Emery: Tactical, technical reasons behind Wilshere departure


Unai Emery has confirmed that Jack Wilshere took the decision to leave Arsenal after a conversation about the future tactical direction of the team.

Wilshere had been offered a contract extension by the Gunners, albeit on highly incentivised terms, but ultimately, fears about a lack of playing time were enough for him to call time on his 17-year association with the club.

Last week, the England international moved to West Ham on a three-year deal, while Emery set about rebuilding his midfield with the acquisition of two new players, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. 

Asked about his chat with Wilshere, Emery revealed: “It was one decision, one private conversation and I want to respect that.

“It was a tactical, technical decision. The conversation with Wilshere was a very good conversation, very direct, together.

“I explained to him my opinion and how I wanted to create the team, and I couldn’t say for sure to him he was going to be in the 11 players.

“Also he explained to me the decision is not easy for him, but he wanted to choose the best option for him and every time it is with respect.

“I know this player here is important for the supporters and grew up here in Arsenal. But I don’t give him one post in the starting 11 and is for that he chose to leave here, and I respect also this.”

Wilshere has already jetted out for a pre-season training camp with the Hammers in West Ham and is expected to make his debut against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. At the same time, Emery will take charge of his first Arsenal game away at Boreham Wood.

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To be fair I think Wilshire could of made a very good defensive midfielder if his injury record didn’t let him down. He started playing from deep with us,excelled there with England, but Arsene never really wanted to use him there after a certain point. Against Barcelona he wasn’t in an attacking role and I could of seen him play a “Xhaka”position probably better than Xhaka. But that’s why I’m not a football coach and respect their decisions on both sides. I always saw him as a one club man, but all the best In the future Jack and let’s… Read more »


Completely disagree. Don’t know many times I’ve seen him running into 2 players with his head down and losing the ball. That’s the one thing you can’t allow to happen as a DM and that was his main weakness. So i don’t think he has what it takes to be a dm. Also I think it’s telling that he didn’t even believe that he‘s good enough to earn his place under Emery through dedication and hard work on the training pitch and rather legt the very firstvtime he wasn’t assured a starting place at Arsenal. On a romantic level it’s… Read more »


“Would be a huge surprise to me if he’ll ever wear the England shirt again.”

I think that’s taking things a stretch too far. There aren’t many players like Wilshere available to England. If he finds some form he can get his way back into the team.


Tbh I think Jack was right, he would have been more use than Loftus cheek in hindsight.
I think if he came on vs Croatia kane would have gotten better service.

However I didn’t think he earned a spot on form, he did fill a tactical void and has experience.

Good luck to him at West ham.
Their fans are lucky, They’ll probably get to smoke a fag at the pub afterwards with him!


Except Southgate himself, said he views him in more of a dm role. So unless West ham line him up there, i dont see his England career taking off again.

Sebastien Rooks

Lol, he’s exactly the player England missed at the world cup.. has the range of passing and strength in the tackle to dictate play.


I know Emery’s English can be hard to understand, but surely you recognise that your second paragraph is ridiculous. Emery clearly conveys that he told him he wasn’t in his plans due to going in a different tactical direction. I think it would have been more telling (in the negative sense you imply) if he had decided to stay and collect an easy wage on the bench. Wilshere at his best was one of the best Arsenal players of this decade. His link-up with Giroud, as exemplified by *that* goal, was unsurpassed by any of his team-mates, and really made… Read more »


I’ve got nothing but thumbs down and arguments based on emotion and not logic for suggesting Wilshere had done nothing since 2010/11 season to warrant a new deal.
This was 100% the right call, I wish Wilshere well…. but he’s not made of the right stuff for the demands of the modern game, he can’t play three times a week, in what are supposed to be his prime years in terms of athleticism and endurance, this isn’t a criticism, it’s simply an accurate observation that there’s no intelligent or pragmatic counter argument too.
Well done Unai Emery ?


To be honest if we got 2010/11 Wilshere and he only played once a week it wouldn’t be an issue, because he’d be worth it.

