Jack Wilshere 1 Brazil 0

I don’t normally pay much attention to Tony Cascarino except to disagree with him, so I’m not sure if I should rather parochially point out when I concur with his views, but here goes anyway. These were his comments on Wilshere’s performance against Brazil:

“The highlight [of England v Brazil] for me was seeing Wilshere deliver the sort of performance that lights up a stadium. I just love watching him play. We are worrying about Paul Gascoigne’s health right now but Wilshere reminds me of the happier times when Gazza would dominate in midfield. Wilshere is the first England midfield player since Gazza in the 1990s to use his strength to burst through the middle, get his body in front of people and force the opponent to commit to the tackle. Once Wilshere has drawn the tackle he then finds the pass.

“It was evident how much Wayne Rooney enjoyed playing in the same team as him. Rooney’s goal was all about Wilshere’s ability to wreak havoc among the defence and create space.

“He is almost the finished article, but what he needs to add to his game is the ability to score from midfield. Wilshere can do no better than to learn from Frank Lampard, who scores from this area because he shoots early. Wilshere needs to be a bit more selfish – right now he’s looking for the pass.”

Cascarino has hit on the problem with Arsenal’s attack there: looking for the pass even when the shot is the better option. That’s been bred into Jack for the last eight or nine years, so he’s not immediately going to change when he pulls on an England shirt. England are just going to have to put up with magnificent passing and tackling, and find someone else to put the leather in the onion bag. Possibly Theo, if he keeps watching those ‘Do It Like Thierry’ DVDs I gave him for his birthday; they seem to be working so far.

Meanwhile Roy Hodgson said of Wilshere: “I was trying to protect him [from the hype and expectation] yesterday, but he doesn’t need it. You can crank the expectations up as much as you like, but he’s comfortable. If he can keep up that level of performance, he will soon justify all the expectations and hopes, because he was very, very good.”

Good old Roy. Now tell Stuart Pearce to give up his ridiculous notion of Jack playing in the U-21s. That’s supposed to be a training ground for the senior team, a way of preparing, not an end in itself, Pearce, you dingbat!

Here are a few stats on Wilshere’s performance from the Brazil game, courtesy of The Times:

Jack v BrazilTwitter: @AngryOfN5

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5 thoughts on “Jack Wilshere 1 Brazil 0

  1. Just want to point out one myth being peddled here
    “…Cascarino has hit on the problem with Arsenal’s attack there: looking for the pass even when the shot is the better option..”

    It’s all to easy to repeat the vapid moaning by sports “journalists”, most of which is not true. Actually that’s not the problem with Arsenal’s attack. Our passing creates bucketloads of chances, but t.

    For many seasons now, Arsenal doesnt convert shots well enough, especially early in the game. That’s been the story over and over since that team 4-5 years ago when Flamini, Hleb, Rosicky were all at their peaks. We start off unable to convert chances to goals, we let in cheap ones at the other end and inevitably end up in that position (i.e. tied or behind) that statistcally speaking is a graveyard in football. Time and again we lose or draw games where we have more than enough chances that we failed to convert.

    I cant find this years numbers but look at last year:
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11662_2705370,00.html
    We were roughly equal to the Man U & Man City in creating shorts and getting them on goal. Putting them in the net was another story.

    If you go back to the best Arsenal teams Wenger had, the statistic that pops out is conversion ration. The likes of Pires and Ljunberg and Henry and Bergkamp at their peak were simply deadly: when they got shots, they not only put them on target very consistently, but they also put then in the net at high rate. So basically if the opponent gave up say even jjust 3 or four shots, those lads were getting a goal or two out of it – and at the other end they were fairly stingy. THAT is what creates a foundation for long undefeated streaks – and titles.

    So stop peddling myths please – the passing game is NOT the problem, it is in fact well suited to creating chances. These boys need to stop shooting at the opponents keeper and stop leaving Szczesny exposed to easy shots, is basically what the problem boils down to.

    • What you are saying is that we need a couple of Henrys, Bergkamps, Lundjbergs or Pireses in the side – or a couple of Robins. I’d say that was self-evident to all (even Cascarino). As a matter of fact, Arsene has repeatedy talked about the need for ‘exceptional’ players. What he has lacked thus far is the cash to buy them.

      • No, I am saying the boys in the team need to go an PRACTICE their shooting. There is no magic to shooting skills – it is not something you are born with. You can be born with raw power, but that alone cannot do it: placement is pure practice.

        You talk about Theirry Henry but he was not born walking on water, He practced. Go read the interviews and he talks about how that “Theirry Henry finish” (the early shot placed, not powered, with the side of the foot, sometimes even sliding to get the placement) was something he developed working for hours and hours after practice, at Monaco and then at Arsenal. Pires came here as a good player but not a magician. Ljunberg was a cheap pickup from the Swedish league. Robin arrrived as a 20 yr old with natural shooting power and poor shooting efficiency – it was PRACTICE that made him a super star.

        These guys have more than enough in their locker to be superstars. What they need to develop is mental strength and willingness to practice and raise their level.

        So no, I dont want to hear about magic cures or “cash” or expensive buys- these guys need to start raising their own performance by doing what is needed on the practice field.

        At the moment the only one that has any kind of high scoring efficiency is Walcott and even he can still do more. So they need to go and work.

  2. Cascarino does not have any insight gained from playing at the top level, because he hasn’t. He’s just an opinionated ex player who was never remotely good enough to play for a team like Arsenal.
    Wlishere is being over-hyped- he is exciting by England standards, but is a work in progress- he is still a kid learning the game. But he is the one English player with the attitude and technique to be potentially able to retain possession of the ball and to be able to create chances at the highest level against the best international sides when winning means something- if he continues to improve. He needs to develop every aspect of his game- but we can all see that he is on the right track.
    We should be aware that Germany has at least 3 young players as good as Wlishere now.

  3. In response to “M” and your suggestion that , and I quote ” Cascarino does not have any insight gained from playing at the top level, because he has’nt. “. Please check out your facts before you make a jackass of yourself .

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