The Arsenal and England international Jack Wilshere has seen at first hand over the last couple of weeks just how much of a threat the England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney can be to Arsenal when Louis van Gaal brings his squad, or the ones left standing anyway, to the Emirates on Saturday.
And that is why Wilshere has warned his Gunners team mates that stopping Rooney is the key to Arsenal recording a rare and vital victory over the Red Devils. In an ESPN report, Wilshere praises his international team mate and captain highly, but all the same things that are good news for England, are bad news for the Gunners if we fail to deal with them properly at the weekend.
Jack said, “He looks sharp and in form. We’ll have to look at how to deal with that on Saturday because he’s going to be a problem for us, especially if he plays in the No.10 role. Or even if he plays up front.
“He’s got a few goals this international break and I’m sure he’ll be looking to continue that so we’ll have to stop him.
“The main thing about ‘Wazza’ is his love for the game. He still has that hunger. He’s been playing now for 12 years at the top level and to still have that hunger and the quality that matters, he’s still one of our best players if not the best.
“You can see that when we go into games, we’re looking to him to get the goals and he’s still delivering.
“He loves training. He’s always the first out for training. He’s just a proper footballer. He’s never in the gym, he just wants to play the game because he loves it. He just wants the ball at his feet and long may that continue for England.”
But we should not forget that although Rooney scored in both of the England games and was a key figure, it was our midfielder that was voted Man of the Match both times and it was Jack’s control of the midfield and his passing and bursting forward that allowed Rooney to flourish. And Danny Welbeck scored another two of England’s goals, with Chamberlain getting the third, so there is plenty of quality in the Arsenal side.
And apart from Rooney, United’s attacking players are not in great form, even assuming that Di Maria recovers from his knock and can start. Mata, van Persie, Januzaj and Fellaini are all struggling for form and confidence at the minute, while their manager is struggling to find a system or even 11 players that will work for him.
So Jack is right to identify Rooney as the key to winning this game for Arsenal. And as Wilshere knows him so well from the England set up, surely he should start in the centre of midfield and be detailed to snuff out any danger from the United forward. What do you think Gooners?