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Cautious but promising full debut for Wilshere

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Cautious but promising full debut for Wilshere



Wilshere's role for England
Before the World Cup, Fabio Capello used his friendlies to help England become more comfortable in a shape that was proving very successful in qualifiers. Since the failure in Bloemfontein, he’s used them to experiment slightly more. In the other post-South Africa non-competitive games, he’s used a 4-3-3 and then a 4-2-3-1, on both occasions playing Wayne Rooney as a lone forward.

Here, England were back to 4-4-2, with Rooney paired with Darren Bent upfront. The experimentation was in the central midfield zone, with Jack Wilshere fielded alongside Frank Lampard in midfield. The absence of Steven Gerrard was frustrating because it didn’t allow us to see what Capello would have done if all three were available. He’d confirmed two weeks ago that Wilshere would start – so would Gerrard or Lampard be dropped, or would England play a three in the middle?

Wilshere and Lampard were fielded in what is probably best described as an old-fashioned central midfield duo. Wilshere was used in a deep role, but not as a pure ‘holding’ player – Lampard rarely got forward too much to leave the Arsenal midfielder on his own – they generally stayed close together and worked as a partnership.

In that sense, Wilshere wasn’t really in the “Makelele role” – which was never completely defined in the first place (does it have to be as the sole holding player?) and is becoming less useful in the modern game anyway. At Arsenal he plays in a double pivot with Alex Song. The two take it in turns to go forward, and cover each other appropriately. The model many clubs are following here is the German one – Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira last summer. Many will claim Wilshere is too attack-minded and creative to play in a ‘double pivot’, but consider that Schweinsteiger, one of the players of the tournament, was an out-and-out winger until the start of the 2009/10 campaign, and that argument looks less valid.

Although England were playing a central midfield two here, rather than the three Wilshere would probably be more comfortable in, it’s not entirely dissimilar to the German system, despite that being widely labelled a 4-2-3-1. Mesut Ozil played as an attacking midfielder but barely helped out in the defensive phase of play – instead he stayed high up the pitch and looked for space, ready to spring counter-attacks. Germany defended with two banks of four, and therefore the roles of the central midfielders in their system there, and England’s system in Denmark, were not too different.

Wilshere is not really a defensive midfielder, something Capello and Arsene Wenger agree on, but England don’t have anyone capable of playing there alone. Gareth Barry was a letdown at the World Cup, Michael Carrick wasn’t in the squad, Scott Parker won his first cap under Capello last night so is clearly not a favourite, and Owen Hargreaves is sadly barely worth consideration.

Despite being withdrawn at half time, Wilshere played well. He made a couple of good tackles, he played on the front foot to intercept balls played into opponents, and he hit some excellent diagonal passes to the flanks. In all, he did pretty much what he’s done this season for Arsenal, with the exception of his sudden charges forward, where he looks to play one-twos and move past Cesc Fabregas.

Because of that, he will probably be described as being ’shackled’ by this new role – but when considering that Arsenal don’t have anyone in the ‘Song’ mould, this was as close as Capello could get to using Wilshere where he’s impressed so far this season for his club. Capello has been accused of not playing players in the correct position during his tenure, and Wilshere may turn out to be an attacking midfielder – at the head of a midfield trio – but in his last game for Arsenal, the zone he played most of his passes from was just deeper than the halfway line.


Wilshere agreed that there was little difference from his club role. “It’s quite similar, Just not going forward as much. I spoke to the boss before the game, and he said he wants to play me there, and I’ll play anywhere for my country. It’s quite similar to the role at Arsenal.”

Wilshere’s performance was not sensational - maybe that goes with playing deep in midfield – and he is still young and inexperienced. However, it was an encouraging full debut for his country, and ignoring the fact that Capello only used him for 45 minutes, this was the right way for Wilshere to be used.

- http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/02/09/cautious-but-promising-full-debut-for-wilshere/

Interesting read from ZM on Wilshere. Will be interesting to see what happens when Gerrard is available, a long with a host of other selection headaches.
 
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iNickStuff

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****, I was in mid-post of this, with the screenshot and chalkboard screenshot.

But, you beat me to it.
 

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I'd presume if Gerrard loses his regular spot he'll retire early, hope he does anyway. (6)

Like Wilshere, good player, utilises the ball well.
 
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Was very interesting to see Wilshere and Lampard working in a two, which worked well all things considered. Hopefully when Gerrard comes back he won't be shunted left again, and Capello will experiment with a three.

Decent enough debut from Jack, showed no sign of nerves, some superb passing, discipline and positional sense, as well as the Scholes horror tackle being completely absent. Looks a wise head on those shoulders (a **** sight wiser than some of the senior players, I'm looking at you Mr. Johnson) which can only bode well. I'd be intrigued with a three of Huddlestone, Wilshere and Gerrard: the range and quality of passing would be immense.
 
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I hope he sticks with this for a bit, and doesn't shove Gerrard straight back in the side. Lampard and Wilshire had a decent game, it would be foolish to disrupt that at the moment in my opinion.
 
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I'd presume if Gerrard loses his regular spot he'll retire early, hope he does anyway. (6)

Like Wilshere, good player, utilises the ball well.
Either that or Gerrard will play instead of Frank.

Although, the thought of Gerrard retiring doesn't bother me at all, that way he'll be fully focused on Liverpool at all times which can't exactly be a bad thing can it.
 
