Jack Wilshere losing his grip on an England starting spot 0

If you were trying to make a case for Jack Wilshere starting against Italy in Manaus, what would you say?

What would you certain your argument around?

That Wilshere is talented is not really up for debate, but his ability to use his attributes certainly is - especially in an England shirt. None of Roy Hodgson’s midfielders were particularly impressive last night, but it wasn’t a coincidence that the team performance improved dramatically once Wilshere had been sacrificed for Adam Lallana.

This isn’t about making a case for Wilshere being an inferior player, more that he doesn’t currently do enough to justify a place in the first-eleven. Even the basics with Wilshere were poor last night: he didn’t move the ball with any kind of urgency or intention, and he was sloppy in his own half.

Yes, he was roughed-up by Daniel Agger, but he wasn’t particularly impressive before that happened.

England are likely to play with central-midfielders in Brazil; one of those will be Steven Gerrard, the other will be a box-to-box type, and the final spot will go to someone who can provide a play-making threat in the opposition half. Right now, Wilshere doesn’t fit into either of those two latter positions - he’s behind Jordan Henderson for the second and, after last night, he trails Lallana for the third.

Wilshere’s biggest issue is that, against the biggest sides - both for Arsenal and England - he goes missing. He exists in midfield without being an influence on the game, and a player like that can’t be accommodated against either Italy or Uruguay.

He’s capable of so much more, and he’s going to have to start converting all this theory into reality if he wants to keep his place.

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