Contrasting performances from Arsenal’s England players

Arsenal’s England Players on International Duty by KJ

England managed to win 2 – 0 against Switzerland today and there was a star performance by a certain Arsenal player. There was in total only two Arsenal players that started for England but it was an interesting game with a lot to say about each individual player.

Jack Wilshere
He surprisingly played as a defensive midfielder today which was extremely odd. Hodgson opted for the 4-1-2-1-2 mimicking Liverpool’s formation in order to get the best out of Sterling. As a result, Wilshere had to play as a DM and didn’t seem comfortable at all. He had to work hard to find space as Switzerland had a man on him at all times and he just didn’t seem natural at playing the game from so deep. He tried to force the play a couple of times and lost the ball as a result. I don’t really understand why Roy Hodgson felt it was smart to play your best attacking midfielder as a DM.

Danny Welbeck
Our new striker signing from Man Utd was the star man for England bagging both goals. It was a good defensive performance and when the chances came to him, he took them intelligently. One was a simple finish from a Sterling cross whilst the second goal required more technique as he finessed it past the Swiss keeper reminiscent of Henry in his prime. If he’s even half as good as the King, we’ll have a top striker on our hands.

All in all, it was a contrasting performance between our two England starters. But I must stress that Wilshere was limited by his position and would’ve been far better if he was further up the pitch where he can affect the game positively.

Danny Welbeck’s interview after the game…..

Tags welbeck Wilshere


  1. I hope the acquisition of welbe and sanchez is the start of us becoming a better pressing team, with the addition of chamberlain rosicky and Ramsey we have the personnel to not only limit opposition chances but also win the ball back quickly and counter effectively, something other teams do very well against us

    1. Whether by design or accident all of Wenger’s outfield additions this summer add some energy and ummph to the team. Sanchez is like a buzz-saw, Welbeck is non-stop, Debuchy is certainly feisty and Chambers has an athleticism we desperately needed. The old adage of defending starts from the front still holds true and Welbeck and Sanchez, bizzare as it may sound, may be two of the best defensive signings we have made in recent years.

  2. Just cause he scored two yesterday doesn’t mean he will or will not get a brace against ManC.

    And than when he doesn’t, you lot will start cursing and fussing like babies calling him panic buy. So don’t pin your high hopes on his back.

    A overall performance will do against City.

    Go Danny boy.

    1. Heyy i read in an earlier post that you are from Kolkata…i happen to be a kolkatan too,Salt Lake to be precise!Cheers!

    2. You can sort of see it coming can’t you Sumo – DB’s stock is likely to plummet once again if he doesn’t get the winner against City. I am trying not to get too carried away but on the face I am finding it difficult to imagine DB not being a success for us! Not sure whether it is a sign of how far our levels have fallen or whether there is genuine hope we have rather opportunistically found a genuine future Arsenal star. The pundits are falling over themselves at the moment eulogising DB and rather patronisingly telling AFC he is exactly what we needed. Not sure how much of the punditry is well-meaning and properly objective but I always fear the worst when pundits get on side with Arsenal – the natural instinct is to smell a dirty big rat.

      1. @Goonsquad8
        Than i hope you keep the faith bro even if he fails to meet your expectations.

        I am from South. Gariahat to be precise. And i think we can safely say Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai are Gunner cities. 😉

        Wenger is the better judge bro.


        I am finding it difficult to imagine DB not being a success for us!

        Same with me. But if he takes a bit if settling time, we can see the boo boys growing restless to use their mouth. And considering he played for United, you can imagine the war cries will be very strong on this one.

        Thank you.

  3. Yes I think the work rate of our front three is going to be a major factor, as well as midfield, we will be able to press in defence and give the opposition no room. Also with the likes of Ozil/Cazorla/Ramsey in the middle, turn to a counter extremely quickly with the likes of Sanchez/Wellbeck/Walcott running into space. Blink an you’ll miss it!

