The Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has always been thought of more for his ability to burst past players and create goals, with the attacking side of his game always drawing more praise and attention than the defensive side. But a good central midfielder has to be able to do both things well.
And Wilshere has now played three or four games for England in his new role as the deepest lying midfielder, with Roy Hodgson using a midfield diamond as well as the old favourite of 4-4-2. Arsene Wenger does not think it his best position and I tend to agree with the Arsenal boss, but Wilshere is certainly growing into the role.
The 22-year old has got better with each game in his new England role and he was even named as the Man of the Match today for the way he controlled the game from the centre. Jack was disciplined as well as sharp in the tackle, winning the ball back on numerous occasions.
He also has the ability to turn defence into attack in a split second, either with one of his trademark dribbles or a burst of speed or with a pinpoint pass. In fact, since dropping deeper for England, Wilshere’s long range passing has come on a treat and he regularly drops a ball at the feet of a team mate with Beckham like skill.
Not only is this new position helping Jack to develop other aspects of his game, I really believe it gives Arsenal and Wenger another good option. With defensive midfield a long term issue for the Gunners and with Mikel Arteta possibly injured for the next game against Man United, Jack’s new skills could be just what the doctor ordered. But will the professor agree?