After suffering from a hairline fracture to his left fibula, Arsene Wenger has spoken about Jack Wilshere’s ‘penetrative‘ and ‘provoking’ style of football.
As gutted as we all are after the news of Wilshere’s new injury, Wenger will be feeling this tenfold. However, the boss is confident the midfielder will be back in a matter or weeks.
Ahead of our opening game of the season against West Ham on Sunday, the boss praised the 23-year-old’s style of play and also explained why he’s picked up another injury.
“You can’t play football without going freely in the challenge,” Wenger said. “And Jack’s game is to provoke with the ball at his feet and go and penetrate. If you take that away you change the player and you take one of his biggest strengths out of the game.”
Indeed, Wilshere is probably one of the most fouled footballers in the Premier League. As Wenger said, he invites a challenge by holding onto the ball, dribbling and surging forward. People put their feet in and, even with the best intentions, Wilshere is often the one who comes away from the challenged wounded.
“We are all programmed through our education to respond in a game situation like we are used to,” the boss continued. “After with age and experience we use our qualities in a more efficient way. But we do not change basically the way we play.”
Comparing him to others, Wenger said, “Jack’s game is to receive, go forward, provoke, release the ball. Sometimes because he has a good little burst, he uses that very well to get out. But sometimes it is a game that provokes maybe more challenges than Gilberto Silva, who just sat there deep and played, or Mesut Ozil, who [dribbles] less.”
He added, “Jack is a born football brain. He’s a creative brain. He has no handbrake. But that tells him to provoke in the final third. That’s where he creates all his chances.”
Although I appreciate the way Wilshere plays, I’m sure most do, it’s concerning that Wenger sees this trait in his style of football as something that will obviously continue. It’s worrying to think that him getting tackled and subsequently injured in this nature will also carry on throughout his career.