It’s more that he’s just not the player everyone thought he would be any more, and clearly he doesn’t believe he is either as he didn’t want to stay and risk fighting for a place.


2010/11 is ancient history…… football has changed a lot since then. We are now in the era of pressing football, and it takes more than making a few good passes and a few good dribbles every match to be a successful midfielder. We need midfielders with intensity, who can press and beat players pressing him. That is why midfielders like Lucas Torreira is the future while Wilshere is outdated.


I have also got thumbs down for criticizing him. Bringing on Torreira and longing after Nzonzi just tells how Unai wants to play. He needs steely players esp. at the back and not too much of deft touches. One cannot but feel that he does not really fancy Ozil. Emry is highly political, knowing that accepting the terms of a job first, is a leeway towards impressing upon your employers the need to do more, which Arteta, was stupid enough not to understand and was playing hard ball even as a rookie. Emry is politicizing Arsenal players as well. Just… Read more »

Sànde Class

Very astute! _/\_

Sànde Class

Indeed! Emery seems to possess the “positive pragmatism” that our beloved club – and life in general – sorely missed for the past decade. 🙂


Emery and Wilshere seemed to have had mature, honest, frank and forthright discussions. It is sensible for the new head coach to not make promises he can’t keep, and also logical that Jack chooses to go somewhere he can expect to play regularly and showcawse his immense ability. I expect Jack to get an especially warm welcome when he comes to the Emirates. I hope he has success and stays fit and breaks into the English team once more. He has something different to offer to the England set-up.

A Different George

A player like Jack–though maybe not Jack–is exactly what England were missing at this World Cup, someone who could carry the ball through the opposing midfield if they gave him the room, and could pass it beyond them if they didn’t. Neither Lingard nor Dele was able to do this, and it was quite easy to defend against England in open play (unless you are Panama).


That’s the thing though. Southgate didn’t want to play through the middle at all. Have a look at 7amkickoff’s website blogs and you’ll see that Southgate used tactics inspired by the great English football philosopher that is Sam Allardyce. He had no use for Wilshere.

Big Cheese

And because of that, England were predictable and easy to beat. If James Rodriguez wasn’t injured, England would have lost to Colombia.


Chamberlain fits that bill and I’m certain he would have started ahead of Alli if he was fit. But with him out of the equation and Loftus-Cheek still raw, taking Jack was the only sensible option.


Breaking into the English team should be easier than breaking into even a West Ham team.

Omission of wilshere was not justified considering the utter lack of quality in England’s midfield. Frankly, England had no midfield. They clearly needed someone like wilshere to pick a pass and unlock the defense.

I am sure Southgate would look back and think that this is where he maybe got it a little bit wrong.

Man Manny

Arsenal needed a proper coach with a no-strings-attached approach to issues. We’ve got that in Unai Emery. No more cotton wools; only merit.


For everyone who’s been crying out for change for AFC, there is probably nothing more emblematic than the Wilshire case. Emery seems to have gotten this completely right: show respect, but not special treatment. Be fair, but honest. This is how he makes the team his, while allowing the players every opportunity to make the starting XI. This seems like exactly the right way to refresh reset. All good signs.


Can u remember diarra was sold to Portsmouth cause he could not get a guarantee that he was gonna start ahead of song and denilson. This has happened before tbfff


also Wenger told Wilshere he was free to leave before the beginning of last season, if an appropriate offer came in


You think Jack went to Bournemouth while he was an automatic starter here? Selective memory….

The only thing clear about this scenario is that Jack has been unwilling to fight for his spot…twice!


You aren’t being fair to him. It’s not that he’s “unwilling to fight for his spot”–he’ll _continue_ to have to do that regardless (yes, even at West Ham). He has perfectly rational financial reasons for wanting a change of scenery, which also might increase his chances of playing for England again, which we know is very important to him. He needs games for two important reasons (1) his paycheck under terms offered by the club and (2) to prove his talent to the England manager. I have no idea what Emery said to him about future playing style or how… Read more »




Jimbo Jones

Emery “Jack, I want players to not run into the other team and give away possession.”