  4. I dont mind wilshere playing as CDM sometime. It will improve his defensive skills and teach him the art of ball handling and clean tackles. He is good gng forward and making intricate passes but he needs to learn the other trades too and it will benefit Arsenal only.

    1. The problem with JW playing as a deep-lying midfielder were well illustrated last night. The role demands something that is completely alien to his natural skill-set. His best attributes are his short-range passing, operating in tight spaces, always being available for the pass and the ability to turn and surge to beat the first man. The CDM demands less fussy play, trying to beat men from that area of the pitch is generally a no-no, simple no-risk medium range passes (preferably forward) get things moving quickly and builds momentum. I think he was nervous last night and lacked a bit of confidence with what he was trying to do – he seemed very reluctant to make himself available to receive the ball – normally a strength. Getting taken off for about the 20th time in his England career must really bug him as well. On the plus side, now the most difficult group game is out of the way he should have a run of 9 Eng games to hone his skills and develop in that position – assuming Hodgson perseveres with him.

      1. But in his breakthrough season he was more like a luka modric type player he used to burst from deep and START attacks. But since comming back from injury he plays much higher up the pitch, he even bursts into the box now (probably trying to mimic ramsey), seems to have discarded the defensive side to his game and tries to hard to force things.
        I remember in an interview him saying he wants more goals and assist and its really important and i feel that could be part of the problem he needs to just play his natural game and forget about goals and assist. Modric once again is a perfect example, hes one of the worlds best midfielders but only got 1 goal and 6 assist last season and 4 goals and 4 assist the season before.
        Those statistics are important for 10s Wingers and Forwards but not for CMs.

    2. Agreed the JW will learn a lot from playing CDM. If it helps his game, then its got be a good thing.

      Even if he just learns that stray passes in defensive midfield can have a massive impact on the game, so to take that to his more usual position might mean he thinks a bit more before he passes the ball.

      For me, he would be useful backup in CDM, as he is strong, quick and not afraid of a tackle. Again though, he needs to learn which tackles to make and which to leave, which I think he has improved on to be fair..

  5. About Jack….the disappointing thing with his performance was his ball use and distribution – whether you’re further up the park and sitting deeper, finding the player with the pass is the same skill set.
    I agree with the comments above about sometimes playing as a CDM to improve the defensive side of his game, but he can similarly execute the defensive side of his game when winning the ball back further up the field as well.

    He has to curb the rash decision making especially when he loses the ball…his typical response is like that of a Jack Terrier…he runs straight at the player, and dives right in usually with a bad tackle. Yes – go win the ball back, but jeez watch how you tackle son…he’s more often than not a “Red Card Waiting To Happen”.

    That’s the side of him which needs to be developed – the mental bit…staying in control of emotions and making the right decisions.

  6. Didn’t watch most of the internationals lately but here’s my take:

    – Welbeck – Am extremely happy for our new boy, hope he gets to start against city and score his first Arsenal goal against them.

    – Wilshere- I feel both club and country needs to agree on Jack’s best position and help him been the best in that position, his all over the place now and his actually trying too hard which is very dangerous for a player as he might get another serious injury and draw him back further on getting his best form back. I think the fans and the media should lay off his back for now and channel there frustrations elsewhere, as long as his not smoking in clubs and actually practicing well and giving his all on the field, he needs support.

    – Ox – His still progressing well on his way back to recovery. From the comments out here and other sites too it seems he had a decent game the other night. Positive, his an injured for once having been on international duty and well rested to rip city apart.

    – Sanchez – Played 85mins in a nil nil game against a tough Mexico side, am sure this helped in him getting his full form back. The more games under his belt, the better for him to get back to his usually brilliant self.

    – Sir 3 goals – Brilliant 2 games from our French man, bring that form to Arsenal too mate. Keep working hard and stay injury free, you and Welbeck are our main hopes for glory up front therefore as fans we should support these young lads.

    – Campbell – Aint too sure how he played but its good he had some minutes under his belt too, he needed this.

