Football

Arsenal: Is Wilshere or Walcott the better option?

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For the most part, Arsenal's best eleven picks itself. 

Few would disagree that Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs are their ideal back-line and Wojciech Szczesny is the obvious choice in goal.

Mikel Arteta will be rotated in and out, but otherwise Mathieu Flamini and the superb Aaron Ramsey probably form their optimum midfield partnership. 

Further forward Mesut Ozil is probably the best No.10 in world football, Santi Cazorla will most likely start unchallenged on the left - at least until the return of Lukas Podolski - and Olivier Giroud is their best option up front, despite the midweek heroics of Nicklas Bendtner...

That has left Jack Wilshere, once the Gunner's great midfield talent, with a little bit of a problem. He is getting plenty of games, but rarely in his preferred position. In recent weeks, the role he has most regularly played is on the right of Arsenal's attacking trio of midfielders.

He has performed reasonably well there - and scored an excellent brace in the win over Marseille  - but Arsenal have other options in the position who are arguably far more suited to playing the role. 

Tomas Rosicky filled in there in midweek as Wilshere was rested, but the injury-prone Czech cannot play every week. Of greater concern to him should be the return to fitness of Theo Walcott.

It is a massive season for the English winger, and he will be desperate to impress. Firstly, because it is a World Cup year, and his relationship with football's greatest showpiece event has been mixed so far to say the least.

At the age of 17, and without a single Premier League appearance to his name, he was taken to Germany in a crazy move by Sven-Goran Eriksson. In 2010 he was left out of the squad at the expense of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

And secondly, because he will be 25 in March. Walcott's a good finisher, but a limited footballer, and his main weapon is his pace. Player's who rely as heavily on their speed as he does generally don't get better as they get older.

He will be after Wilshere's place in the team, and the width and running he brings to the equation will provide Arsene Wenger's side with another dimension that they will need as the season drags on and results need to be dug out.

Arsenal's next four games could very easily define their season. They begin at the Emirates against Everton this weekend, before travelling to Napoli and Manchester City, then finish up facing Chelsea at home. 

A string of positive results, and they are set up perfectly for a push towards the finish line from the start of next year. A couple of defeats, and all the hard work they've put in so far is wasted.

As it stands, Wilshere is only starting in his fellow countryman's position because Wenger wants to get him into the team, not because he is particularly suited to the role. But such is the form of Ramsey, Flamini and Arteta, Arsenal's number 10 currently has little chance of a starting berth there

Walcott was Arsenal's top scorer last season is due a start, having been eased back in so far. Against Manchester United, the Gunners struggled because with Wilshere on the right they were too narrow.

In the huge games they have coming up, it will be interesting to see where and when Wenger decides to use Walcott to stretch opposition, or Wilshere to tighten things up.

Both will be assets in what will hopefully be a busy season for Arsenal. But in the long term the right-wing role will surely belong to Theo.


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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Theo Walcott
Jack Wilshere

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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