Jack Wilshere has said he has a lot of respect for Roy Hodgson and is looking forward to playing against him in tonight’s Premier League meeting.
Roy Hodgson gave Wilshere plenty of opportunities when he was manager of England between 2012 and 2016. Wilshere was a key part of the head coach’s set-up, as he was trialled in a new defensive-midfield position throughout Euro 2016 qualifying.
Although the midfielder had injury trouble in the lead-up to the tournament, Hodgson still selected him. It’s something that Wilshere is very thankful for.
On the eve of Arsenal’s game against Hodgson’s Crystal Palace, Wilshere explained why he had a lot respect for the man. “He was great for me,” he said, as reported by the Independent.
“I owe him a lot because when he first became England manager I was injured for a year. I missed Euro 2012 and came and he put me straight back in the squad.”
“I missed eight months of football and he took me to the Euros so I owe him. I’ve got nothing but respect for him. He’s a good manager in my eyes and I am looking forward to seeing him. But I won’t be doing him any favours.”
“He was massive for me,” Wilshere added. “The whole of his coaching staff. Ray Lewington was great for me and I enjoyed working under them. Gary Neville was there. I felt I learned a lot from that period of time.
“He was the first one who tried me as a defensive midfielder for England and I relished that. I liked playing there and learnt a lot playing there. So I have a lot of respect for them.”
Hodgson left his role as England manager after Iceland kicked England out of Euro 2016. Gareth Southgate is now the manager, and he’s yet to include Wilshere in any of his squads.
This season, the 25-year-old has been on a mission to prove to Southgate that he’s fully fit. He’s started the last three Premier League games for Arsenal in the absence of Aaron Ramsey. He’ll almost certainly be starting against Palace.
It’ll be interesting to see if keeps his place when the Welshman returns in a few days time.