Wilshere: We dug deep after getting formation wrong

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Jack Wilshere thinks Arsenal may have lined-up against Chelsea with an ill-suited formation but that his teammates showed real heart in the second half after the boss switched from a four-man defence to a back five to ensure a 2-1 win.

The Gunners were on the ropes when Eden Hazard put the visitors ahead, however, an own goal by Antonio Rudiger helped steady the nerves before the break.

Arsene Wenger’s men looked revitalised by their second half tactical switch and deservedly took the lead through Granit Xhaka’s strike on 60 minutes before soaking up pressure from the Blues as they desperately sought an equaliser.

The result sets up a Carabao Cup final with Manchester City on 25 February.

Asked what got the team to Wembley, Wilshere said: “I think the team effort, especially in the second half.

“In the first half we didn’t start well and we knew that, but we got ourselves back in the game and in the second half we knew we had to improve and we dug deep.

“Granit got the goal and then we knew they would come forward, but I think we dealt with that really well.”

He added: “It was strange, we might have got our formation wrong in the first 20 to 25 minutes and they took advantage of that.

“They’ve got players who can damage you through the middle and they did, but we came back into it and showed good character, I thought we were the better team in the second half.”

Having spent last season on loan and much of the first half on the bench, few thought Wilshere would still be at Arsenal, let alone running the midfield alongside Mesut Ozil.

When it was put to him that reaching another cup final must be surreal in the circumstances, he replied:

“I wouldn’t say surreal. I went out last year and I wanted to come back and fight for my place in this team.

“I’m happy to be in the team playing with great players and we seem to be in a great moment now, we won the last game, we won this game and we want to keep that going.”

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48 Comments on "Wilshere: We dug deep after getting formation wrong"

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Rob Fuller

Super Jack – The new Mr. Arsenal?

IamaGoober

How refreshing was it to hear him talk about how they realised they got the formation a bit wrong for the first quarter of the game or so, and made the necessary changes to get us going in the second half.

Fucking delighted for Jack, I really am. He gets it. He gets what it is to be an Arsenal player. Because he didn’t have the best of first half’s, he struggled a lot, his passing wasn’t there, and he struggled to get into the game. But in the second half he was much better, and got his eye in, and got us going.

I also though Mesut Ozil was fucking quality last night. He is a maestro. I pray he realises what he has at Arsenal, if he signs an extension and stays at Arsenal, for me he’ll be a fucking hero.

Also props to Xhaka, he was a bit loose on the ball at times and the crowd were hammering him, but he kept going, he didn’t hide, he kept getting on the ball and that takes a lot of bottle when you’re taking pelters from the fans, and he got his reward and stuck home the winner.

Fucking delighted we beat Chelsea, the rent boy cunts. The majority of their fans are absolutely grotesque. Fucking brilliant.

Loved seeing Denise Wise’ face in the post match, have that you cunt, with your piss holes in the snow for eyes.

Stikkman

You called the Chelsea cunts grotesque. You sir deserve a thumbs up for that alone.

Badaab

Plastic is grotesque… have you seen what it does to little fish in the ocean?

Who to, who to, Who to be
Who to, who to, Who to be

Comment of the day, beautiful use of colourful language in all the right places!

Oscandwarf

‘He gets it. He gets what it is to be an Arsenal player.’

Thank you for that little line. I immediately thought of this –

“Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent!”

And that (and the person who said it) is never a bad thing to recall.

Yesman

Jack deserves a statue solely for his mentality and hard woeking attitude. Amazing midfiled dynamo. What a lad.

Homer

Comment of the year so far.
Take a bow, sir!

Chris

Lets just offer ozil the 300k a week we were supposedly offering sanchez.

Pablo Pomreas

Bossed it again Jack loving your work legend! Monreal was so committed, Elneny kept us ticking over and always gave the CBs an outlet and Ozil was classy. Solid performance lads keep it going!

Arsepedant

Sign him up and give him the armband.

bdotm

Xhaka has now scored against ManU, Chelsea and Liverpool. I also remember him completing almost all his passes vs Chelsea (either in the cup final or community shield, not sure). Big game player?

Teryima Adi

Shere Willpower. It’s your time to shine Bro.

Georgeycharles

It’s good we were able to put things right, but not so good the formation was wrong in the first place. Ah, who cares… we’re going to Wembley !!

Morbius

No-one complained when we used the same formation against Palace

TeeCee

Trouble is that Wembley this year is actually the West London temporary shelter for the homeless, which takes the shine off a bit.

Howstiger

People having shelter is more important that having a ‘shine’ for football matches

Bon Jello

He’s implying it’s the home turf of Sp*rs this season… ?‍♂️

Razznik

You deserve to be added to the hall of fame at arsenal.

Arsepedant

It will be wonderful if we can win another trophy in Spurms home stadium.

PVS

I thought he meant that the players were not in the correct position for the formations they were playing

Mpls

I haven’t heard difinitively from the boss or anyone, but it sure looked like moving Elneny was the difference maker. We were obviously lined up as a 4-3-3 ( relatively speaking – seemed almost a 4-1-2-1-2 left-biased in field position blah blah).

But the shift of Elneny to a deeper position in the middle of a back three but stepping forward slightly at times to move the ball out made the big difference in stability. At first I thought they tasked him with man-marking Hazard, but he actually was playing a very deep DM / third CB in the middle. He did it well.

This freed Jack and Xhaka to play dual box-to-box roles. We were pretty much a 3-4-3 or a 5-4-1 at this point. The numbers really become pointless from center mid forward for us. Iwobi played wide, switched sides occasionally, Ozil played where he played, Laca led the line.

