Jack Wilshere’s study of Liverpool legend; Xabi Alonso would benefit Arsenal more.
Wilshere’s road to self-discovery has taken him back to what Archie and Delilah Wilshere would probably be doing on a regular basis in a few years time – spending regular 25 minutes watching motion picture. Only this time, it won’t be mere drama, but actual real-life serious business.
And as many a child turned out to successfully mimic their favourite big-screen characters, Jack’s study of Xabi Alonso’s videos could turn out to be the biggest breakthrough of technology in modern sport, rubbishing goal-line technology.
Roy Hodgson’s not so quiet revolution of the New England generation may not quite get all the popularity it may deserve, partly due to the man himself. But the bold move to put a widely acclaimed attacking player in a deep-lying role was a stroke of a boss who wanted to make his mark, and that he has stuck with Wilshere in three successive games in that role shows that he already has the belief the move will pay off in future.
And what has he done to ensure this? Wilshere has been tasked with reviewing videos of world famous stalwarts of the ilk of Andrea Pirlo and Javier Mascherano, giving us the sense of whom he is being modeled to become. While Mascherano is more renowned as a hard-core interceptor, Pirlo being a master distributor, Wilshere has gone for a synthesis of the two in Xabi Alonso, perhaps because he had seen more of him in the Premier League for Liverpool, as the one more suited to be his beacon of emulation. This will see Wilshere take the role left by the last leader of the Three Lions, and any player good enough to replace Steven Gerrard must be of immense benefit to England.
Arsenal, in the long-term, would be the real beneficiaries.
For all the impressions by Danny Welbeck’s recent form which have led to postulations of him being the new King and the admiration for Calum Chambers commanding qualities, Wilshere has always been the obvious future leader of the Arsenal team, and with impressive performances in the heart of the midfield this season (and with Arteta showing more signs of an approaching retirement), it seems Wilshere is reading to take the reins.
While we search for solutions to the crater in our defensive midfield position, the 22-year old’s study of Alonso’s magic could see him emerge as the redeemer not just for now but the bearer of the standard for years to come. His technical abilities seems to suggest he deserves better, but with the continuous evolution of the modern game, the deep-lying player’s role may require more silk than steel in the future so that while the likes of Gennaro Gattuso and Roy Keane were the most admired for their aggression in the past, Alonso’s perfect handling of the ball in difficult situations could be the main ingredient that lands you the plum job in defensive midfield.
To think of it, William Carvalho is 22, and is mostly revered for his composed distribution from deep positions. Wilshere’s 25-minute lessons are letting him in on how much he needs to treat the ball better, especially noting the attendant consequences of putting his team under pressure when he relinquishes possession.
In this lies the most admirable lesson from Wilshere’s lessons, that he is learning to think more of his teammates and take responsibilities for them. A quality that will set him up both for leadership for England and Arsenal.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.