Wilshere aiming to become ‘mix of Wenger and Arteta’ in new Arsenal role

Jack Wilshere has vowed to take inspiration from Arsene Wenger and Mikel Arteta after taking a new job at Arsenal.

Wilshere made anemotional retirementfrom professional football on Friday following the end of his contract with Danish side AGF in June. The 30-year-old has now been appointed as the head coach of Arsenal’s under-18 side.

The central midfielder made 197 Arsenal appearances between 2008 and 2018. He will now share his experience with the young players in the Gunners’ academy – a system he himself came through. Wilshere says he will pass on what he’s learnt from former Arsenal boss Wenger and current manager Arteta.

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“I want a team that dominates possession, tries to win the ball back as high as possible, as quickly as possible,” he told theclub website . “Working under Arsene and people like that, they instilled that in us from a young age. If I can bring that in, along with Mikel's thoughts and ideas, I think that's a recipe for success.

“I was thinking about all the coaches I worked with, including Mikel, and taking inspiration from all of them. I think it's so important that the academy and first-team are aligned. If there's a player who needs to go over and train with the first team, he has to have the same fundamentals that the first-team players have, and the same language is used between us and them. I think that gives them the best chance.”

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Before joining AGF on a short-term deal, Wilshere spent a few months coaching at the Arsenal academy during the 2021/22 season. He has now been given the opportunity to take charge of the under-18s after previously incumbent Dan Micciche moved to Crawley Town with former under-23s boss Kevin Betsy.

“That experience is what really gave me the hunger to go after a job like this and think about the future,” Wilshere added. “I'm the first to admit that I probably haven't got the experience that a lot of coaches have out there, but I have got experience of walking in the players' footsteps, coming through the academy and making it into the first-team.

“I think first and foremost I need to focus on myself here, learning how to be a coach, but I think when you've got ambition and you're hungry, it helps you learn quicker and ultimately you help the kids.”

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