The Spurs legend speaks exclusively about young Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere and his time under Arsene Wenger at Monaco.

Words By Layth Yousif

“Without a doubt Jack Wilshire excites me - if he can remain injury free. It’s a slight problem for him that we are putting so much pressure on his shoulders – certainly internationally. [But] he’s got a chance. He’s at a club where they play football that suits him. He is a really good player. He could be a great player. But there’s aspects of his game that he’s got to improve”.

Hoddle is concerned that Wilshere may be played as a deeper lying number 10 than he needs to be, thereby stunting crucial development by not being as effective in matches as he could be, as an influential pivot in a midfield three. As the ex-Tottenham maestro said: “ I just hope Jack gets an opportunity to play in a three in midfield rather than four across [or deeper]”.

Hoddle who made a move from White Hart Lane to play and learn under the tutelage of a Arsene Wenger in the late 80’s spoke of his time under the Frenchman:”It was excellent being under Arsene Wenger at Monaco. I loved every minute of it playing under Arsene Wenger. He opened our eyes to a lot of things that we hadn’t done before in England. They were totally ahead of us in terms of pre/post match”.

Hoddle, who bought into the whole nutrition and sports science package, still admires Wenger. As the man who scored 88 goals in 377 games for Spurs said of the Gunners boss: “He understood what he wants from his team, the style, the system that he wants, the right players in the right pegs”.

With an enduring incredulity that remains to this day, Hoddle, who scored 27 goals in 69 games for Monaco and won Ligue 1 under the Arsenal manager, recounted the fact that Wenger was very clear “how he wanted his teams to play. First thing he said to me in my first game was [affects slight French accent] “Glenn you are coming back too deep – well that was music to my ears”.