I kept thinking it would be nice to have Mkhi a right side attacker with Bellerin. But then you’re subtracting from somewhere else.

A Different George

I’m sure that’s right. Elneny didn’t drop between Mustafi and Koscielny until the last 20 minutes or so. Until then, we were in the same “formation.” In-game adjustments have sometimes been our weakness; they require smart players and leadership on the pitch. So a very good sign.

Thrashee

It is written in the stars with you, Jack, and really has been since you toyed with Ramos at the Emirates cup an eternity ago. You are the one that will lead the way back!

bigj

He is an Arsenal flesh and blood. Love him

Donald\'s Trump

I like this formation and line up to be honest. I think I’d drop Xhaka for Ramsey, because they both give the ball away a lot but at least Ramsey has a bit of energy about him.

I think Jack means the players weren’t playing the formation correctly. Iwobi and Ozil ended up on the same side for most of the first half meaning we were quite unbalanced.

LynxEffect

Drop the guy who scored the goal to send us through to a cup final.

Fred

Yea because it was a lucky deflection. Haven’t looked at many of the stats, but to the eye xhaka seemed pretty terrible last night. Getting forward is not his skill set, it’s ramseys. Xhaka is better sitting deeper with an athletic cdm next to him.

nolagunner

For the guy who always scores in Cup finals? I’d at least think about it.

Mpls

But then Jack has less help patrolling the middle of the park. It’s a tough one, complicated by the fact it’s never gone all that well with Jack and Aaron pivoting.

Norcal Gooner

Always loved Wilshire, I used to watch his videos when he was playing for the u19 and he was always a class apart.
A Wilshere fan from California.

Lewis

Well said Jack well said

Deano

Enjoyed watching him make a mug of Barkley on several occasions, if Southgate ignores him when selecting the World Cup squad, he should be fired.

Aubameyang would be a superb signing, but not as big as signing up Jack and Mesut, fail with either of them and it would be a bloody disaster.

eternalflamini

Some of the short passing in the last two games has been genuinely elite level, making up for issues elsewhere on the pitch. Long may it continue!

jackbut

home breed. red and white DNA. our only Jack. captain,

Ike Onwubuya

Alexis leaving will probably turn out to be a blessing in disguise. It would enable the other players to express themselves better and prosper. I believe Alex Iwobi will bloom in the absence of Sanchez

Lanre

I worry Wenger would try and force Ramsey back on the starting line up and ruin the team dynamic. No place on the starting line up for him right now, he can come on off the bench.

Uncle Ben

Just think how much more we would have capitalized on the counter attack last night if we had Aubameyang and Mikh in that team, a couple of final balls in the last 10 minutes were lacking serious quality from Iwobi and Laca, you could see Ozil’s frustration, he’ll be a lot happier playing with Mikh and Auba! Can see us giving quite a lot of teams a pasting when those 3 link up (hopefully!)

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

We’ve saved a huge amt of salary- 100k from coq, 140 from jack and potentially 300-350 from alexis (not sure what micky’s salary is but i doubt its 300k?)
So unless aubameyang is coming n gets 240k at least and we are so poor that we dont have any more resources to spend after getting net profit this year (and last i think), we should be offering Jack a proper contract to get him to sign da thing! No appearance n performance dependent bla bla. Just give hin on par wages as what hes getting now or 10k more, and offer him the rest on incentives. #getitdone

Diarra

Solid match, Elneny MOTM

Jack WilXhaka

it was (rightfully IMO) awarded to Nacho

The Honey Badger

Thought Jack was superb last night and apart from that one run at the end of the game where he should’ve kept it simple, he was a pleasure to watch. For me Elneny in the second half was quality just by being a pivot for the ball along the back line. But the most incredulous decision was Iwobi. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing all game. I was 20 feet from him all first half and he made no effort to get in behind and when defending he looked lost and rather than pick someone up he just stood in no mans land. He’s either short on confidence, is playing out of position or should be given a seat on the bench. Mesut – sign NOW please with a rider that includes Jack signing as part of the deal.

allezkev

Delighted to see Jack doing so well, maybe the year at Bournemouth allowed him to rethink his game and we’re now seeing the benefits.
His partnership with Mesut is a joy to watch, you can that they enjoy linking up with each other.
Xhaka seemed to flourish in a more attacking role in the 2nd 45, maybe that’s where he has to play in future?
Elneny did a brilliant job on Hazard, just filled that space and the threat disappeared, great work by all.

sambo

I think bournemouth were not on his level and play a completely different style. But watching him last season he def made chances and hit the post a few times. if the people infront of him had finished what he created his numbers would have been a lot better. Its funny how he ended up on the bench there but at us he’s looking great.

Vonnie

Perhaps being there focussed his mind on what he was missing, and he admits that it helped him change his playing style slightly. He’s learned to be effective without being rash, and credits Eddie Howe with helping with that. Sometimes things look different from another perspective, it certainly seems to have benefitted him. I was never a big fan of Jack, but I’m starting to like him a lot, he’s grown up, I think.

jacccck

Jack next captain…He always talk like a leader,Super Jack.

Lula

Uh oh. Does this pointing out the obvious count as speaking out of turn. Wenger might Send him to ‘a farm up state’ like he did with Theo…

I was a bit concerned we would go into It with four at the back too. No space to attack In the middle for us and all the space they want to attack us there. It was a jammy win. Hugely enjoyable.

Naija Gunner

Yeah keep the winning streak going ….COYG!