Wenger positive on Wilshere’s performance, coy on his contract


Having declared his team ‘frozen‘ in the first half last night’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool, Arsene Wenger had praise for Jack Wilshere as one of the only players who avoided that during the opening 45 minutes.

The Gunners were lucky to go in just one goal down, having granted Jurgen Klopp’s side numerous chances to score. However, the manager still had time to give credit to the midfielder for the way he played.

“I think he is one of the players who played with quality in the first half, determination,” he said.

“Jack is never frozen, but what he did in the second half was like the rest of the team, I liked what he did. He’s better now than he was in the last two or three years.

“I think he is positive overall and is in a very good shape at the moment.”

Asked if his performances in recent weeks might help with a new contract, the Frenchman continued, “It might, we will see.

“But as well I think we had four players tonight who have been educated at our academy, with Bellerin, Iwobi and Wilshere they are certainly the only ones at the top, but basically we want to keep these players.”

For more on last night, read today’s Arseblog: 5 minutes of fun can’t mask the frustration

Leave a Reply

43 Comments on "Wenger positive on Wilshere’s performance, coy on his contract"

newest oldest most voted
Faisal Narrage

Found it interesting how Jack a few days ago spoke about how he learnt so much on the defensive side whilst away. You could even see that in his defensive awareness (he just wasn’t able to keep up with Selah, but at least tried to track him when he could).

I remember Chesny talking about how he learnt so much more whilst at Roma, and even Hayden talking about how much Benitez thought him about being a DM at Newcastle compared to Arsenal.

Persistent pattern of players learning things outside of Arsenal. Makes me worried for Iwobi and Bellerin, as they seem to have stagnated. I bet a loan to a decent club would teach them all the things they’re currently lacking at Arsenal.


I also remember Fabregas talking about learning positional discipline at Barcelona.

Nail on the head.

A Different George

Yeah, and if you watch Fabregas at Chelsea, you see how well that has worked. The guy is all over the pitch, same as he always was.

Don Cazorleone



A different management team here…


Exactly, need new manager…NOW, issues past few seasons … sell Sanchez and sign Ozil, need center backs.

Jean Ralphio

No doubt we need a new manager more in the mould of Pep or Tuchel. But let’s not forget that there are different methods of coaching. Wenger has, from what I have heard, a hands off, learn on the job style. With the success he has had, let’s not talk like he knows nothing about coaching. Also, players have signed for Arsenal to work with him and Arsenal players that have left and not fared well. So is there a persistent pattern? No. There is no right or sure way to coach. Sometimes you are successful and sometimes not so much, not every player will be a success and we won’t win every game.


That management style only works when you have the personel to carry it out, 15 years ago we did, but since then all the top players are at other clubs . To compete with these huge spenders now we need a manager who knows how to make a team well drilled and disciplined and carry out a game plan, Wenger is clearly not somebody who can do that.

Andy Mack

I think Pulis is available and fits that job description…


The description of “You will never be relegated but you will soon scratch your head over your football club’s very existence” Pulis.

Arsene has pretty much taken Arsenal to that category to be honest.

Why Not

Well done.

Faisal Narrage

A style that worked 20 years ago doesn’t guarantee it will work now.

The fact you mention Arsenal players that have left but not fared well is actually an indictment on Wenger, because it’s clear we develop players that only play to his style, and if his style is outdated then, well….

And less and less players are digging to work under Wenger. And who would we say is the last player to come to a Arsenal and improved? Only argument would’ve been Sanchez but this season says otherwise.

Fact is his hands off method hasnt brought League success in a while now. Yet current successful managers are micro-managers in the form of Conte, Guardiola and Tuschels of this world. Those who ignore the evidence are probably the same who kept ignoring the trend of Arsenal and kept saying “well we’re in the top 4” and overlooking the obvious decline that hasn’t led us to where we are now.


I’m not going to deny the success of any of those “micro” managers you have mentioned. They are all good in their own ways. Juve has fallen apart since Conte left and actually gotten better. Guardiola left Barca and BM nothing has changed with those 2 clubs but massive success. Tuchel couldn’t even last long at Dortmund. I’m not a AW in or out guy. I think AW gets alot of supporters wrath because he’s been here so long and people just want change.

