Arsenal Need Jack Wilshere More Than Ever


Arsenal has no need to panic. Southampton may have stomped the Gunners 4-0 but things can change. One man could change it all.

The Southampton loss exposed Arsenal’s soft core, their exhaustion and their injury situation, but there is another thing it exposed as well – the lack of spine. Some of that may be a side effect of the exhaustion, but that should not be the case. Spine’s do not come and go.

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Arsenal’s soft core is the biggest part of the problem. With Coquelin out, Arsenal has Flamini and Ramsey defending the middle of the pitch. That has a few pros, but the cons are blatant – size, strength, tendencies, and lack of any sort of fear. Why would an opposing team fear going into Flamini’s and Ramsey’s territory like they fear going into Wanyama’s territory. It’s all about that spine.

That is not the spine that I am largely referring too, however. I am referring to the spine that Arsenal used to be criticized for back in Patrick Vieira’s day. The spine that lead to Arsenal getting a decent amount of yellow cards but using that to ward off opponents.

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When Victor Wanyama went clattering into Aaron Ramsey, there was a quick spat that broke out. When Mesut Ozil and Jordy Clasie were getting physical, a little war of shoves broke out. Each time, Arsenal looked rooted to the spot. It may sound petty and childish, but I want to see Arsenal players coming to back up their team mates. Granted, these spats were short, and team mates may not have noticed, particularly the Ozil one, but everyone saw the Wanyama deal and Ramsey was left to square up the Kenyan on his own.

I get that Arsenal was down and out of the game, but where was the spine? Return the favor. That is why I think Arsenal need Jack Wilshere back right this moment. They need someone who is not afraid to get dirty. Someone who, no matter if he’s having a bad day or if the team is having a bad day, is going to headbutt a giant Belgian. There’s this thing called pride and it makes all the difference in the world defending it.

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I don’t want our guys going out and picking fights, but when dirty tackles happen, there have to be repercussions. Wilshere is one of the few guys on the team that will deliver repercussions no matter the situation. Koscielny, Giroud and Flamini may help out depending on if it’s a good day or not, but Wilshere’s intensity is universal.

And that intensity translates directly into his on-the-ball play. Along with his ferocity in defending Arsenal’s pride, that ferocity doubles as fuel for his headlong runs.

Bring back Wilshere. He would not have stood for that Southampton garbage. It’s like in baseball. you throw at our guy, we throw back. Koscielny did get a few rough challenges in on Shane Long but nothing like Wanyama’s elbow to Giroud’s ear or the studs-up slide tackle on Ramsey.

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Not only that, but retaliation fires up the team. It gives them a bit of extra juice. Seeing as how Arsenal went into St. Mary’s juiceless, they could have used a biting tackle from Jack Wilshere and a bit of instigation to start up their motors. But they had no one to deliver that extra motivation.

Come back, Jack!