by Lewis Ambrose

Injury after injury, but Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere says he simply cannot change the way he plays the game.

The drop of a shoulder, burst of acceleration, and one touch too far.

Jack Wilshere draws a foul but ends up laying on the floor.

60,000 people collectively hold their breath while they wait for him to get up.

We’ve seen this scenario plenty of times at Arsenal. Sometimes it ends in an injury, sometimes Wilshere gets back up again.

“When I was injured I heard people saying I should change the way I played,” says Wilshere.

“I was thinking maybe they’re right, maybe I should change a bit.

“As soon as I can back for my first game, naturally, I wanted to pick the ball up and run with it.”

Dribbling is probably Wilshere’s finest asset, and he shouldn’t be looking to change his game if it doesn’t accommodate him driving forward with the ball.

What he can do is improve that part of his game.

“I can work on a few things maybe,” admits the England midfielder.

“When (Iniesta and Messi) run with the ball the ball’s always close to them. I can work on that.”

Work on it he will – because he certainly won’t stop carrying the ball forward.


What Wilshere needs – more than anything else – is to stay fit.

Without that he has no chance of forcing himself into Arsène Wenger’s starting 11 next season.

“My fitness levels are still on the way up,” says Wilshere, who is unlikely to have the complete rest his teammates will enjoy before pre-season.

“It’s important I stick to the programme Arsenal have given me and the England team have given me and come back on July 10, ready to go.”

His place in the England team is more secure than at Arsenal, with few other options in midfield.


A new role for The Three Lions sees Wilshere as the deepest midfielder, given license to roam and create from in front of the defence.

“I enjoy that position,” says the Arsenal man.

“Before the Switzerland game when the manager said he wanted me to play in that role I was a bit nervous.

“I was a bit nervous because I wanted to do well for the team. But since that game I’ve come a long way.”

It’s a role that’s new to Wilshere. If he excels it may open a door in the Arsenal side, as well as allowing himself to nail down his place for his country.

It’s pretty clear that Jack Wilshere can’t change the way he plays.

England are trying to find a way to use his abilities to their fullest, and maybe Arsenal will benefit.