There are supporters that ignore the fact that financially things have changed in this league. Owners willings to spend into debt are things AW has no control over. Has he made mistakes of course all managers do.

This isn’t obviously the same Arsenal dominance in the early years of AW but the decline you talk about has to be taken into context especially seeing how far Liverpool has dropped in the same time period.

A Different George

If an Arsenal player leaves and does well, it proves that he is improved by coaching elsewhere. If he leaves and does badly, it proves Wenger has ruined him.

“Who would we say is the last player to come to Arsenal and improved.” Well, judging by how they played when they got here and how they have played since (and ignoring academy players like Bellerin and Maitland-Niles): Koscielny, Monreal, Giroud, Holding, Chambers, Elneny all come to mind.

Faisal Narrage

Elneny? Ridiculous to even claim he’s improved considering; 1. He rarely plays and deemed not good enough, 2. I highly doubt you watched much of him before he came.

Monreal was already a top quality LB when he came.

Chambers? He’s probably a good example for the opposite. In fact we almost sold him.

Holding? Way too soon to be making claims of improving, especially with the season he’s having.

Only Koscielny and Giroud fit that bill. Kos was almost 8 years ago? Giroud is the last legitimate one. That was from 2012.

A Different George

The question was whether players improve, not whether they are good enough. I watched Elneny when he arrived and recently; whether because of Wenger or experience or becoming accustomed to the Prem, he is quite obviously a better player now. Monreal is a much better player than when he arrived; he was not on anyone’s list of top fullbacks when he arrived from Malaga.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Excellent point. Although it must be kept into account that basic courtesy demands that players say good +ve things about the club they went on loan to and how much that helped.

However the appalling state of the defensive side of the game at Arsenal is worrying. The defence has been comical in the big games and its not just this season, its been the norm every season. Every season there are games where the defense gets ripped a new one. Its been happening for years.

8-2 against United, 10-2 against Bayern, destroyed this season at Anfield, let in 6 against City and Chelsea, and there are lots more.

Wenger just doesn’t have what it takes to get a team to be solid defensively. Till a team is solid they won’t win the league or the UCL. That is where Arsenal should be at.

Wenger needs to leave. Till he is incharge the defense will continue to be rubbish, and Arsenal will get nowhere.

Sure he was good but being courteous to him for all that has been taken too far. He is way way way past what it takes to win the league. The board needs to take action ASAP>


Maybe Diego Simeone should be the replacement for AW. He’s done a strong job at AM. His strength seems to be with defense. AM have given up very few goals, Unfortunately they don’t score much either. The downside would be, could he possibly bring a boring “park the bus” style of play to Arsenal. Might be ugly to watch, but could help win more games.

Andy Mack

Odd that every player that joins us also talks about learning at Arsenal.
Who knew that football was a game where you could always learn to play better…


Regards to JW quote it seems like you are taking it out of context. I believe it was something about how Bournemouth couldn’t play like Arsenal and had to drop back more and counter then Arsenal does. Of course if you go from Arsenal to Bournemouth you are going to learn how to play differently defensively. Thats a given.

Some players learn differently then others. Coaches have different styles. Thats a obvious statement lol Not everyone gets worse or better leaving Arsenal or coming to Arsenal.

Be reasonable.


Really don’t get what the delay with offering him a new contract is about now. Just offer him a contract… before other clubs start offering him more money and make the negotiations more difficult.


Why are we so sure that the cards are in arsenal hands here? Maybe its simply Jack who does not want to commit his future to the club lacking any substantial ambitions?


He’s publicly stated he wants to stay and arsenal haven’t offered him a new deal. Aw has said offer yet to be made after saying they would begin in Dec. That then became I said late Dec and is now jan

Ild love Jack to stay. But I’m so dissolusioned as an arsenal fan at the moment

Faisal Narrage

He’s already said he wants to stay. It Seems Wenger is the one being coy about his contract.


