Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt that Jack Wilshere had answered his critics in the best possible way, by inspiring the Gunners’ recovery in their 2-2 home draw with Manchester City.
Paul Scholes, a former England and Manchester United star, has been the most outspoken in questioning why Wilshere’s development has stalled since making his debut for the London-based side in 2008.
Manager Wenger said:
“The best place to answer critics is on the pitch. That’s what Jack did, but I don’t believe we can explain his good performance through the criticism of Paul Scholes.”
“You have to respond to critics when you’re in a public job. You have accept criticism, go on the pitch and show you have the talent. The most important thing is to go show how good you are.”
“Jack finished with his right foot and chipped a goalkeeper who knows him well. I’m very happy with that way he finished.”
“He looked dangerous in the first half as well because he has found his pace again. I’m very happy.”
Roy Hodgson, the England coach, used Wilshere as a defensive midfielder at the base of a diamond in the Three Lions’ European Qualifier 2-0 win over Switzerland.
But Frenchman Wenger the Arsenal midfielder’s strengths demand on a different approach.
“Jack was always a boy who was at his most dangerous in the final third. That’s why I prefer him to play higher up the pitch,” Wenger said.
“One of his qualities is penetrating in the final third, but I’m not against him being defensive. He can do both because he is a good footballer.”
“For a long time he didn’t kick the ball well because of his ankle injury.”
“The big difference now is that he stays on the feet, whereas before for a while when he was not as confident to push on his ankle he would go down.”
“Now he has that solid aspect to the game he had before he was injured.”
Wilshere stated that he is happy in either midfield role, and he made his preference clear.
“Naturally I want to go forward more. In Arsenal’s formation it’s nice to play forward and in the England one it’s different. I’m happy to play either way,” Wilshere said.
It was Wilshere’s first goal since January, and he admits he needs to be more prolific.
“I want to score more goals and my goalscoring record hasn’t been good enough,” Wilshere added. “In the formation we play I should be scoring more goals. We play with one holding and two going forward and I’m the one who gets forward.”
“I’ve had a few chances already this season and I should be scoring more. Hopefully that will be one of many.”