Jack Wilshere started and was only able to complete 56 minutes before limping off injured during Bournemouth’s comprehensive defeat at the hands of Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.
The midfielder ultimately suffered against one of the league’s best teams once again, which has been a common theme this season.
In matches against the Premier League’s best, Wilshere has been restricted with regards to creativity. Manchester City (home and away), Chelsea, and Liverpool at home are all examples of matches where the midfielder was forced to focus more on defensive responsibilities as opposed to utilising his main strengths.
Here, was no different.
An in-form Tottenham side were always going to attack with purpose in numbers whenever the opportunity arose.
As a holding midfielder alongside Harry Arter in a 4-4-2 formation, Wilshere was regularly frustrated. Constantly dropping deep to retrieve possession, sloppy mistakes from team-mates and Tottenham’s high-press meant he was never regularly in the attacking third.
His performance unsurprisingly suffered as a result.
After an interception in his half, a lack of forward options saw him attempt a lofted pass only for it to ricochet off Eric Dier and help Spurs on their way to doubling a quick-fire lead.
Regularly giving teammates instructions and aiming to encourage, it was something you don’t usually see from him.
Bournemouth’s defending was hopeless though and 2-0 soon became three. You could almost excuse Wilshere for not trying harder at this point when he lost possession, chased back rapidly and partially blocked Harry Kane’s effort on-goal in the box. In doing so, he collided with the striker as he followed through, sustaining a painful knock that he couldn’t risk continuing with.
His individual match statistics (per WhoScored):
– 62.1% pass accuracy, 39 touches
– Fouled on two occasions, five accurate long balls
– Four tackles: second most across Bournemouth team, one completed clearance
One of the club’s spokespeople said post-match that it was “too early to tell” how long he’d be out for, as he’ll be assessed by medical staff in the coming days.
“Jack left the stadium on crutches as a precaution.
“It is to keep any weight off the potentially injured area. Protective boot is to make sure everything is secured, preventing any further damage.“