It’s the same as the Ox situation, wanted a contract all last season and we didn’t offer anything until the last minute when he. I think our contract team think they’re being clever…


I want JW to stay but lets assume for argument sake he’s asking for a 5 year 200K wage for a new contract. Would you be happy signing to that? Its just so hard to figure out his value right now in terms of wage. I think most of us want him to sign up but at what price?

I just dont’ understand why can’t both agree to a reasonable 1 year extension so they can sort this out during the rest of the season or summer and if they can’t come to an agreement at that point transfer him out.

Andy Mack

I’d guess that prior to offering a new contract there would be a brief discussion (probably with an agent) about what each side expects the new contract to say. Maybe his initial expectations were unrealistic or were at the top of what the club thought possible, so they’ve held off until he shows that his latest injury won’t stop him regaining his previous fitness/playing level…
I guess we’ll never know.


Great close control by Wilshere, who knows how to keep possession in tight spaces like Santi. Sanchez & Xhaka are causing the trouble in losing the ball constantly and I would prefer to see Maitland-Niles tried in his preferred position to balance that midfield.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Sign him up!


There is too much hype around Wilshere at the moment and i don’t like it. I just want him to stay fit for the rest of the year. He should try and get to know his body better. New contract, game time and World Cup should NOT be a priority for Jack.
I would go as far as saying if he feels he is not regularly getting in the first team he should play some U-21 matches.


Does the Ram in your name stand for Ramsey?


Any other club in the world would have had this guy signed up months ago. But Arsenal is different. 🙁


If that is true, let us see if Madrid or Barcelona try next week! He will be open to move to a foreign club by starting negotiations once January kicks off.

Wilshere is good, but he is far away from being forecasted as our saviour.
Imagine we sign him up and he has his usual 3-4 month seasonal injury. He is motivated to stay fit this year due to the World cup et al but just let the lad play. If he signs, he signs. If not, good luck elsewhere.

Remember, he was setting the world alight at Bournemouth last season before his injury in the new year.


First time making a comment, but always been a fan and reader of this website.
In my humble opinion the team doesn’t need a savior. What it needs is players playing their roles well. Sanchez is more harm to the team than help at the moment (lose the ball too much and very predictable). A spell on the right on side might rejuvenate his game where he can be more direct and that will help lacazette game.
Xhaka is so wasteful with the ball he need to be bench. Koscielny need a rest. Play one of the young center back. Chambers has looked solid the last few games. He has certainly develop on loan.
Iwobi is low on confidence. A break or let him switch side with Sanchez might help.


Here’s the thing, if Barca or Madrid wanted to keep a player would they either (a) offer them a contract or (b) wait till the last minute? That’s what I mean, no one else lets so many players that they actually want be in this situation


who the hell is in charge of this webb site, why don’t you post my comments, everyone else gets there comments posted but not me, just what sort of a webb site is this, if you don’t like my comments then you don’t deserve to have a webb site, I always have to wait for moderation, I don’t see anyone else waiting moderation, so tell me what the problem is, as I would love to know


“Webb site.” I imagined a Jurassic Park style Island full of giant Howard Webbs. Scary.

A Different George

It’s still better than a “Mike Dean site”


The name’s a good place to start


Don’t agree entirely but I do agree mostly with the view that our.academy players showed more.

Original Paul

I have to say that Jack has completely stopped keeping the ball too long, running into people and falling over! Fair play to him.

A Different George

I really like Jack and I hope we sign him. But he is not as important to us as Ozil or Alexis and he cannot replace what either of them bring. So, sign Jack if it is reasonable and he looks like staying fit; try to re-sign Ozil and Alexis (I know many think this would be a mistake, but this is what I think), and if that proves impossible then replace them with players at their level, of whom there are only a few.

Santa Cazorla

Fully fit, I’d be throwing a contract at Jack and have him in our starting eleven, almost without fail. The space he creates for others when he’s moving with the ball is a difference maker, and something that wouldn’t be easy to replace on the transfer market. I do feel however, that if a few other players had a little more awareness of that space when Jack had the ball, we’d be in a much better position. Keeping him fit, as mentioned, would be my only concern.