England are off to the perfect start to their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 after their 1-0 win over Estonia. Although at times it seemed as though Roy Hodgson’s men would not be able to find the breakthrough, victory eventually came via Wayne Rooney, giving the Three Lions three wins from their opening three games. With the likes of Gerrard and Lampard now retired from international duty, there has been two midfield slots up for grabs and for the last few games, Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere look like the chosen ones to fill the gap as long term replacements. Both players are known for their well rounded ability as midfielders. With the capability of defending, efficient passing as well as creativity in the final third make them valuable assets to their clubs, but who has started the season in better form?
In terms of the number of duels won overall as a percentage, which includes aerial and ground duels, both players are neck and neck with around 50% each. Jack Wilshere however is yet to contest an aerial duel whereas Jordan Henderson has won 67% of his four duels in the air. Tackles wise, the Liverpool engine has both won and lost 16 tackles, indicating his mass involvement in the match and determination to win back the ball for his team, further built on with his 13 interceptions and 10 clearances. Wilshere however has only won four of his 13 tackles and has made two interceptions and clearances.
Passing is one of the main features of both of these players natural game and have similar number per 90 minutes, demonstrating their similarity and distribution skills. Henderson has made 442 passes compared to 265 for Wilshere but the Arsenal man has played far less this season in terms of minutes. That being said, the total passes per 90 minutes are far closer with Henderson contributing to 63 passes alongside Wilshere’s 61. This also goes for the successful passes per 90 minutes stat with Henderson again just in front with 55 compared to Wilshere’s 55 successful passes per 90. The former Sunderland man is also ahead in terms of pass completion with 87% of his overall passes successful with Arsenal’s Wilshere recording a figure of 83%. Interestingly enough however, Henderson has played 12 key passes in his seven matches compared to four for Wilshere from his six games for the Gunners this season.
Creativity and Goals
Both players have got off the mark with a goal each already for this campaign with Wilshere registering an impressive shot accuracy figure of 75%. In terms of chances created, Henderson has started of excellently by conjuring 15 opportunities for his team mates with three assists already to his name. Wilshere, by his standards, would like to have created more than five chances in his six games so far but has chipped in with an assist.
Overall, it does seem that Henderson has been on top on most criteria but issues with Jack Wilshere’s fitness and rotation policies have hindered his affect on games so far which is bound to change if given a run of consistent game time. Hopefully both these up and coming superstars can fire for club and country in the near future.