John Giles breaks down what's missing from Wilshere's game

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John Giles breaks down what's missing from Wilshere's game


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While there are question marks about Arsene Wenger's future at Arsenal, the same can be said of Jack Wilshere.

The academy product has finally strung together a run of games after an injury-hit few seasons with the Gunners - not to count a year on loan away at Bournemouth - and his performances in comparison to an albeit lightweight midfield has been good by recent Arsenal standards.

But his current contract is winding down and there has been no definitive word about a renewal of terms thus far. The expectation from the majority of supporters is that Wilshere should be kept on at his boyhood club.

Last night, Leeds and Ireland legend John Giles joined us as ever on a Thursday night and gave us an insight into Wilshere's pros and cons as a midfielder when it comes to positioning and use of the ball.

"I don't think he's the complete midfield player. He's probably the best English player at what's needed," he said.

"Like, little [N'Golo] Kante would be one of the major ones after De Bruyne and Modric in my opinion. Wilshere is the most skillful of the English midfield players but he's not a Modric, he's not a Kante, he's not a De Bruyne."

John, who starred in midfield for Leeds in the '60s and '70s, went on to explain what's lacking from the England international's game and compared his shortcomings positionally to Paul Pogba at Manchester United.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere 9right) and Ostersunds FK's Alhaji Gero during the UEFA Europa League round of 32, second leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture by: Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images

"With Wilshere, when he should be in Place A, he could be in Place B and when he should be in B, he's in A. So it's reading the game to get in position to get the ball and make the ball come to you.  

"If you really want to dictate the game, you have to be near the right full back when he has the ball, near the left full back [when he has the ball]. So you have to give it to him and then he knits everything together.

"Wilshere will do a good bit of work when he gets the ball but only when the ball comes to him rather than him making the ball come to him. Wilshere will mostly be on the left hand side and when he gets it, he can dribble on the ball and he can be quite effective, but the ball has to come to him rather than making the ball come to him.

"It's a lack of knowledge. To be able to read the game and to know where the ball is going to be before it gets there. Pogba would be similar to Wilshere. He'd be up in front of the ball, 15 yards ahead of the ball when he should be five yards behind the ball. If he's 15 yards ahead, you can't find him."


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