Wenger: We didn’t push Wilshere out, he wanted to go

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With a midfield crisis to deal with as we head into tomorrow’s Premier League showdown with Chelsea, it’s understandable that Arsene Wenger was asked about Jack Wilshere at his press conference today.

The England international would have been a very useful option right now, but the Arsenal manager said the club acceded to Wilshere’s demands to leave because of the competition he faced to get into the team.

The midfielder had previously said that not making the England squad was the catalyst for his departure, but Wenger seemed to suggest the fact the Arsenal midfield was replete with options was a key part of the 24 year old’s decision making.

Asked if he could do with him at the moment, Wenger said, “Yes, but I would like to reiterate that we didn’t push him out – he wanted to go somewhere and play and I agreed with that.

“He wanted to go because of the level of competitive players we have in midfield.”

I suppose we could, you know, have told him to shut his mouth, get his head down and work hard, but that’s by the by at this point.

It looks as if Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be the duo deployed at Stamford Bridge, beyond changing the formation to play three in there and pushing Mesut Ozil into one of the wide positions.

It would be a bold, and unexpected move to change the system for such a big game, but maybe those are the things that you have to try for a game we really need to win – and for one we definitely can’t lose.

Listen to more midfield chat, Wenger’s future & more on today’s Arsecast

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Oberon
Oberon

I don’t see the benefit of putting Ozil wide, and playing with essentially two out an out defensive options (Coq and another) may well end up with us getting battered as wouldn’t be able to keep the ball. Didn’t City change their formation to try compensate and end up with egg on their faces?

PFo
PFo

If Alexis rather than Giroud is in the middle, Ozil, wouldn’t have to stay wide. He’d be free to interchange and find space (not unlike the way Hazard plays for Chelsea).

Also, the extra midfielder wouldn’t have to be a Coquelin clone, and anyway, we don’t have anyone available like that. If we had Coquelin, the Ox, and one of Maitland-Niles, Jeff, or (the obvious choice, I think) Iwobi playing in a midfield three (roughly the way the midfield played about Southampton), that would help us keep the ball, break the press, and transition up the field (though it’s not that different from our current formation, provided Iwobi plays on the left and is invited to tuck in). Then a fluid front three of Ozil, Alexis, and one of Walcott, Perez, or Welbeck, to offer pace and directness.

Clive St Helmet
Clive St Helmet

Sorry, accidentally downvoted you, add a green tick and subtract a red cross!

I think Wenger will stick with the 4-2-3-1, playing Ox and Coq together. I think Iwobi, Walcott and Giroud will be on the bench, he’ll play Sanchez up top with Welbeck and possibly Perez wide, which doesn’t really matter as all three are basically interchangeable.

Ozil is the conundrum; I think Wenger will expect Chelsea to have most of the possession and will want to press high up the pitch, with fast players capable of quick transitions and Ozil is not a presser, although he’s not slow either. I think he’ll start Ozil but if he doesn’t get stuck in and we need goals he may sub him for Iwobi.

Gooooooooooooooooona
Gooooooooooooooooona

I think the decision to let wilshere go on loan this season was the right one, as we have way too many players in his position to be in the situation we’re in right now, thus couldn’t guarantee the game time he needed to get back to match fitness without the pressure to deliver. I also respect Wenger for honouring that it was a season long loan.

However, if he isn’t willing to come back in the summer and fight for his place then quite frankly he can go and fuck himself. The club and the fans have been way too good to wilshere his whole Arsenal career and to hear him talk nonesense about not being given the chance must really hurt Wenger, as you can clearly see he always made an effort to get him involved when he was fit.

Before the euros he gave him a couple of games so he can be fit to represent his country while Cazorla wrongly wasn’t played until the absolute last game of the season. As a result, wilshere was wrongly called up to the England squad while poor old Cazorla missed out.

Clive St Helmet
Clive St Helmet

We can’t really speculate what Wilshire is likely to do when his loan ends.

Personally, I think he can still be an important player for Arsenal, and I think that getting a positive, injury free season under his belt could be good for all parties. I’m optimistic that he’ll return and be an integral part of our midfield for many years to come.

Ben
Ben

Wenger has lost the plot
Can anybody explain why he played Gabriel at right back v Watford ?
He is crap at his own central defensive position
Wenger done well for us but please please please its time to go
There is not another so called big club anywhere in Europe that would still have him as manager
We need at least 5 quality signings & a new goalkeeper
Everybody can see it accept Wenger and the Arsenal board
We are now the laughing stock of European Club fooball

Ozil's left foot
Ozil's left foot

What was stupid is not having the option to recall.

