Arsène Wenger says Jack Wilshere is almost ready to start for Arsenal in the Premier League, but the competition is a bit too intense for him at the moment.
This week Wenger made a few comments about how Jack is approaching the same levels that put him on the map of Premier League talent in the first place. Ahead of the Watford match on Saturday, Arsène reiterated this, but also clarified that Jack might not quite be ready for a league start, saying (via the Guardian): “If the competition was less ferocious, he is ready to play.
“I wouldn’t be scared to play him. In the Premier League he can play [soon]. He is nearly back to his best.”
The physicality of the Premier League is indeed a bit fierce at times, and Wenger says that confrontations are just part of Jack’s nature: “It is part of his game. You cannot ask a guy not to go into any contact. I believe it is his strength.
“His strength is to turn the game forward and have acceleration individually or with the ball. Sometimes when he accelerates individually he pushes the ball too far and gets confronted.”
So it’s a bit of a dilemma for the boss. He knows that starting Jack will lead to physical battles, which could be damaging for the midfielder’s fitness. At the same time, if Wilshere doesn’t get chances now, with Özil just back from injury and Ramsey and Xhaka coming off a busy international break, it’ll become more and more difficult to integrate him.
If Wilshere starts and puts in a man-of-the-match performance like the one against BATE Borisov, everyone praises the decision. If he starts and gets injured, then it was foolish to put him at risk like that.
I don’t envy Wenger right now.