Jack Wilshere reveals where he disagreed with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

Jack Wilshere and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal
Wilshere moved to West Hami in 2018 after over 10 years at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere has revealed the only area in which he disagreed with Arsene Wenger was on his best position, with the legendary Arsenal manager preferring him to play further forward than he wanted to.

After graduating from the academy at the age of 16, Wilshere became a regular feature in the Arsenal side in the 2010-11 campaign, including an unforgettable midfield masterclass in a 2-1 win against Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium.

Wilshere’s Gunners career should have kicked on from there, but a series of long-term ankle injuries halted his progress, and after over a decade at the north London club, he finally moved on to West Ham United in the summer of 2018.

The 28-year-old was adept at pulling the strings from central midfield, and whilst he played in a deeper role for England, Wenger preferred him as a No.10.

‘We disagreed on that a few times. But we laughed about it as well,’ Wilshere told Arsenal’s In Lockdown podcast.

‘When I first got into the team I played on the right wing and I actually really enjoyed it. I never saw myself playing there but I really enjoyed it, cutting in from the right, taking either a shot or a through ball and I really enjoyed it.

‘Then when I started playing in the Premier League, we used to play a 4-2-3-1 and I’d play in the two in midfield. I think that was only because of the injuries at the time but then I took my opportunity, he stuck by me and I learnt that position that year.

‘But then when I came back from that injury, I think he saw me playing further forward. He wanted me to play as a No.10 and, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it but I found it more difficult playing there. I enjoyed it more playing a little bit deeper and getting on the ball, controlling the game.

And then obviously, I started playing holding midfield for England and I loved it. Things went really well when I was playing there and I felt like I was learning that role and then I came back and had a conversation with Arsene and he was like, “No, I don’t see you playing there”.

‘We didn’t really play that formation where there was that one holding midfielder anyway but I wanted to play in the two but he kept playing me in the No.10 role which I enjoyed… listen, I was playing No.10 with the No.10 on my back so I was living the dream but I just felt I could give a little bit more when I was deeper.’

Jack Wilshere at Arsenal
Wilshere won two FA Cups at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Wilshere has fond memories of his time at Arsenal and credits Arsene Wenger for making his dream of playing for his boyhood club come true.

‘He [Wenger] was always so good with me. He made me feel like I was important,’ Wilshere said.

‘Without him I don’t think my Arsenal career would have went the way that it did and I don’t think I would have got the opportunities that I did.

‘One thing I always felt from him was that he respected me and he really rated me as a player, he knew my ability and I felt that from him. To have that trust from a manager, you can’t beat that feeling where going into a game you have confidence.

‘If you have an off game you know he’s gonna stick by you, he’s gonna back you. Over the years I felt that and that was so important to me and that is and why I respect him so much and I thank him for everything.’

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