Arsenal Debate – FOUR lessons Jack Wilshere needs to learn


Like many of you, I was quite anxious and somewhat excited seeing Jack Wilshere on the pitch again in our game against Hull City. He is different from all our other midfielders. Wilshere is an all action dribbling type. Unfortunately for him, Arsenal has evolved beyond that type of football. There was a time we would have been counting down to the day Wilshere makes his comeback but today, many argue that he can only ever be a bit part player at most. On current form, they have a point. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With more work on his style of play and decision making, Wenger can update and upgrade him to fit into our already formidable midfield.

And on this subject, I believe there are four main areas of his game that needs work. But first let us begin by looking at his stats to understand why things have to change with him. Jack Wilshere is our attacking midfielder with the least number of goals and assists. He also gets injured the most. This doesn’t leave him in good stead compared with our other midfielders, who are all ahead of him. So lesson number one, Wenger must work on his runs.

Jack Wilshere reminds me of a budding super hero in Professor Xavier’s school of mutants. He is that guy with a lot of talent who is yet to harness all he has within him to make him more effective and decisive. Wilshere makes a run and attempts an unnecessary dribble when a simple pass will do. Unfortunately for him, the Maradona era is over. No longer will opponents stand still and admire you while you embark on a mazy dance through their players like a floating ballerina. The era of excessive dribbling is over. Football has gotten simpler and tougher. Today, if the opponent cannot get the ball from you, they will foul you. But no longer will they watch you play Maradona against their manager’s instructions.

In our game against Hull, Cazorla made a genius pass to Ramsey from deep that cut out the entire Hull midfield and landed on Ramsey’s feet. Rambo instantly converted for goal number two. If that were Wilshere, he would have carried the ball and started dribbling on his way to nowhere, because he will surely get stopped by getting fouled. Here is another example. For Sanchez’s second goal, Ramsey made a clever pass that cut out two to three Hull City players. Sanchez rounded the goal keeper and buried goal number three. Wenger must instruct Wilshere to pass first and only dribble when it is absolutely necessary. When he does that, our game will be faster, less predictable and more efficient. It is no coincidence that we do better when Jack doesn’t play. The stats don’t lie.

Lesson number two, Jack Wilshere needs to stop inviting fouls. It cuts our attack short and is ruining his career. Jack Wilshere is Arsenal’s most fouled player and yet, he is not our only dribbler. Cazorla, Ozil and Ox are all very good dribblers but they all get it done effectively without drawing fouls. Jack must anticipate getting fouled and release the ball early. And he has to avoid getting too close to the opponent. They have figured him out and bring him down every single time. He doesn’t seem to have learned from it. Maybe his need for personal glory just outweighs his desire to stay away from the treatment table. When Jack plays, his priority is looking good first before playing for the team. He is a ball hugger and Wenger doesn’t like that. Arsene has spent months trying to cure Sanchez (another ball hugger) of that habit. Why dribble when you can make a pass? The whole idea of dribbling is to get away from tight situations when you get cornered by one or more opponents. But when a clear pass presents itself, make the pass! Wenger must get Wilshere to get with the programme. This is exactly why Wilshere plays well often times and we still lose the game. Those days are over. The team comes first. We play to win. Personal glory is only acceptable when it doesn’t jeopardize team efficiency.

Lesson number three, Jack must learn when to release the ball. His decision making in the final third is lacking. Yes he looked good when he came into to pitch at Hull and made a mesmerizing run through the Hull defense but to what end? He got brought down as always and that run was ultimately meaningless. That is my point. Jack’s dribbling reminds me a bit of Manny Paquiao’s fight against Mayweather. Lots of punches thrown by Manny but only landing nineteen percent of it. Efficiency is key to football excellence. Wilshere must learn when to release the ball. Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky and even Ramsey should serve as role models for him because on current form, he is behind them.

Finally, Jack must start scoring goals. I know that this might seem controversial because not all midfielders can score goals. Unfortunately for Wilshere, the competition for places is fierce and he is an attacking midfielder. The midfielders who create and score goals will always be preferred to him and this is partly why Aaron Ramsey, a box to box midfielder is preferred to Theo Walcott on the wings even though Ramsey is not a winger. Ramsey simply offers more than Walcott when all things are put into consideration. So I was glad to see Wilshere finally get on the pitch and get some minutes. Nobody in this team says Arsenal DNA like Jack Wilshere. But if he is to come off the bench regularly, he must up his game significantly or Wenger will soon realize that he is more of a liability than an asset. Peace.

Uche Edochie


Tags Cazorla Wenger Wilshere


  1. He got fit just in time to play in the FA Cup final. Just like last year…LMFAO!!!

    1. Nice article that I have read for a long time. The truth that will annoy most of the people here. The stats don’t lie and we could see when Ramsey come of ,we loos our impeccable game, just like you said running to a dead end is Wiltshire game loosing the ball every time and looking to referee that isn’t news to. We must accept that the boy is our best player when he is in the bench ,but not in the pitch.

      1. HONESTLY!!
        The best series of article I have read in a long time.
        First of, I must congratulate admin for publishing this article (and the one before). As for Uche, man you must be really riding on something to come with back-to-back articles of the highest quality. Kudos to you man! It is not surprising that there some of us here that enjoy your article any time it’s published on here so much that we crave for the next one.

        1. As for Wilshere’s case, I’ll be direct.

          When he came on yesterday, I was happy! But I wasn’t filled with optimism either. And few seconds into his coming on the pitch, he confirmed my fears with that stupid stupid stupid run into a tackle near the box 18! I mean that was almost in similar fashion to the one that earned him the last injury at ManU!!

