Wilshere: I want to play holding role for Arsenal, but Wenger won’t let me

The midfielder has impressed for England in front of the defence but revealed that his manager does not feel the Gunners’ formation allows for him to replicate it at club level

  • replicate – make an exact copy of; reproduce.

Jack Wilshere has revealed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will not allow him to play in the same holding midfield role in which he has impressed for England.

The 22-year-old performed well against both Slovenia and Scotland during the recent international break after being deployed as a shield in front of the defence by Roy Hodgson.

But Wilshere claims the Gunners’ formation does not suit him playing there, despite him asking Wenger to be dropped deeper in their 4-1-4-1 system.

“Yes, but the formation we play at Arsenal is a bit different,” he told reporters when asked if he thought he should play a holding role at club level.

“I wouldn’t mind playing it at Arsenal and I’ve already spoken to the manager about it, and he doesn’t see me playing that role just yet.

“I enjoy my role for Arsenal as well because I can get a bit further forward, but I wouldn’t mind playing the holding role for Arsenal. That’s the manager’s decision.

“At the moment, I think [Mikel] Arteta is injured and [Mathieu] Flamini is playing that role. It’s down to him. If he wants me to play there, I’ll play it.”

Some eyebrows were raised when Hodgson chose to play Wilshere in a deeper role in the Three Lions’ opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland, but the midfielder has become one of his country’s most consistent performers in their current six-match winning run.

And though the 22-year-old admits he is still a work in progress in the position, he is enjoying the switch in responsibilities that the move has brought.

“I’m really enjoying my new position,” he added. “I’ve said before, after the first game in Switzerland, that I’d only get better and better. It was my first game ever playing in that role.

“The main thing is the coaches are getting their points across in terms of what they want me to do, not just over here but when we’re away from here.

“We’re working on it, because I don’t play that role for my club, but I am really enjoying it.



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