Arsene Wenger on Jack Wilshere: ‘He can fight and play’

February 20, 2011

In the past few days Wilshere has been praised highly for his performances and rightly so. He was praised for his performance in the national colours against Denmark then for his display against Wolves, playing for his club. However, the most applaud that he got is for his superb performance against Barcelona, where he shown amongst players like Fabregas, Xavi and Iniesta on the pitch.

Manager, Arsene Wenger, has also come out and commended his ability as he compared him with players like Patrick Vieira and Manchester United’s Paul Scholes.

Speaking to the Arsenal TV Online, the manager said how Wilshere is an exceptional quality of player in having the ability to play strongly in both the offensive and defensive departments as most players are only strong in one part of the field.

For England, Wilshere played in the holding role recently, while for Arsenal you may see him play in a freer role.

Further elaborating his ability, the manager said how he has a committed side to his football in addition to his technical ability and aggression won’t be the right word in describing it as Wenger added that he likes the part of his character where he will fight for the cause without hiding.

Arsenal are up against Leyton Orient today  and Wilshere might be rested for it.

On Wilshere, Wenger said:

“He has the side of players like Scholes. He can fight and play. Jack has what you want from a midfielder, both parts of it. He is good in the defensive box and good in the offensive box. We are used to players being only strong on one side more than the other. He can have both.
More than aggression, I would say commitment. Aggression is something negative. He has a committed attitude and he needs to keep that. He doesn’t look like the sort of man who will back down in a fight, a bit like Patrick Vieira. That is what I like about him. You can go into a fight with him. Sometimes he can be a bit too much but I like the side of his character that is committed. You know he will not hide.”

Wojciech Szczesny on what he wants to be for a decade

February 20, 2011

Wojciech Szczesny has set himself the target of being an Arsenal number one keeper for a decade.

The keeper, on his goal, said how he will be happy to continue with the number one spot for ten years if given the chance but knows he will have to remain at his very best to do it as he added how due to a lot of competition at the club, a slip up in performance is going to let others get the chance, the same way he got, which he seized.

Arsenal are to face Leyton Orient today and Szczesny admitted that the League One side cannot be taken as easy opponent even after beating Barcelona.

On the game against Leyton Orient, Szczesny added how they will have to perform at the very best to qualify because the lower league teams always perform well in the FA Cup. He said how they want to win every game and being favourites most of the time demands them to be focussed for all matches equally.

Szczesny concluded by saying how he is hoping for a good result as he reminisced the last time he faced Orient, when at Brentford, where he got a clean sheet and a win.

On his goal and the game against Leyton Orient, Szczesny said:

“That’s my target really [a decade], that’s my goal. I would love to [do that] but I know I have a few others that want to have the No 1 shirt. I’m going to have to be at my very best to keep it. If I am given the chance to stay the No 1 I would be very happy to [continue]. There is very good competition at the Club so I can’t say there is no threat. I know that I have to be at my very best because if there is any slip up or drop in my performance, other goalkeepers will be happy to take my place.

I can’t demand playing time at a Club like this being 20-year-old. I know that when my chance came I had to take it with both hands and try to take the No 1 spot.”

“It’s the FA Cup, it always has something special about it and lower League teams seem to do very well. We are going to have to be focused and be at our best to make sure that we get through. We just want to win every single game, every game is the most important. Yes we beat Barcelona and we are very happy but we are going to have to focus on Leyton Orient and treat every game in the same way.

We are Arsenal Football Club and we are favourites in most of the games we play, we have to make sure we are focused. I played against Orient [when I was at Brentford], I actually kept a clean sheet and we won 1-0, so I’m hoping for a good result at the weekend.”

Leyton Orient vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

February 20, 2011

After the remarkable win against Barcelona, it’s time now to move on to another contest that awaits us. I know most of us, inclding the players, will still have their thoughts on the Barcelona win, but if we are to continue with our impressive form, we need to put aside our win against Barcelona for the moment and deliver today against Leyton Orient in the best possible manner.

Arsene Wenger, in his pre-match conference, said that we need to show commitment levels against Leyton similar to those shown against Barcelona if we are to go the distance in the FA Cup and all other competitions we are in. In the coming 8 days, starting from today, we will be playing three games in three different competitions which is a chance to show everyone that we are ready and focussed. And a win in all three games is really going to ensure it.  

The bottom line is that we need to start with the right spirit and determination today and not take the opposition lightly.

For the starting eleven, Wenger has already said that he will rotate for this game, so hopefully those who start will get us a result.

In goal, I will keep Szczesny even though there is a strong possibility that Almunia will start this game. As for the centre backs, Squillaci for sure will start today and to partner him I will go with Djourou, if he is completely fit. Koscielny deserves a rest because I don’t remember the last time he wasn’t in the starting lineup. On the flanks, Clichy to be replaced by Gibbs and Eboue to keep his place.

In the middle of the park, Wilshere and Fabregas both need a day off. Rosicky and Denilson should come in for them. Song to keep his place for some added steel in the middle.

Upfront, Chamakh needs a start and he needs to deliver today after some not-so-good couple of months. Bendtner to start on the right and I will keep Nasri on the left, so that he can get some match fitness.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh, Nasri.

If you would remember the game against Wigan after the Chelsea win, we had started with a team similar to above and dropped points by drawing that game. I hope nothing like that happens today because, one, we need  to avoid a replay, and two, we need to show the world that we are focused for every competition and ready to face any type of opponent.

Leyton Orient will no doubt try to give us a hard time, and considering it’s their home, they will be pumped up with the crowd behind them. However, if we play to our strengths and play like we have done recently, this game will be over by the hour mark and us through to the next round.

So enjoy the game and have a great day. We draw ever closer to the final at Wembley with a couple of hurdles on the way that need to be cleared without any damage to us.

Keep them crossed!!