Surely England need Jack Wilshere against Wales

Arsenal fans were distressed to see Jack Wilshere not included in England’s starting 11 against Russia in the Three Lions opener. From my perspective it was a surprise, more because Hodgson seemed to be trying desperately to bring him on in game time and fitness and because if his key role in qualification pre-injury. Disappointingly for Jack the troublesome role of the most defensive midfield berth for England seems to have been cemented by Eric Dier. Even with an Arsenal hat on I cannot argue with the Spurs anchor man’s inclusion and he certainly justified his selection.

Many Gooners were angry at the pack seemingly being shuffled to accommodate Rooney and felt it was the captain being shoehorned into midfield that cost Jack his start. Again whilst I have sympathy with this view I was fulling expecting the United veteran to play a deeper role after his form for United I the final weeks of the season. The decision was made easier for the manager I suspect both Wilshere and indeed Henderson were well behind Rooney in a match fitness sense. Despite any misgivings some may have had, although not shared by me, Rooney did play well and certainly in the first half controlled the game. Indeed as Jack sat on the bench he could only admire his captain’s performance.

Wilshere admired Rooney's performance
Wilshere admired Rooney’s performance

Opting for a 433 however was a trifle surprising, particularly given that Raheem Sterling had shown little in the warm up matches or indeed all season to warrant a place. Despite a few runs after 90 minute and the ultimate disappointment I was astonished the City wide man was still on the field late in the 2nd half after contributing very little and making awful decisions continuously. On the opposite flank, with the exception of his poor finishing, Lallana more than justified his inclusion. The Liverpool payers was aggressive, busy, inventive and showed far better decision making than his ex-team mate at Anfield.

So looking to the ‘big one’ tomorrow what is the online soccer betting on a few changes in the starting team against Wales? The big question marks are over Sterling, Alli and Kane for me and I suspect 2 of the three will miss out.  I genuinely believe that Hodgson always had in mid to start Jack Wilshere in the UK Derby on Thursday and given how poor Sterling was I think Vardy will also come in. But who should miss out and which of his 2 formations will he play?

Arsenal target Vardy to come in?
Arsenal target Vardy to come in?

We have seen Hodgson play Vardy on the left of the 3, in the centre of the 3 or along another striker in a 2. I hope that for the Wales game we see Vardy where he should be which is centrally with a partner. I would love this to be Sturridge as Harry Kane look a shadow of the player he has been all season. Hodgson knows what Kane is about so to be play him in all 3 friendlies after a long campaign where he is never rested by Tottenham was foolhardy. As I say though he will persist with the Spurs front man and Vardy should play with him. Arsenal fans are still hopeful that Vardy may combine with Wilshere at club level next season. As and aside it is reported that Wenger has an alternative target if the Leicester frot man chose to remain so.

Rooney will retain his position but perhaps at the head of a diamond midfield. He made 55 passes with close to 90% completion against the Russians but critically 38 of them were in their half. Play Rooney closer to the opposition goal and yet younger legs do the lion’s share of the work.

Impressive cameo
Impressive cameo

Wilshere for his ball retention, creativity, decision making and his ability to beat a man should play on the left of the diamond. His interplay with Rose will be critical and far more natural than that shown between Rose and Sterling. Rooney and Wilshere enjoy playing together and have a good understanding. Wilshere did well when he came on the other day but it should have been to play with the captain and not to replace him.

The last call is for me the trickiest one to make. As with Kane, taking club allegiance to one side, I seriously rate Deli Alii but did he really play to his usual level on Saturday? To me he also looked a shadow of himself in the second half but it is anyone’s call between him and Lallana for the right side of the diamond. Both like Jack and easily interchange fluidly with Rooney at the point and both have the engine to work box to box. For experience and for his display Adam Lallana edges it for me and this would be my team to play Wales.


Until next time thanks for reading @goonerdave 66

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  1. You must be joking – the only thing I agree with there is the absence of Sterling … you don’t like Rose, one of the best players on the pitch?! I wonder why … surely just by probability if you write that many words you’d get something right but it’s 99% tosh, but what does an Arsenal fan know about England? Stick to your French & Barca reject interests.

    Wilshere is slow & runs into trouble when he should give it … brainless on & off the pitch – he did it in the 5 minutes he was on the field last weekend … y’know – the part of the game where it went wrong.

    1. Nick maybe read again. I did not look at the defence as it does not need changing. Rose was fabulous and I have not said otherwise. My comment is directed at Sterling not Rose as I think having Wilshere ahead of him will allow him to bomb on as Jack will sit. This will get the best from Danny.

      I am not at all partizan here mate when discussing England.

  2. Funny how the Arsenal fans we’re comparing the Russia game to the end of the Spurs season and blaming the five Spurs players who put in a good game. Jack Wilshire cost us two points with his typically inept play almost as soon as he came on. Hopefully Roy Hodgson will get over his Wilshire/ Rooney fetish and send the weight round our necks home. We need the points. Learn from your mistakes Roy, don’t play Wilshire or Rooney. Oh, and get somebody else to take the corners, Kane’s at his best in the box!

    1. Boy you guys have a chip. I want 4 of the 5 Spurs to start and said it is nip and tuck between Alli and Lallana so I have no clue what you read.
      Rooney I also said I thought was shoe horned in but justified Roy’s faith. Most of the footballing world gave WR MOTM.

      Jack is not a problem for England and won Motm in 4 of the 5 qualifiers he played in.

      Read it properly or lose the chip and inferiority complex.

  3. Your team diagram has ‘new player’ @ LB … that would suggest you want a change from the previous game, no? So that says to me that you’re saying “not Rose” … I checked the article & you don’t give any praise or otherwise to Rose – just how he may/may not work with Wilshere … Who looks like a stranger with team-mate Walcott in the England team – like they’ve never met.

    & who’s got an inferiority complex over Arsenal??!! Not me.

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