Jack Wilshere has opened up on his struggle for consistent first-team minutes this season, insisting he still has a good relationship with West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini.
The England international has only started two games in the Premier League in this campaign and has had to settle for three appearances as a substitute at the London Stadium.
Wilshere started the first two games of the season due to the absence of Hammers’ captain Mark Noble and has since only started games in the Carabao Cup.
The 27-year-old insisted he understands the reasons behind his absence, and that he needs to take his opportunity once it is presented to him by the Chilean boss.
“I want to be playing,” he told Sky Sports.
“But I understand as well that I’ve come back from a long injury.”
“You have to be working hard in training when you get your opportunity, you have to take it.”
“I have a good relationship with the manager.”
The fact that Wilshere has admitted he needs to take his opportunity when it comes proves that even he knows he hasn’t been good enough when called upon this season. The former Arsenal man will find it hard to replace either of Noble or Declan Rice, who have both been sensational for over a year in the heart of midfield. Wilshere does like to sit at the base of the midfield so that he can dictate possession for his side, but his defensive game is not up to scratch for him to consistently play in that role. Wilshere has failed to make any interceptions, blocks, or clearances this season according to WhoScored, and only averages 0.2 tackles per game – not good enough if he wants to cement a spot in midfield under Pellegrini. That must improve if he is ever to earn a spot from the start of games, and with the current form of Rice, his chances appear to be getting slimmer as the games pass by in East London.