Without Ramsey Arsenal MUST pair Wilshere with Flamini

After Roy Hodgson played the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere in an unfamiliar defensive midfield, or Pirlo, position for England the other night, there has been quite a bit of speculation over his best position. And Arsene Wenger has tried him in a few different roles for Arsenal as well, on both flanks and in the number 10 role behind the forward line.

But his most common position and the one in which most people see as his best is the box-to-box role. But at Arsenal over the last year or so, that spot has been taken by Aaron Ramsey. It was really unlucky for Jack that he suffered that broken foot challenge from Agger just as he was really finding his form again there with Ramsey injured.

It looks like the Welshman may be injured again for Saturday’s big clash with Man City, so the natural choice to replace him is Wilshere. But if Arsene Wenger really wants to get the best out of the Englishman in this game, I think it is vital that he has the freedom to express himself, which in my eyes means putting Mathieu Flamini alongside him.

Flamini is much more disciplined and defensively minded than Arteta and Jack knows that, so having the Frenchman alongside him should stop Jack being caught in two minds. Paul Scholes, a man who knows all about that central midfield role, has been talking about Wilshere in The Independent and feels that he needs a defensive midfielder next to him, just as he and Frank Lampard had, to allow him to really flourish.

Scholes said, “Jack has great ability and at some point I hope that he will be in a position to score goals and to create them. But I just do not believe that playing in front of the back four, on his own, suits him.

“Wilshere is an attacking midfielder, as I was for most of my career. He is not a defensive midfielder and I feel at the moment he is stuck between the two roles. He is being asked to control the play from a deep position, which does not play to his strengths.

“As an attacking midfielder at United, I was lucky to play alongside some of the best defensively-minded midfielders in the game: Nicky Butt, Roy Keane and Michael Carrick. What they gave me was the confidence to get forward, to take risks and score goals safe in the knowledge that they would provide the cover.

“It was not just me at United who benefited from that kind of partnership. For much of his career at Chelsea, Frank Lampard was given the same protection by the likes of Claude Makélélé.

“I feel that Wilshere does not have that freedom. He is caught between being an attacking midfielder and one with defensive responsibilities. At Arsenal he does not have the security of a top-level defensive midfielder alongside him. It is the same with England.”

I still think that Arsenal need to sign a player like that, but at the moment Flamini is the closest thing we have got and against Man City, we need his energy and aggression and Wilshere needs the freedom to attack them. Do you agree?

Tags Man City Scholes Wenger


  1. You would have to think that Wilshere will be starting for sure. His last outing for Arsenal was quite good. We will see who is paired with him.

    1. Just a few weeks into the season and Özil, Arteta, Sanogo, Giroud, Koscielny, Diaby, Gibbs, Ramsey have all been injured, Walcott only just coming back.

      Only at Arsenal…

  2. Arteta is still injured isn’t he? I know he went off injured but has it actually been confirmed that Ramsey will miss the game?

  3. Or wilshere could just sit deeper like he did in the 10/11 season, i prefer the deep lying, tough tackling, attack starting jack to this new CAM/B2B, cant be arsed to defend, attempt too many one twos, run into the box too much jack.

    1. Totally agree jack can do this. I see no reason why he cannot be better than arteta or flamini.

      But thankfully Ramsey is confident injury won’t rule him out. I just want to see our best possible x1 take to the field. However with gibbs a Walcott out that means we should bring in monreal and cazorla. But I think wenger will find a way to include arteta if he is fit.

  4. Szczesny
    Debuchy….Mertsacker…Koscielny. monreal

    Rest Sanchez, Ozil, Welbeck and Wilshere (just played 2 tough internationals)

    1. Sanchez scored 2 goals in his last 2 games
      Welbeck scored 2 against the Swiss in one game
      Wilshere is getting his form back
      Ozil thrives off fast players (all of the above)

    2. I give you more credit than most for at least thinking about resting players. And Wenger should get Rosicky and Poldi in where he can.

      But resting Sanchez, Ozil, Welbeck, AND Wilshere against City? And Sanogo? Seriously? Have we not settled that argument? He is NOT ready to play for Arsenal first team. Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez, Campbell, Akpom and probably a few others should ALL be ahead of Sanogo in the pecking order.

  5. Jack is no way inferiour to Ramsey, with football talent he is superior but Ramsey works and runs more then any one else in the team, probably also in the whole leauge.

    1. I agree. Wilshere has potential to be a better player than Ramsey in terms of technichal ability. Ramsey is a very good player because he makes intelligent runs, works hard, a good finisher and can dribble/control the ball/pass but not in the class of wilshere can be. I can seriously see us changing to a 4-3-3 in the future to accommodate both of them (aswell as using a defensive anchorman) but where does that leave Ozil? Hopefully by then he’d be performing well enough to still be world class coming off the wing

    2. I am not sure what you mean when you say “football talent” – if you mean keepy-ups and show-boat skills then JW is ahead. I would say AR’s talents in scoring more, assisting more, being better defensively, covering more ground and be generally more effective in nearly all areas is a “football talent”.

  6. if you play flamini and wilshere there will be no height compared with toure and Fernando thus I don’t see us doing well this is time to unleach diaby who can cope with them I believe he is back now and hoping we do well.

    1. No way dude. You just cant put a player who barrely plays football against a team like Shi#ty. And who do you think Diaby is? He is more of an attacking player then smeone who likes to sit back and defend.

