there and pushing Mesut Ozil into one of the wide positions.

It would be a bold, and unexpected move to change the system for such a big game, but maybe those are the things that you have to try for a game we really need to win – and for one we definitely can’t lose.

Listen to more midfield chat, Wenger’s future & more on today’s Arsecast

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Oberon

I don’t see the benefit of putting Ozil wide, and playing with essentially two out an out defensive options (Coq and another) may well end up with us getting battered as wouldn’t be able to keep the ball. Didn’t City change their formation to try compensate and end up with egg on their faces?

PFo

If Alexis rather than Giroud is in the middle, Ozil, wouldn’t have to stay wide. He’d be free to interchange and find space (not unlike the way Hazard plays for Chelsea). Also, the extra midfielder wouldn’t have to be a Coquelin clone, and anyway, we don’t have anyone available like that. If we had Coquelin, the Ox, and one of Maitland-Niles, Jeff, or (the obvious choice, I think) Iwobi playing in a midfield three (roughly the way the midfield played about Southampton), that would help us keep the ball, break the press, and transition up the field (though it’s not… Read more »

Clive St Helmet

Sorry, accidentally downvoted you, add a green tick and subtract a red cross! I think Wenger will stick with the 4-2-3-1, playing Ox and Coq together. I think Iwobi, Walcott and Giroud will be on the bench, he’ll play Sanchez up top with Welbeck and possibly Perez wide, which doesn’t really matter as all three are basically interchangeable. Ozil is the conundrum; I think Wenger will expect Chelsea to have most of the possession and will want to press high up the pitch, with fast players capable of quick transitions and Ozil is not a presser, although he’s not slow… Read more »

Gooooooooooooooooona

I think the decision to let wilshere go on loan this season was the right one, as we have way too many players in his position to be in the situation we’re in right now, thus couldn’t guarantee the game time he needed to get back to match fitness without the pressure to deliver. I also respect Wenger for honouring that it was a season long loan. However, if he isn’t willing to come back in the summer and fight for his place then quite frankly he can go and fuck himself. The club and the fans have been way… Read more »

Clive St Helmet

We can’t really speculate what Wilshire is likely to do when his loan ends.

Personally, I think he can still be an important player for Arsenal, and I think that getting a positive, injury free season under his belt could be good for all parties. I’m optimistic that he’ll return and be an integral part of our midfield for many years to come.

Ben

Wenger has lost the plot
Can anybody explain why he played Gabriel at right back v Watford ?
He is crap at his own central defensive position
Wenger done well for us but please please please its time to go
There is not another so called big club anywhere in Europe that would still have him as manager
We need at least 5 quality signings & a new goalkeeper
Everybody can see it accept Wenger and the Arsenal board
We are now the laughing stock of European Club fooball

Ozil's left foot

What was stupid is not having the option to recall.

Now I know for sure there is no sell on clause in Gnabry’s release. The rot at Arsenal is not Wenger’s fault, he is by my estimate the reason we are still relevant. The management seems to be so real issue. #KroenkeOut

Gooooooooooooooooona

I understand your frustration. But why would a club want to spend so much money on a quality player with an astonishing injury record. Put the effort into finding the right routine for him to slowly ease him in, finally get him to be match fit and deliver only for us to take him back. Chelsea calling back Ake isn’t the same as calling back Jack wilshere. One is an un established youth player that is kind of a gamble, while the other is an established England international and Arsenal’s number 10. You can’t compare the two cases. Plus so… Read more »

Clive

Comment:Bring back Jack now!!

Chris

‘He wanted to go’ is not the way I would of expected this to be phrased. ‘He wanted to challenge himself/Knew he needed gametime/etc’ – something to that effect, I would understand. There doesn’t appear to be any attempt on Arsene’s behalf to belittle Jack’s intentions.

Patrik Ljungberg

“Would have”

Efosa Gideon

Chamberlain is a better midfield option than the others for a match we need to attack and defend effectively.

He can sit in defending, but has that surprise burst of speed through the centre that can unsettle Chelsea. The only challenge is the 3rd central midfielder being Ozil is not physical enough to cushion the team. Leaves us with Iwobi, with Ozil playing a bit to the wings in attack.

