Arsenal: Wilshere, Ramsey partnership not the answer to Xhaka’s poor form

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

In light of Granit Xhaka’s poor form, many have called for Arsenal to bench the Swiss international, giving Jack Wilshere an opportunity to regain his position in the midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey, although history has taught us that this partnership also has its flaws.

The £30 million buy of Granit Xhaka over the 2016/17 season was one which left fans very excited for the upcoming Arsenal seasons, as finally we had a player who was a real leader among men in that midfield. He was a player that was willing to fight for the ball, who knew how to tackle, and not be bullied by  the opposition, who also had fantastic passing capabilities. Finally the defensive midfielder Gunner faithfuls had been crying out for.

Related Story: 9 Players That Can Replace Mesut Ozil

So where has it gone wrong for the Swiss? A good yet not spectacular debut season in the Premier League, and a struggling start to the current season with his constant misplaced passes, dispossession of the ball, errors on the ball and off the ball have left fans frustrated and wanting answers. We are still yet to see the best out of the Arsenal midfielder.

In comes Jack Wilshere, a player who was loaned out to Bournemouth last season, looking as good as ever on and off the ball. The real struggle with Wilshere has been his fitness rather than his talent. But with Wilshere claiming his fitness is the best it’s ever been, it leads to questions as to why he is not replacing an out-of-form Granit Xhaka?

Well, if Wilshere was to replace the Swiss, whilst Aaron Ramsey is still in the midfield it would be a big step backwards for Arsenal.

The duo have already played alongside one another in the midfield in previous years such as the 2012/13 season and the 2013/14 season. During both seasons, too often Arsenal would be out-muscled and exposed in the midfield, which ultimately cost us games. This is because both players love to run forward in search of a goal or rather be involved in the build up play to the goal.

This would leave a 30 year old Flamini or a 32 year old Mikel Arteta alone in the midfield trying to stop a counter attack.

During the 2014/15 season, things got so bad in the midfield that Santi Cazorla, who was then a wide player, had to be utilized in the midfield alongside Francis Coquelin, who had to be recalled early from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic.

In Wilshere’s defense, he did sit the majority of the season out with an injury, but it just goes to show the balance you need in that midfield. Coquelin would do the dirty work and stay back, allowing a hugely-talented Cazorla to go forward and help create.

Cazorla, a natural wide player, would go on to push Aaron Ramsey out wide to a right-wing position. Cazorla’s defensive ability came as a surprise to everyone as he was able to track back, put in tackles and wriggle out of trouble when needed.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

It’s not unfair to compare Cazorla to Ramsey at all. In fact, the Welshman should learn from the Spaniard on how to be the perfect box to box midfielder. Cazorla was happy to reduce his goals tally to sit in the midfield and help his partner defend, that’s something that Aaron Ramsey especially needs to do as he has a tendency to go forward too often.

If Wilshere was to replace anyone in that starting line up, it should be Ramsey or either of the attacking midfielders. Xhaka’s best replacement at the moment would be Coquelin, as he offers a defensive stability that Wilshere can’t.

Apart from Xhaka and Coquelin, there isn’t another defensive midfielder among the senior squad. Thierry Henry once stated the importance of Coquelin’s role during a Sky Sports analysis, calling him a “Police Officer” and claimed that Ramsey or Wilshere would be too focused on attacking to defend a counter attack.

Maybe that’s why Xhaka’s forms been so poor, because he’s too comfortable in his boots and he knows there is no competition for him, so his spot is almost guaranteed.

Next: 3 Reasons Alexis's Goal Drought Is Hilarious

Coquelin would be the right temporary solution whilst Xhaka finds his form and fights for his place. We must all still keep faith in No. 29, because he is a one of a kind player. With the right partner he will surely flourish into the midfielder we all expected him to be and, who knows, maybe one day we’ll be speaking of a Xhaka, Wilshere partnership?