    2. Height is way overrated as a physical attribute for a midfielder. Are you suggesting that is the deciding factor in a midfield head-to-head? Anyway, both City and Arsenal play the ball on the ground where height is a disadvantage.

  7. Jack is better in a deeper role I think. Not DM but not B2B either. All these little one twos he tries, loses possession so often that it simply isn’t worth it. I’d like to see Jack as a Pirlo type. Great positioning so he can break up play but can also pick a pass from 60 yards. Jack has that sort of potential, he just needs a good run of games injury free. I really hope that Ramsey isn’t out, but if he is, it gives Jack a chance to prove himself. Jack and Rambo don’t currently work together because they’ve been playing a similar sort of game. As they mature, and Jack begins to play deeper, they will both be in the starting 11 and will be electric. As for now, Jack and Flamini is the only choice.

    1. I think modric is the type of player wilshere should aspire to play like. Sit deep, control the midfield and effectively convert defense to attack by driving the ball up the pitch.
      Wilshere doesnt have the passing range to be xavi/pirlo type CM.

    2. No he should continue with his dribblings and and the ones twos of his. Its only natural to lose the ball bec taking on players is the hardest thing to do in football, and those one twoes are very important. Which player at Arsenal is able to take on player? Just a handfull, Rosicky, Wilsher and Chamberlain, even though he has become somehow shy in taking on players lately.

      What Wilsher needs to do is going forward and score goals. If he does that. Peple will give up on saying that he should play deep rather then up front.

      1. Couldn’t disagree more. Jack definitely does have the potential to have that passing range. We forget that he’s only 22. He’s got a long way to go yet and he’s already regarded as one of the best passers in England.
        As for saying Jack should continue to take on players all the time, again I think you’re wrong. Doing it a few times every game is ok, but it’s all he does and it’s predictable. Also, with Jack’s injury record, taking on players just increases the likelihood that his ankle will go again. He needs to preserve himself. Also with Ramsey in the team, we have a player that contributes with goals and makes them surging runs. They can’t both do it or there’s no balance. Jack should sit back and ping passes from deep.

      2. Those 1-2s are for the final third to unlock defences – definitely not from a deeper lying position. And an even bigger no-no is trying the one on one from those deeper areas.

  8. I think Rambo will be fine, either way, I have a really good feeling about Saturday which I never get when it comes to games against big teams!

    1. Evening mate if we play ozil as the number ten with Campbell and Sanchez on the wings and Danny boy in the middle I can see us winning maybe two -one

          1. We need players that are willing to get stuck in against the top teams. Lets please not go down to ten men again with minuets to go. GOYG make it tough and make it fair and get under Man City’s skin.

              1. That could work but he would have to stay back and forget his natural instincts. Here we go again playing players out of position 🙂

                1. I don’t care if he does to be quite honest. We need to have a team that picks its self and have great subs to come on.

          2. I might be wrong but hasn’t Flamini had 1 red card in his 2 stints at Arsenal? He is pretty good at collecting the yellows but he is not really the fire-brand liability that people imagine.

  9. I feel quite confident about City this weekend
    I feel okay about United because dodgy defense, but awesome attack
    Chelsea scares the shit out of me.

    1. @Cartman
      Thats why we lose against the top four teams, they should be fearing us not the other way around. Bring in a great sports psychologist please.

      1. Its pathetic. Our record against big teams is shocking. Wenger never has won against Moro in his life. And those heavy defeats 6:0, 8: 2 are things you simple cant shake off.

        There is not such a thing with Arsenal having the fear factor against others. Against every game against small team i often get the feeling that we are playing somehow on a finale.

  10. Wilshere has a lot to learn yet. He does not have far to go looking for the Master. The Master; Little Mozart is right there with him. Mozart had a splendid game last night, made some breathtaking long passes, his runs with the ball were one direction that is towards the opposing goal, no sideways passing, well timed and gave the Dutch defenders some real hard time. Only if Wilshere can learn half of the stuff of what the little mozart knows. He will be a champion. I just dont understand why Wenger will not play the Czech Dynamo, Rosiscky. How dumb!

  11. Can someone please tell me why Wenger plays right footed players on the left wing. I might be old school but when you play a left footed player he can get to the byline and cross the ball.

    1. You are right, it is a bit of a mystery. Some right footed wingers do fine on the left. Ox for example performed quite well on the left when he first came up. Most do not.

      Wenger, I think just wants to get his best players somewhere on the pitch, regardless of position.

      It is sad that Wenger just refuses to use his players who clearly can play on the left. I think Poldi or Campbell should play LW.

  12. Just remember this stat, we haven’t lost at home in the league since the Aston Villa game, first game of last season, that’s over a year ago.

  13. @Zulu-boy-SA
    Do you remember Ramsey at the beginning of last season. Wilshere is going to be the same this season. When players grow up and take criticism they become better.

    1. @Zulu-boy-SA
      There is such a thing called reverse psychology, and may be the fans and Wenger have got it wright.

  14. Somebody should tell him to stop those little one twos like he wants to pass the goal line, so far that sh*t has resulted to only two goals, good defenders always anticipate and thwart that, instead he should take shots more when he is around the box, that would add more goals to his game as he has proven many times that he is a good shot, whenever he takes a shot its always not far off.

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