There were a lot of unhappy Arsenal fans this weekend when Arsene Wenger named the out of form Granit Xhaka in the side that faced Southampton while leaving Jack Wilshere on the bench. The Englishman has been performing well in the Europa League and the calls for Wenger to promote him was becoming overwhelming.
Wenger finally listened and put him on for the last 20 minutes of the game, and Jack, who has been begging Wenger to give him some top League playing time to help him get into Gareth Southgate’s England team, finally got a chance to impress.
Wilshere was his usual aggressive self and he now needs to build up his top flight match fitness. He was certainly happy to get back on the pitch and the home fans cheered him onto the pitch. “I’m enjoying it,” he said. “I’m enjoying playing and I want to play as much as I can. I’ve said before that I’ve missed way too much football and I’m just enjoying it at the minute.”
The bad news is that Xhaka’s usual partner in midfield, Aaron Ramsey, pulled his hamstring ten minutes before the end of the game, but Wenger couldn’t take him off as he had already made all his substitions. With a game every three days for the next couple of weeks then Wenger will have little choice but to play Wilshere more often in the games coming up. As Ramsey is out injured and Xhaka woefully out of form at the moment, I am hoping like mad to see Wilshere line up alongside Coquelin to try and brighten up our midfield.