Which is more important to Wilshere – playing time or preferred playing position? by SE
Jack Wilshere’s Footballing career has been on a downward spiral for a good couple of seasons now and, as things stand, it begs to wonder whether his career graph would ever progress in an upward direction again. While his antics off the pitch have dwarfed his on field performances, Wilshere’s wizardry is still very much prominent. Paul Scholes, former England and Manchester United midfielder, has proclaimed that Wilshere is an attacking midfielder and not a midfield anchor – a role he played for his national side in the 2-0 win over Switzerland on Monday. The subsequent question is whether Wilshere should look at getting himself more playing time or, according to Scholes’ opinion, demand playing in his preferred position?
The ‘big’ conundrum
Going by his physical semblance, Wilshere is not the man mountain to play in that No.4 role, where he would have to be physically robust and concentrate a lot more on his defensive duties, instead of harnessing his slick attacking skills.
However, let us not be delusional of Hodgson’s decision to deploy Wilshere as England’s defensive midfielder on Monday night; I can very well understand where the England manager is coming from. Hodgson’s thinking could well be based on Wilshere’s passing skills, as well. With his wide range of passing skills, Wilshere can thrive on pinpoint ball distribution for his team’s forwards and wingers to latch onto.
With Toures and Matics bringing the ‘power’ factor into the equation, as midfielders, it can be easy to forget deftness as another key attribute to defensive midfielders. Take Steven Gerrard for instance: he, too, doesn’t have the physical power of a Yaya Toure or Nemanja Matic but, playing at No.4 for the Scousers, the former England skipper still plays a key role in the functioning of Liverpool machine.
‘Playing time’ over preferred playing position
The title of the article is an unconcealed allusion as to what Wilshere needs to buy into, at this stage of his Footballing career. All football players have their preferred roles to play in, but the stage of everyone’s career matters the most. Wilshere, at 22, needs to focus more on playing time than wanting to play in his preferred position, sporadically.
Maybe, through his sparkling displays, he can oust his other teammates playing in the positions he aspires to play in but, for that to materialize, he has to be on the pitch, playing consistently for Arsenal.
Wilshere, by his own admittance, would agree that he is not doing justice to his prodigious talent. But, he must realize that he is blessed to have the likes of Wenger and Hodgson as his coaches, who have been rather patient with Wilshere’s antics off the pitch and failure to live up to potential on it. Many pundits and former English footballers, too, have come to Wilshere’s support, but it’s high time that he himself acknowledged what he needs to be doing, and started working on his game wholeheartedly.