Dajeff

If he returns an improved player, I don’t think we will be hearing too much complaints.
I love your work Blogs, I really do, but wou do have some pet peeves at times… Wilshere’s departure being a common theme. What if it was the right decision ? I’d say: had Wilshere stayed, he would perhaps be short of game time and have had a start stop kind of season. We don’t know. Let’s look forwards, not backwards, with all due respect.

Sane

But would he have played regularly, that is the problem. Sure he would have played some games here or there, but not enough to properly regain that sharpness in his play.

Anthony

Alternatively, he could have stayed as Blogs has said. Played his way back into the starting XI and cemented his place.

A match fit Jack Wilshere is an unstoppable option. But it’s down to him to prove that.

Doug

He hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire at Bournemouth though – 16 games with no goals and 1 assist. I realize he was never an out and out goal scorer for us, but he certainly hasn’t picked up “sharpness” and he’s play a lot

Matt P

He is another overrated and underperforming Arsenal player with an attitude. Having said that, even if he is not the greatest player, he would be useful right now

TheNicolau15

Sorry Blogs, sir, but I must say: I watched every Bournemouth game in the league because Wilshere is my favorite player, and I have to say, he was far from fit, real struggling in the first months and only started looking like his old-self in november. And it’s not like he’s destroying teams now, because he has only 1 assist and 0 goals to his name. If he had stayed, playing with sub-par performances, he would be our biggest source of haterism instead of Rambo. Also look, if he plays on saturday it’ll be the first time he plays twice… Read more »

Traveen Charleston

Look, Wilshere needed to play 30-35 games this season to not only reassure himself that he was physically capable of doing that, but also to mentally tide over the injury doubts. He was never going to do that with the level of competition for places at Arsenal this season. A few games here & there would have done him no good. So, going out on loan & playing regularly this season is eventually going to benefit himself & Arsenal in the near future.

Czar_Kyza

I say play Holding in that holding role alongside Le Coq….he’s got the calmness and the right attitude to do well there! I wonder why Kris the ‘BFP’ was sent on loan too, I believe this would’ve been a good time to try him out in his preferred CM/DM position regardless of his age! Supporting the manager and the lads to win tomorrow’s game 100%!!!

Czar_Kyza

I remember Chelsea using Luiz in that role in games where they needed his height and physique….Now I’m not by any means saying Holding should be deployed there permanently but in situation where we lack enforcers except for Coq,I’d love to see him do a job there blogs…. Chambers was tried there too and he did pretty ok but just couldn’t get enough game time there to garner the necessary experience!

Robhead

Yes but David Luiz isn’t your average centre back to be fair. He can pick a pass with the best of them.

Geefive

REEEEEEE-rrrrrr! REEEEEEE-rrrr! LOL

clins

when xhaka was red carded some people including me was concerned if ramsey will be injured then there will be no one except coqueline to play there . it just tells us , whatever is supposed to go wrong at arsenal will eventually go wrong. central midfield which the most compeitive position at arsenal is now short of specialized player. thank god ox came in and did a good job there

Gomera

Around this time a couple of seasons ago we “resorted” to using the Coq as a DM. I’d love to see our hand similarly forced to employ Toral in midfield.

poly

On loan at Rangers Jon Toral?

poly

Ox could have an opportunity to make the position his own he has never been able to hold down a regular position in the team (injuries haven’t helped). If he does well against Chelsea then surely Elneny won’t take his place and if he continues to do well Xhaka and Ramsey also will not. If it works out he is as close to a like for like to Santi we are likely to get.

An Ox-Sized Coq

Realistically Ramsey moving on would be best for both parties, and would push Wilshere further up the pecking order. But that’s for another conversation.

For Chelsea, I think we really need to play Alexis up top flanked by two of Iwobi, Walcott, or Welbeck.

Anthony

Why is Ramsey moving on good for both parties?