Now I know for sure there is no sell on clause in Gnabry’s release. The rot at Arsenal is not Wenger’s fault, he is by my estimate the reason we are still relevant. The management seems to be so real issue. #KroenkeOut

Gooooooooooooooooona
Gooooooooooooooooona

I understand your frustration. But why would a club want to spend so much money on a quality player with an astonishing injury record. Put the effort into finding the right routine for him to slowly ease him in, finally get him to be match fit and deliver only for us to take him back. Chelsea calling back Ake isn’t the same as calling back Jack wilshere. One is an un established youth player that is kind of a gamble, while the other is an established England international and Arsenal’s number 10. You can’t compare the two cases.

Plus so you don’t waste your time, even if every single Arsenal fan got together to kick Stan kroenke out he wouldn’t give a rats ass. I can see him being one of those people with a huge factory in a third world developing nation with the absolute most brutal working conditions. But it’s cheaper than having it in the states and that’s all he cares about. In this scenario, we’re those poor old factory workers and there’s nothing we can do about it. lol, I hope that made sense

Clive

Comment:Bring back Jack now!!

Chris
Chris

‘He wanted to go’ is not the way I would of expected this to be phrased. ‘He wanted to challenge himself/Knew he needed gametime/etc’ – something to that effect, I would understand. There doesn’t appear to be any attempt on Arsene’s behalf to belittle Jack’s intentions.

Patrik Ljungberg
Patrik Ljungberg

“Would have”

Efosa Gideon
Efosa Gideon

Chamberlain is a better midfield option than the others for a match we need to attack and defend effectively.

He can sit in defending, but has that surprise burst of speed through the centre that can unsettle Chelsea. The only challenge is the 3rd central midfielder being Ozil is not physical enough to cushion the team. Leaves us with Iwobi, with Ozil playing a bit to the wings in attack.

Dajeff
Dajeff

If he returns an improved player, I don’t think we will be hearing too much complaints.
I love your work Blogs, I really do, but wou do have some pet peeves at times… Wilshere’s departure being a common theme. What if it was the right decision ? I’d say: had Wilshere stayed, he would perhaps be short of game time and have had a start stop kind of season. We don’t know. Let’s look forwards, not backwards, with all due respect.

Czar_Kyza
Czar_Kyza

I say play Holding in that holding role alongside Le Coq….he’s got the calmness and the right attitude to do well there! I wonder why Kris the ‘BFP’ was sent on loan too, I believe this would’ve been a good time to try him out in his preferred CM/DM position regardless of his age! Supporting the manager and the lads to win tomorrow’s game 100%!!!

clins
clins

when xhaka was red carded some people including me was concerned if ramsey will be injured then there will be no one except coqueline to play there . it just tells us , whatever is supposed to go wrong at arsenal will eventually go wrong. central midfield which the most compeitive position at arsenal is now short of specialized player. thank god ox came in and did a good job there

Gomera
Gomera

Around this time a couple of seasons ago we “resorted” to using the Coq as a DM. I’d love to see our hand similarly forced to employ Toral in midfield.

poly
poly

On loan at Rangers Jon Toral?

poly
poly

Ox could have an opportunity to make the position his own he has never been able to hold down a regular position in the team (injuries haven’t helped). If he does well against Chelsea then surely Elneny won’t take his place and if he continues to do well Xhaka and Ramsey also will not. If it works out he is as close to a like for like to Santi we are likely to get.

An Ox-Sized Coq
An Ox-Sized Coq

Realistically Ramsey moving on would be best for both parties, and would push Wilshere further up the pecking order. But that’s for another conversation.

For Chelsea, I think we really need to play Alexis up top flanked by two of Iwobi, Walcott, or Welbeck.

Anthony
Anthony

Why is Ramsey moving on good for both parties?

TeeSong
TeeSong

Two reasons. Firstly, I’m not a Ramsey hater and I think he could actually be a very good player for us, if he was more tactically disciplined. Which is the first reason why I’d rather see him leave. For some reason, since his breakout 2013-14 season, he’s been way too forward thinking in searching for goals. He breaks forward into the box like a forward in the early part of the buildup, leaving us way too exposed for counters. As a midfielder, he needs to be much more circumspect in his forward runs. Especially now with the options we have in our forwards, we don’t need him to score 15 goals from midfield.

Second, for someone who seems to be an automatic starter when healthy, whether on the wings or in central midfield, his injury record is terrible. He clearly is susceptible to muscle strains which cause him to miss several weeks per injury multiple times in a season. His latest calf strain comes when he had eight full days between games. We desperately need him and despite the fact that he had that much rest we couldn’t keep him fit and available. If we can’t keep him fit and available for for than 2/3 of a season I don’t see much of a point to keeping him, especially since Wenger has been unable to rein in his game tactically.

