Arsenal fans are very used to seeing Arsene Wenger put his players into unfamiliar roles on the pitch, so it seems strange that England are now doing the same thing with Jack Wilshere and are trying to turn him into a defensive midfielder this week.
One can only wonder if Arsene Wenger has discussed this career change with Roy Hodgson as we are all aware that the Gunners are in desperate need of a new player in that position, especially as both Matthieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are both getting a bit long in the tooth.
But Jack seems very keen to grow into the role as he prepares to do take that role again against Estonia this evening. He said to the FA website: “I’ve been watching Xabi Alonso recently, his passing is ridiculous,”
“Playing in that role it’s important that you understand that if you lose the ball the opposition get it in a dangerous position. So watching players like that you learn how intelligent they are, how they use the ball, when to dribble, when to pass.
“But I enjoy playing that role, I enjoy starting attacks and getting on the ball.”
“I learned a lot form Cesc [Fabregas], he was someone who had been in my position playing regularly from 16, which was even younger than me.
“San Marino was my second game in that role, and I’m still learning and improving. There is a lot more to come in that position but the more I watch players like that, the quicker I’ll learn.”
I am sure Wenger will be watching these games with interest, but is it possible that he himself has asked the England manager to give him some game-time against small teams as a defensive midfielder, purely so that Wilshere can grow into that position when he comes back to the Arsenal team>?