TeeSong

Two reasons. Firstly, I’m not a Ramsey hater and I think he could actually be a very good player for us, if he was more tactically disciplined. Which is the first reason why I’d rather see him leave. For some reason, since his breakout 2013-14 season, he’s been way too forward thinking in searching for goals. He breaks forward into the box like a forward in the early part of the buildup, leaving us way too exposed for counters. As a midfielder, he needs to be much more circumspect in his forward runs. Especially now with the options we have… Read more »

Arsepedant

Because, sadly, Ramsey has never replicated the form he showed before his first massive injury. He came close that one time about three seasons ago, then suffered another massive injury. Nowadays, he just doesn’t seem to fit into the team at all. I think we should move him on in the summer.

GOON

Ramsey is a more mobile player than Wilshere. I’m not sure we have seen enough of Wilshere to say for sure he is better than Ramsey. A shame Wilshere didn’t stay because a Wilshere Xhaka midfield combo would have been interesting to see. Wilshere has claimed he wants to play in a Pirlo-esque role but I just can’t see him exceed there. Anyone been watching Bournemouth games? Does Wilshere make a big difference to the side? Ramseys performance in the Euros was awesome and you don’t simply sell a player like that.

Granit(e) hard!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I for one would prefer playing one of our talented youngsters, rather than playing one of our regulars out of position. We have plenty of ‘ready’ talented youngsters and maybe its time to throw one of them in, ……..yes, i know, this is a must win match, but ain’t they all?

Plus, who knows, they might rise to the challenge, remember, we wouldn’t have a Bellerin or Coquelin now if we didn’t give them that chance.

badaab

What I get from reading this is that jack is a spoilt child and didn’t want to work har for his place. If that’s the whole story, he can go on a permanent basis.

BODMAS

for me,I won’t take Jack back because he was only interested in the national team. who knows if he stays he won’t have be injured already. Stop this bring Jack back stuff… Am putting 200€ for Arsenal to win…COYG

SB

The bit I liked in this article was was the caption for the pic. Nice work!

santori

Absolutely.

Hard to do anything if the player wants to leave for more assured time on the pitch.

But we really could have done with him. Seem one player short in midfield. I’d personally prefer jack to Elneny if given the choice.

Arsesupport

Jack has always struggled to play a full season and I don’t see that changing if he had stayed, but it’s interesting that he’s getting a load of games under his belt now! Hopefully he comes back to us next season with a hole season under his belt.

Robhead

Or just a hole in his belt.

chippy's chip

Love our superjack. Hope he comes back injury free and fighting fit for next season and hopefully leading the songs on the bus and balcony again but with a bigger feckin trophy.

Stillmatic

Blogs you’re half right, and I suspect you know it, but don’t want to admit the other truth… You know a midfield centre 3 makes sense for this Arsenal team. Many have said it for a while now and Saturday showed it. We need a midfield 3. This 2 man CM is leaving us exposed and has been so for 2 seasons now. The problem is the forward 3 also need to be fast moving and hard working. And you know Ozil doesn’t fit that description. Him in the left will leave our LW exposed. The truth blogs, is that… Read more »

Alex

Oh, yes, Özil is slow and doesn’t work. At first, why guys like Wenger, Löw and Mourinho admire him, this is a mystery. Why a guy like Ronaldo was sad to see him leave is another one (mystery).

Stillmatic

What an odd justification? Why Ronaldo was sad to see him go? Why were Madrid ready to sell? I know saying such a thing is paramount to treason here. I’m not saying Ozil is lazy, but whether people want to admit it or not, for his strengths and vision, he isn’t a big factor why we now function with 2 in midfield and regularly get run no over. Coquelin’s importance is due to Ozil. Ozil is effectively a forward, not really a midfielder. ITs why Wenger himself tried a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 with jack and Ramsey and Ozil on LW (Lowe plays… Read more »

Robhead

Madrid don’t because they rely on the brilliance of their front three to magic up their own goals. That’s not going to happen with our front 3.

Barca kind of do, it’s Iniesta and again have a magic front 3.

Atletico play 442

City are shit. And Pep is a shambles.

DB10**

Iwobi is a great player in the making. He however tires after an hour and thats when mistakes happen in his game.
Expect some tough tackling on our creative players. At least one of whom quickly goes into his shell and goes through the motions.