          Yes, he dazzled. Yes, he excited the crowed. Yes, he won a free kick. But that tackle could have easily become another injury layoff for who knows how long! And to what end? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

          Wilshere is talented, alright. Heck, I even fantasize about him being our would-be version of Iniesta (I wrote an article about that by the way). As Uche pointed out in the article, no other player in our squad screams Arsenal DNA more that Wilshere. He is that important to us. But for him to have less of the injuries and more of the assists, some thing has to change! Maybe something about his style of play or mentality has to change.

          1. Agree – if Jack could learn to do the simpler things more often and have a proper appreciation as to the right time for the high risk stuff he could be immense. Needs to check out Ozil – often gets called out by some for seemingly doing the easy option passes too often – but newsflash, that is the name of the game people!! Right pass at right time with patience always preferred to rash show-boating.

            I would also same the same about Ox. Jack and Ox with proper footballing intelligence could easily be world class in time. Btw – Szczesney with a brain would be awesome as well. All have the tools – just need to engage the brain.

  2. Manny didn’t even throw that many punches let alone landing any. Still gutted about that fight!!

    Annnnnyyyway.. If the OX, Wilshere and even Arteta remain injury free next term I think you will see a big change in our results. Before you all start wanting to kill me about Arteta, he is a key player at keeping things ticking over and maintaining possession, quite frankly I look forward to seeing him back in the squad if Im honest

    1. He was injured bro he has a torn rotator cuff. He should’ve pushed the fight back but hats off to mayweather he was like a damn cobra in there

      1. Best performance I have seen from Mayweather. Not his biggest fan but what an absolute genius of a boxer. I said to the mrs in round one Manny doesn’t look right, first thing that come to my mind was “he has small injury”.

        1. Ya I think manny already had surgery and he might even have legal action against him cause he didn’t properly disclose his injury. And manny only threw like 430 punches when he usually throws 700+

    2. i don’t agree with u on the arteta point.
      His injury was the best thing that happened to arsenal this season. We got to see how good arsenal can be with a proper CDM.

  3. O and this article is bull sh*t. Stop this obsession with willshere the guy will come good with game time he has all the tools and the best manager in the world guiding him

    1. With due respect sir, I do not think you will ever recognize a good article. Such a shame that your comment about Wilshere coming good with time, isn’t really such a bullsh*t comment.

  4. Lesson 5:
    some of Arsenal fans are f***ing vipers who will strike when u go through a rough period. Learn to ignore the doubters and haters

      1. Don’t cast stones man your usually the first one to bash, make fun of, and put down

  5. Mr knowitall. Let’s sack Wenger and hire Mr knowitall here. He seems to know it all. Hell let’s sack mourinho and hire this guy for Chelsea.. He is too good for just one team to manage. He is Mr knowitall.

    Maybe we should sack all the London managers and hire this guy. He seems to know it all.

    Why stop there let’s sack all the premier league managers and hire this guy.

      1. sure kissass. what do you want to talk about? how all the article on here are so whiny? everything is a repeat of everything else? how come everyone on here is so bloody negative?

  6. Just heard Africa’s richest man wants to buy Arsenal and is a fan. An $18bn man who wants to take the club in a ‘new direction’. Hope it doesn’t happen. All the years of building our club to compete with the billionaire backed teams of the league, we finally get there, then get a sugar daddy of our own…

    There’s a sense of pride in having done it ourselves. Yes we have Usmanov and Kroenke, but have they given us a penny? Nope. Chelsea have a premier league trophy, but they also have £1bn of loans outstanding to Mr Abramovich, and let’s not forget Man City… £1bn injection. That’s what we have had to compete with. Keep that in mind when you criticise Wenger for not winning more titles.

    1. Honestly, we don’t need no sugar daddy at all. Just take a look at what they’ve done to our girls!!!

    2. I would have thought there would be quite a few takers on this site for the idea of being bought out. It would be the logical conclusion for the guys on here who throw around the “4th placed junkie” jibes, advocating “spend, spend, spend” and being frustrated at the boards “lack of ambition” (where in their minds only spending = ambition). And as an added bonus this guy doesn’t rate Wenger so it would be all their Christmases at once for some.

      Come on you guys, you know who you are – what do you reckon eh??

  7. No doubt still work in progress but Wilshere has yet to play consistently with Sanchez ozil and carzola and these players improve those around them … accept in the case of Walcott who is just a lost cause … Which is why they are world class …But goal scoring is only an issue because we need two 20 goal a season players and only have one giroud has improved but will not reach that level IMO … Watching real tonight I really don’t think isco is world class and technically less gifted than wilshere might score more but not the attacking option needed either … I hope coquellin was watching Vidal has to be model for him and they have certain things in common though Chilean is a notch or two above at this moment for sure…

  8. 4 lessons that Jack needs to learn:

    1) M.O.B. (money over bit****)

    2) Cash Rules Everything Around Me

    3) Father U C King Police

    4) QB don’t stand for no quarter back

  9. 1.) Don’t get injured
    2.) Don’t get injured
    3.) Don’t get injured
    4.) Don’t get injured

    If he can accomplish these four tasks he’ll be a star

  10. THAT’s what everybody else who had commented about wilshere imprvmt said b4 diffrently, but i’d talked about dribbling. but your article is superflous. dribbling is STILL vital part of the game but for purposes you’d mentioned. so superrelevant today,thatz why cazorla,sanchez,ramsey,ozil and bellerin have bn making deep defensiv role part of the game now & attack frm there superbly. maradonna! genius-all-century. don’t confuse run wth ball wth dribblin, he ran well wth ball, not pursuing ball like jw does

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