Jack, “Sorry boss, that’s just not my game. I’m off to my new boyhood club West Ham.”


Also imagine your whole family supporting west ham and you NOT accepting their very fitting offer.
In England terms if he shines at West ham he shines brighter than at arsenal, as he gets eclipsed by our other talent.


Goonerink, I don’t know about shining “brighter” but if he is playing and playing well for West Ham, then I think it is going to be very hard to argue he shouldn’t be in the England squad. If he stays fit and plays, then there’s every reason to think he’ll even continue to improve away from Arsenal. Thirty (Jack’s age at WC 2022) isn’t too old for a midfielder can relieve pressure on a defense, retain possession, and pick a pass in the attacking third. But, to some others, let me try to make my point again another way. It… Read more »

Yankee Gooner

Let’s revisit this when the player is one whom Emery brought to the club; I’m not saying he’ll be different, but I’m also not convinced that allowing a player you’ve never worked with before to walk shows any progressive, mercenary spirit. A cynic might say that failing to court Jack actually benefits Emery personally by allowing him to put an immediate stamp on the team—“not even fan-favorite Wilshere is guaranteed a place on MY team.” Again, not saying the discussion was political, but it certainly has that effect. And before I get blasted as a wengerite, a killjoy, etc, I… Read more »

Don Cazorleone

Agree, but it’s not so much WHO he’s bringing in, so much as the positions. Ones that Arsene just seemed to ignore season after season.


Not good enough for Arsenal. How many years will a player always be referred to as having potentials. I ask when will the potential be realised? Wilshere only exhibited flashes of his brilliancE at regular intervals.


I like Emery.
Such a breath of fresh air.
Cant wait for the season to start (even if its the toughest possible first game) and it been a long while since I’ve felt that.

Man Manny

Man City have 7 of their regulars yet to go holidays. I hear Guardiola will give them 3 weeks!
That plays into our hands really. A fitter, raring-to-go-under-a-new-coach Arsenal should beat that Man City come August 12.

David C

Man City players might be tired from their World Cup involvement. This could be a great time to play them!



I think it’s a fifa directive about player holidays minimum 3 weeks as far as I know.


Much rather have it like this than empty promises leading to either forcing him into a team at the cost of others or breeding discontent while he sits out. Fair play.


Wilshere has lost his edge. Injuries have taken a toll on him. Even pep who once spoke highly of him wasn’t interested in signing even when he was available for free. Says it all..


Pep was totally dismissive of Jack. His actual comments were Barca’s b team was full of jack Wiltshire’s



… At the same time, England sure could have used a midfielder from Barca’s B team in the 2nd half on Wednesday.


No. That comment was made on 2011 when Jack was 19. He was compared to barca’s reserves because of his age.


It had nothing to do with jacks age and was pep dismissing jack as not that good


La masia is regarded as a good academy, and given his age I think it was perhaps a loaded compliment. A compliment to jack and a dig at our team.?


It’s been a long time but I believe the context was the English media asking pep about what a talent jack was and pep basically saying he would be considered totally average in Barcelona’s academy. That said that was a great era for them so I guess you could take it as a loaded compliment. For whatever reason – maybe injuries or the fact many promising players just never make it to the top, it just never worked out for jack. Best of luck to him

Big Cheese

But Barca’s B team isn’t full of Jack Wilshere’s at all. I think the guy is still a great player, but the injuries and some of his antics have soured a lot of people on him.


Think it’s pretty instructive that the two opportunities he’s had to either stay and fight for a place or move to a lesser team and be guaranteed a starting spot he’s chosen to leave. I like Jack and I wish it could have worked out for him at Arsenal, I think we’d all have loved for him to become the next Tony Adams but this is life and, sad as it is to say, I think West Ham is his level now. I think he played 50 games in his first full season with us and spent the next 2… Read more »


Reading between the lines: Wilshere remains a decent player, but just isn’t suited to the pressing style that Emery wants. He doesn’t have the athleticism, stamina, or positional discipline.
I was hoping he would go abroad, to a slower league where his quality on the ball could shine. Hopefully Pellegrini plays a style that suits him. The WH fans will certainly back him from day 1.