    – Schez – 7 – nill win, wow, strong start from Poland and our number 1 kept a clean sheet too. Nice

    – Ospina – His baaaaaaack. Finally, happy he played 90 minutes against a strong Brazil trying to prove a point. Was beaten once on the night but this games did more good than bad for us out here.

    – Debuchy – all I got to say is am glad he was rested in the last game, we need him fit and ready for city.

    – Chambers – Its always good to see a young hardworking young man been repaid with a call up for national duty. Glad his coming back injury free and a good international outing for him. Am sure he will want to keep up his performance and claim a spot come Euro

    – Rambo / TR – All the best in tonight’s games for our midfield marshals. Come back injury free will you.

    – Prince Poldi – Got some important game time too. He seems to be in high spirits as always and what’s to impress this season.

    – Carzola – Got some well deserved rest as we need him for the City game too.

    All in all, am glad he haven’t heard of injuries so far and I hope it stays that way. Our boys got some important minutes under there belts which was good and some players got to get a well deserved rest. Cant wait for Saturday

  7. How times have changed eh johnsouttar? I remember when Switzerland wouldn’t even register as an England opponent and we would just turn up and be expected to win. Last night we were underdogs in most peoples eyes. This probably has as much to do as England’s relative decline as the improvement and emergence of lots of international teams. It is clear the whole landscape of international football has changed and apart from the real minnows it is a much leveller playing field now. In fairness to Hodgson – he played a big part in putting Switzerland on the map.

  8. Played jack there and now everyone in the game will slag him. What is it with the managers of today playing theses guys in other positions ?
    I have a funny thing that AV will try this but for the good of jack I hope not. Let’s just hope it’s not dented his great start to the season. England manager has no idear what’s so ever

  9. All I’m saying is that this was divine intervention. Wenger was at the Vatican and we get Wellbeck.

    Imagine next deadline day – he is at Hare Krishna and we get Reus. Or knocking on doors and handing out Watchtower magazines and we get Hummels.

  10. English football suffers from the same problem that AFC does, instead of supporting your team, you (atleast most) wait for it to fail so that you can blame
    1. the manager
    2. The teams most skill full players

    p. s am a just neutral African in this topic

    1. Yes it is true to say that
      most English sports followers
      are happier condemning their
      teams when they lose than
      celebrating victories.

    2. This is very true. Some people are never happy unless they are moaning about something they like / love. The best of it is, they change their mind after every game and move on to a different target.

      Sad but true.

  11. I thought Jack did fine. England dominated much of the game which does not happen unless Jack is doing his job. He made one poor decision for a pass that led to a Swiss break and in the deep role he was forced to be much more reserved and limit his penetrating runs but……

    He played in a crucial role that led to a good performance and a good win over a good club. It all adds up to quite good play. I was not disappointed at all.

  12. Welbeck could have had a hat trick had Sterling passed instead of taking a greedy shot, Wilshere was not in his comfort zone and it did show a bit. What I saw in the last few games is a Wilshere showing moments of brilliance with dynamic runs and sublime passes.

    Give him another few games and he will be back to his best.

  13. Jack’s new in that position so he’s prone to make some bad decisions but he played a decent game overall – so why do most criticize him? Even got forward enough to nick a shot that just flew marginally wide so give him credit. As for Welbeck, he’ll score some goals, wish they can help win those 3points – A real hardworking dude! Lets get behind the team @ least no injuries for now and y’all know how it is when we’re injury free…COYG!

  14. The question we need to ask is this. Would Giroud have been able to score those goals?
    The answer is no. Why? Two reasons. Both goals required tremendous pace to get into position to have the opportunity, which Giroud lacks. The second goal, on top of the pace needed to get into position, required a delicate first touch, good control and the finesse to glide it past the keeper – something we have not seen Giroud done very often…if at all.

    So yes, Welbeck is a MAJOR improvement over him. Giroud has his place though as in the air he is better than Welbeck and probably a bit stronger too…but there is no denying Welbeck has the potential to become the all rounded CF we have been missing for some time.

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