Hodgson's Choice: Wilshere or Barkley?
After watching Jack Wilshere numerous times this season already, as well as solely this weekend against West Brom. He is undoubtedly out of form, despite his goal which took a considerable deflection off Jonas Olsson with it otherwise traveling straight into Albion keeper Boaz Myhill's arms. His overall performance was extremely lackluster which was especially evident in the first half. His passing was astray, his awareness on the ball was quite frankly amateurish, seeing him dispossessed very frequently, his defending was extremely weak and his constant sulking on the pitch is really something nobody wants to see.
Wilshere's goal against West Bromwich Albion was his first goal for Arsenal in the Premier League for three years and has so far only made one assist in his 11 games for Arsenal this season. His lack of form isn't only evident to the visible eye on the pitch but also throughout his stats. In contrast Ross Barkley has scored two goals and made two assists in his eight games. Squawka Stats also have Barkley's Performance Score as 192 compared to Wilshere's 77. In addition Barkley has a higher average pass accuracy than Wilshere with a handsome 88%.
Barkley's impact on Everton this year has been there for all to see. He has added flare, pace, power and composure to the Merseysiders midfield and really is the complete midfielder and utterly deserves the opportunity to start against Montenegro and Poland during the international break. However Wilshere this season has been inefficient and now looks favourite to be replaced by Santi Cazorla when he returns to the Arsenal side.
Naturally Barkley and Wilshere do adopt different roles in their respective club midfields, however with the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard around them in the England set-up its clear there is only room for one of them. My preference would be Gerrard and Lampard playing more defensive roles with Barkley given the license to express himself further up the pitch. If Wilshere were to play I think it would be adapted so Gerrard and Wilshere sit deeper with Lampard more advanced, now you can see where the debate between them comes in.
My argument isn't that Ross Barkley is a better player than Jack Wilshere, (although I think he is fast becoming) my argument is that on current form and with the importance of the upcoming England fixtures, Barkley who is full of confidence and is very much so in form should be starting in front of Wilshere. Some people may argue they'd prefer Wilshere over Barkley because he has more experience, however Wilshere himself only has 10 England caps.
I understand completely that It would be a bold move for Roy Hodgson to make, handing Barkley his first International start in such important circumstances, but Ross is a young man that doesn't let occasions get to him. He oozes class, confidence and quite simply relishes big occasions, and in my view would be the perfect man for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.
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