An Arsenal midfield which includes Jack Wilshere is, generally, a more competent looking midfield than one which lacks his presence. Though he is still only 20-years-old, Wilshere possesses a calmness on the ball coupled with a tenacity off it, making him the perfect player to slot into the middle of the Gunners’ line-up.
Despite the subsequent result, Wilshere’s value was clear in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend. He may have only just returned from a very lengthy lay-off, but the England international provided energy and urgency to Arsene Wenger’s side. Even though Arsenal lost the game, and Wilshere was dismissed late on for two bookable offences which could be attributed to rustiness, the signs were encouraging.
He will miss the match against Fulham this weekend after his Old Trafford sending off, but the upcoming suspension could be a blessing in disguise.
The midfield dynamo not only played the majority of the game against United but also completed a full 90 minutes in the Champions League in midweek, as Arsenal let a two goal lead slip to share the spoils with German giants Schalke.
After such a long layoff, it is important that Wilshere gets game time under his belt. But, equally, it is just as vital that he allows his body plenty of time to rest and recover, so as not to be downed because of injury again. Another serious setback and Wilshere’s brittleness, and therefore his entire career, will be called into question.
As well as that, Wilshere is also likely to get a run out for England in the friendly against Sweden next week. England manager Roy Hodgson has chosen the five times-capped player in his squad and it is unlikely he would have done so, given Wilshere’s fitness issues, unless he was planning on playing him at some point.
With that in mind, starting Wilshere against Fulham as well as allowing for his participation in the Sweden match would have meant he would play the best part of four matches in ten days – a tough ask, despite, or maybe because of, his tender age.
The only problem as far as Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are concerned is their list of current midfield absentees. Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey continue to suffer injuries and with Wilshere now unavailable too, it will heap further pressure on the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta to perform.
Whoever provides the creative spark for the Gunners, they will need plenty of it in what is an extremely tough month ahead. But if Wilshere’s fitness is managed wisely, the Gunners are all the more likely to exit November with plenty of points on the board.
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