Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been identified as the man Arsenal must keep quiet to have any chance recording a massive Premier League victory this weekend, by Gunners star Jack Wilshere.
Rooney should by flying heading into the Saturday evening showdown at the Emirates, after a great week with England which saw him pass 100 international caps and score three goals in two games.
The 29-year-old can also point to a magnificent record against the Gunners as reason to be confident of delivering against Arsene Wenger's side, something Wilshere is acutely aware of.
Wilshere wary of Rooney as number 10
Arsenal's midfield maestro was at pains to point out that he feels Rooney is most dangerous in a withdrawn central role just behind the strikers, but expects Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to come up with a plan of action if that's where the Red Devils skipper ends up.
Following England's 3-1 win over Scotland in midweek Wilshere is quoted by ESPN as telling national newspapers: "He (Rooney) looks sharp and in form. "We'll have to look at how to deal with that on Saturday because he's going to be a problem for us, especially if he plays in the No. 10 role. Or even if he plays up front.
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Wilshere will be desperate to start against United
Wenger was given a timely reminder by Wilshere that the playmaker is nearing something like top form during the international break, with his performance against Scotland in particular giving Arsenal fans plenty of reason for encouragement.
Wilshere produced one superb assist to remind Wenger that he is capable of unlocking defences with a potent final pass, picking out Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a pinpoint floated diagonal into the penalty area that rendered three Scotland defenders redundant in one fell swoop.
Will Wenger use Wilshere to nullify Rooney?
England boss Roy Hodgson clearly believes in Wilshere's ability to make the grade in a more refined holding position, dictating play from deep and breaking up attacks in much the same fashion as Andrea Pirlo.
Wilshere has taken to the position with surprising ease at international level and is clearly enjoying the change, telling The Telegraph: “I enjoy my role for Arsenal as well because I can get a bit further forward, but I wouldn’t mind to play the holding role for Arsenal. That’s the manager’s decision.
"At the moment, I think Arteta is injured and Flamini is playing that role. It’s down to him. If he wants me to play there, I’ll play it.” When it was put to Wilshere that he is producing his best performances for England in the holding role, he said: “Yes, I’d probably say that. I’m really enjoying my new position.
With Arsenal struggling to defend as a team so far this season Wenger has a difficult decision to make this weekend, should he drop Wilshere deeper to help Rooney quiet, or refuse to compromise his attacking principles by restricting the pass master's freedom to roam?
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