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I hope he sticks with this for a bit, and doesn't shove Gerrard straight back in the side. Lampard and Wilshire had a decent game, it would be foolish to disrupt that at the moment in my opinion.
However, it'd also be foolish to assume that we can get away without playing a true destroyer against the big sides. Much as I liked the look of this double pivot we had, it's too fragile. Anyone can see the Eriksen had a superb game, and a more mature, experienced and better quality player would have taken the chances and space he was afforded. Ozil, for example, would probably have ripped us apart.

On top of that, we need to look to the future soon. Lampard will not be around for the next world cup and most likely not around for the next Euros either (and let's be honest, if he still is in the England team then I'd be worried). Gerrard might be, but by then he will be winding down at least internationally. The gist of all this is either Jack Rodwell or Tom Huddlestone being brought into the side, and being played in their correct positions. A double pivot of either of them with Wilshere is a tasty passing prospect indeed.
 
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I do like how people are already saying it should be Wilshere and Lampard without even seeing how well Wilshere will work with Gerrard. They could be even better. Lets wait and see.

Also, random question, 10 years time who do you think the England midfield will be?
 
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I do like how people are already saying it should be Wilshere and Lampard without even seeing how well Wilshere will work with Gerrard. They could be even better. Lets wait and see.

Also, random question, 10 years time who do you think the England midfield will be?
Wilshere, Rodwell, Walcott, and another winger that's young enough to be around in 10 years isn't springing to mind. :p
 
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I do like how people are already saying it should be Wilshere and Lampard without even seeing how well Wilshere will work with Gerrard. They could be even better. Lets wait and see.

Also, random question, 10 years time who do you think the England midfield will be?
I agree, there is no way you can leave Steven Gerrard out of the England team!!

One of the best midfield maestros in the world on the bench, do me a favour.
 
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I agree, there is no way you can leave Steven Gerrard out of the England team!!

One of the best midfield maestros in the world on the bench, do me a favour.
For the good of the team, anyone can be left out. That said, I think he's better than Lampard.

I do like how people are already saying it should be Wilshere and Lampard without even seeing how well Wilshere will work with Gerrard. They could be even better. Lets wait and see.

Also, random question, 10 years time who do you think the England midfield will be?
Far too far away to speculate. Now that's over with, here's my speculation: Rodwell, Wilshere, McEachran in centre, with an ageing Walcott being replaced by an exciting new prospect from somewhere. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain on the other flank.
 
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For the good of the team, anyone can be left out. That said, I think he's better than Lampard.



Far too far away to speculate. Now that's over with, here's my speculation: Rodwell, Wilshere, McEachran in centre, with an ageing Walcott being replaced by an exciting new prospect from somewhere. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain on the other flank.
Benik Afobe on the RW!
 
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Far too far away to speculate. Now that's over with, here's my speculation: Rodwell, Wilshere, McEachran in centre, with an ageing Walcott being replaced by an exciting new prospect from somewhere. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain on the other flank.
Chamberlain, how could I forget him! >.< 10 years is a long time too, plenty of prospects that will probably (hopefully) arrive on the scene.
 
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Lampard out Gerrard in, hands down Gerrard should be in any England team before Lampard.

Englands future midfield could be well stacked. Centrally Wilshire, McEachran, Rodwell, all have bags of potential. I think Cleverly of United will be there abouts in a few years to play out wide left possibly. Chamberlin at Southampton is something very special...his possibilities are endless. I cannot see Walcot as a wide man, he has stated time and time again he is a striker in interviews...still think that is where he will end up, playing off the last defender like Owen used to.

One man who I so hope gets all of his off the field issues sorted out is the very talented Ravel Morrison, just needs to knuckle down and he'll be a United starter in a few years I'm sure.
 
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off topic: how do you create the double pivot midfield in fm?

on topic: Wilshere has been one of my favourite players this year, and look forward to seeing him in the England line-up more often now
 
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Also, to throw another couple into the mix, Gary Gardner and Jonjo Shelvey both look like **** good prospects. We're going to have quite the central midfield in a few years if all goes to plan.
 
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I'm so happy for the lad, has had an excellent season thus far. You could tell in his performance he was so eager to impress so he sometimes burst foward, was a bit like watching Song try to play at DM haha.
 
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off topic: how do you create the double pivot midfield in fm?

on topic: Wilshere has been one of my favourite players this year, and look forward to seeing him in the England line-up more often now
"The Real Arsenal 4-2-3-1" does it pretty well, or at least explains it on the blog at mantralux.com =)

I'm so happy for the lad, has had an excellent season thus far. You could tell in his performance he was so eager to impress so he sometimes burst foward, was a bit like watching Song try to play at DM haha.
Song has instructions to go forward... Annoys me a little when people just think he's not doing his job etc. - the whole point of the double(triple) - pivot in midfield is that they take turns to go forward and cover for each other appropriately. Song moves into the space left by Fabregas when he drops deep to control the tempo - Wilshere and Lampard took turns to play the holding role and the more advanced role.

The reason Wilshere worked (sort of) in the deeper role last night is clearly because we sort of sacrificed Lampard's bursting runs from midfield - he was far more conservative than he ever is for Chelsea, or England but I guess we compensated for that by playing Rooney in the "hole" behind Bent. I still think we need a real double-pivot in midfield, Lampard and Wilshere won't work like that against superior opposition (Germany, Brazil, Spain, even Italy with Quagliarella) who will all take their chances.

There was also an interesting article by Paul Hayward in the Guardian before last night's match to the effect that playing Wilshere in the holding role is the one way to watse the first young English player who looks like he's come from Spain.

All the same, Wilshere played very well, I thought. Composed, confident and intelligent on the ball, he always plays on the front foot which is great because he it means we're always going forward and he brings a short, controlling passing game to the side. Great to see, just play him with a real holding midfielder and we're sorted =)
 
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