Scholes: Wilshere is no better than when he was 17

The former Manchester United midfielder feels the England international has not improved since making his debut and argues the Gunners are “a million miles” from winning the title

Paul Scholes says that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has not progressed as a player since he made his debut in 2008.

The former Manchester United midfielder appeared as a pundit on Sky Sports on Tuesday night and spoke openly about the troubles facing Arsene Wenger’s side, whom he says are “a million miles away” from winning the Premier League title.

“Jack Wilshere, he came on the scene and what a really top young player he looked but he’s never really gone on,” Scholes remarked. “Now he needs people like [Patrick] Vieira next to him to take him to the next level.

“Injuries haven’t helped him, no, but his development from being 17 years of age … he doesn’t look any better a player now than he did when he was 17.”

Arsenal topped the table for long periods earlier in the season but have suffered heavy defeats against fellow title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, and they went down 6-0 against Chelsea on Saturday before drawing 2-2 with Swansea City on Tuesday.

And Scholes, who won 20 major honours during a long career with Manchester United, says that the Gunners will not win the league because their midfielders “do what they want”.

“It’s probably a typical week for Arsenal, really,” he added. “They capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme when they play the top teams. At Liverpool, against City, for one reason or another the players just seem to go missing.

“The [Mikel] Artetas, the [Santi] Cazorlas, the [Tomas] Rosickys and the [Mesut] Ozils if you like – I know he’s not played for a bit – but it seems like they go on the pitch with no discipline, it’s almost as if they’re saying: ‘You four or five midfielders, you go out there, do what you want, try to score us a goal, do a few nice little one-twos, a bit of tippy-tappy football … don’t bother running back’.

“That’s just my thoughts on it, I don’t know what the manager does, it just seems that way to me. It just seems the midfield players have no discipline, there’s no leader there, no Patrick Vieira, no [Tony] Adams, no Martin Keown.

“Sometimes, as midfield players, when you’re against it you just have to say: ‘Look, get in here beside me for five or 10 minutes’ to try to stop the flow of attacks and, these, they go 2-0 down and they just carry on what they’re doing. ‘Ah, we’ll just have a walk up front, we’ll lose the ball, play a nice little one-two and not even bother sprinting back’ … and you wonder why they’re in the position that they’re in!

“It’s Arsenal fans you feel sorry for, they seem to get the same thing every year. Maybe a little hint of the title for a few weeks and then they go to Chelsea, they go to City, they go to Liverpool and they just do nothing.”

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