Out of form Wilshere makes Carrick England’s natural choice
Jack Wilshere’s fortuitous equaliser against West Brom, doesn’t mask the fact the Arsenal midfielder is not in good enough form for club or country right now to start the next World Cup qualifier.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp was spot on when he singled out Wilshere for criticism at half time in Arsenal’s last Premier League game against the Baggies, which they went on to get a draw from thanks to the same player’s deflected equaliser.
Perhaps the distractions of his off-pitch headline making seeped into his clumsy performance, but Arsenal’s number 10 was shamefully careless with his passing and too often dribbled himself into a blind alley.
To his credit, Wilshere’s game improved somewhat in the second 45 minutes, though the sloppiness of the first-half has been indicative of his form in the last four or five games, stretching back to the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, where he was twice taken off.
It doesn’t help that he has largely been eclipsed by the breathtaking form of club-mate Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal, but by his own incredibly high standards, which he has set himself in his young career, he’s definitely in a dip.
Therefore, when Roy Hodgson selects his XI to face Montenegro at Wembley – where England are 4/11 to secure a vital three points – the England boss should give Michael Carrick his deserved starting berth.
Carrick has anchored the midfield of champions Manchester United for 10 of their 11 games in all competitions this season, even coming on in their Capital One Cup clash with Liverpool, and this alone warrants a big case for inclusion.
Carrick not only has vast experience, he’s equipped with a fine range of passing and a calmness on the ball, which is tailor-made for international football.
If Carrick slots in alongside Steven Gerrard then Hodgson can either opt to shift Frank Lampard forward or turn to the exciting talent of Ross Barkley.
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