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

Because, sadly, Ramsey has never replicated the form he showed before his first massive injury. He came close that one time about three seasons ago, then suffered another massive injury. Nowadays, he just doesn’t seem to fit into the team at all. I think we should move him on in the summer.

GOON
GOON

Ramsey is a more mobile player than Wilshere. I’m not sure we have seen enough of Wilshere to say for sure he is better than Ramsey. A shame Wilshere didn’t stay because a Wilshere Xhaka midfield combo would have been interesting to see. Wilshere has claimed he wants to play in a Pirlo-esque role but I just can’t see him exceed there. Anyone been watching Bournemouth games? Does Wilshere make a big difference to the side? Ramseys performance in the Euros was awesome and you don’t simply sell a player like that.

Granit(e) hard!
Granit(e) hard!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I for one would prefer playing one of our talented youngsters, rather than playing one of our regulars out of position. We have plenty of ‘ready’ talented youngsters and maybe its time to throw one of them in, ……..yes, i know, this is a must win match, but ain’t they all?

Plus, who knows, they might rise to the challenge, remember, we wouldn’t have a Bellerin or Coquelin now if we didn’t give them that chance.

badaab
badaab

What I get from reading this is that jack is a spoilt child and didn’t want to work har for his place. If that’s the whole story, he can go on a permanent basis.

BODMAS
BODMAS

for me,I won’t take Jack back because he was only interested in the national team. who knows if he stays he won’t have be injured already. Stop this bring Jack back stuff… Am putting 200€ for Arsenal to win…COYG

SB
SB

The bit I liked in this article was was the caption for the pic. Nice work!

santori
santori

Absolutely.

Hard to do anything if the player wants to leave for more assured time on the pitch.

But we really could have done with him. Seem one player short in midfield. I’d personally prefer jack to Elneny if given the choice.

Arsesupport
Arsesupport

Jack has always struggled to play a full season and I don’t see that changing if he had stayed, but it’s interesting that he’s getting a load of games under his belt now! Hopefully he comes back to us next season with a hole season under his belt.

Robhead
Robhead

Or just a hole in his belt.

chippy's chip
chippy's chip

Love our superjack. Hope he comes back injury free and fighting fit for next season and hopefully leading the songs on the bus and balcony again but with a bigger feckin trophy.

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

Blogs you’re half right, and I suspect you know it, but don’t want to admit the other truth…

You know a midfield centre 3 makes sense for this Arsenal team. Many have said it for a while now and Saturday showed it. We need a midfield 3. This 2 man CM is leaving us exposed and has been so for 2 seasons now.

The problem is the forward 3 also need to be fast moving and hard working. And you know Ozil doesn’t fit that description. Him in the left will leave our LW exposed.

The truth blogs, is that for the greater good of the whole team, Ozil needs dropping. You know it.

Alex
Alex

Oh, yes, Özil is slow and doesn’t work. At first, why guys like Wenger, Löw and Mourinho admire him, this is a mystery. Why a guy like Ronaldo was sad to see him leave is another one (mystery).

Stillmatic
Stillmatic

What an odd justification? Why Ronaldo was sad to see him go? Why were Madrid ready to sell?

I know saying such a thing is paramount to treason here. I’m not saying Ozil is lazy, but whether people want to admit it or not, for his strengths and vision, he isn’t a big factor why we now function with 2 in midfield and regularly get run no over. Coquelin’s importance is due to Ozil.

Ozil is effectively a forward, not really a midfielder. ITs why Wenger himself tried a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 with jack and Ramsey and Ozil on LW (Lowe plays him in LW if you haven’t noticed, nor his favoured no.10). But Ozil also left our LB exposed.

Neg all you want, I know some of you would rather we just fit in as many WC into the squad regardless of balance, but Conte has shown it isn’t possible to sacrifice a no.10 (Fabregas) for the team’s greater good.

Also, which top team currently operates with a defacto no.10?
Madrid don’t.
Bayern don’t.
Atletico don’t
Barca don’t.
PSG don’t
Chelsea don’t
City don’t
I don’t think Juve does (I could be wrong there)

Robhead
Robhead

Madrid don’t because they rely on the brilliance of their front three to magic up their own goals. That’s not going to happen with our front 3.

Barca kind of do, it’s Iniesta and again have a magic front 3.

Atletico play 442

City are shit. And Pep is a shambles.

DB10**
DB10**

Iwobi is a great player in the making. He however tires after an hour and thats when mistakes happen in his game.
Expect some tough tackling on our creative players. At least one of whom quickly goes into his shell and goes through the motions.