Both sides very mature. I wish Wilsh and his young family all the best on a human level, in the end it didn’t work out but I’ll never forget Barcelona and the Norwich goal.


I think it’s a mistake to have let him go. People forget but it was his second season almost injury free for a very long time. He will definitely be better on season 3 ( if he doesn’t get injured again!!!). It takes time to get into full flow when you have spend so much time on the sideline. I wouldn’t mind having Wilshere as a squad member. A bit sad that he chose to stay in London, his football is suited for la Liga or Italy.Hope he does well at the Hammers. They have a great coach in Pellegrini… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

What’s the odds on him getting a great reception from the Arsenal fans in the game on 25th September before getting injured and stretchered off to a chorus of “Super Jackie Wilshere”?

Crash Fistfight

And I don’t mean that in a sour grapes way. I wish him all the best in the future (still think he should’ve gone to the World Cup, but that’s another matter).


I’m guessing injury issues also played some part. With Torreiro in, we have a discipline player to screen (AMN can understudy) Granit or the slightly more average Elneny will provide the extra man in the middle (taking turns) pushing forward into the advance positions. Then likely we will have either of the Jeff or the new French kid Guedouzi competing for one more position with Ramsey also available but more likely to find better use further forward. Iwobi is another who can have good utility deeper where he has natural strength and ball control plus better vision to play the… Read more »


Up top, see Lucas Perez involved in training.

wonder if he has utility this season as a fourth option behind Auba, Laca and wlebz, particularly if there continues to be no strong offer for him.

Maybe Emery can coax out the potential in his autumn years with us.


He won’t be missed on the pitch whatsoeveras he was never what you would consider an important/influential player for us. Didn’t play/contribute enough. All people can remember is the Barca game and Norwich game in the guts of a decade.

He did have bucketloads of potential which unfortunately was never realised at Arsenal due to injuries.

Hooe he gets a good run at things and enjoys his football.


hehehe…Lucas Perez….the new Alexis. Shorts rolled up, ready for action.


Jack wanted assurances he’d be first choice, and it sounds like Emery, being honest, told him that no player is a guaranteed starter and everyone must earn their place.
This could be Jack deciding he wanted more money, but the cynic in me says that Jack is doing what he did when he went to Bournemouth instead of staying and trying to force himself into the manager’s thinking.


In my opinion I think Jake is a coward and lacks self belief. He decided to run to Bournemouth when he needed to stay and fight for a position in the 2016/2017 season and he has taken a similar decision this time around and i dont think we are going to miss him since we have dept in the middle of the park


Torreiro looks like a better fit for our midfield.

Like Jack he can turn with the ball and carry up field.

But he also possesses good ability on the ball much like Santi (albeit predominantly right footed) and an excellent passing range like Granit.

Mostly though dependability is key. Jack’s injuries are a risk.

Durham Gooner

No top clubs came in for Jack. For me that says it all.


Something very important here is that Emery has no emotional connection to the players..Everything is being done through practical and pragmatic methods. Cannot wait for players like Bellerin to receive this almighty reality check.


As much as I love Jack he has proved twice now he is simply not up for a fight when it comes to his place. He sodded off to Bournemouth when he could have stayed and now when he wasn’t guaranteed a place in the 11 he has jumped ship. No player should ever think they should have an automatic first team place


Wilshere, was over- pampered by Wenger. Wenger didn’t let the players know their true worth as Unai is doing. Wilshere was always shocked when not played. Mentally, he felt the club owed him a place cos he was a fan- boy. I wonder why he would prefer a hard tackling Ham that would expose his frailty further to a club that already knows his condition and willing to manage him. His foolishness hindered him from realizing that even if Unai says no first team shirt, his performances when given the opportunity could change that. He is a quitter, and that… Read more »