Wilshere: I'm trying to emulate Pirlo & Mascherano

The Arsenal star played a new defensive-midfield role for England in a 2-0 win over Switzerland on Monday and plans to study the masters of the position to improve there

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere plans to study the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Javier Mascherano to refine his skills as a defensive midfielder.

The Gunners star was deployed at the base of a midfield diamond in the Three Lions’ 2-0 win over Switzerland in Euro 2016 qualifying on Monday and was pleased with his performance in the unfamiliar role.

And anticipating more chances in that position under Roy Hodgson, Wilshere insists he is keen to learn from the best in the world.

“I spoke with the manager and Gary Neville in the week and they told me they wanted me to play that role and I quite enjoyed it,” he told the FA’s official website.

“It was my first time ever playing there so, over the next month or so, I am going to look at a few videos of this game and of players who play in that position regularly – Pirlo, Mascherano and players like that – and I’ll get better.

“I felt it went well [on Monday] but, next time we meet up, I feel it can only go better.”

England’s victory in Basel came after criticism for their performance in scraping past Norway in a friendly on Wednesday and Wilshere was delighted to have his pre-match confidence vindicated by the result.

“We didn’t surprise ourselves,” he added. “I know a few people have been saying a few things but we believed in ourselves and we showed that [against Switzerland].

“We knew the longer the second half went on at 0-0, they weren’t going to be happy, the fans weren’t going to be happy and we used that.

“We won the ball back in a dangerous position and we used our pace. We got the goal and we knew again they were going to come out. We had to stay together, defend well and we did that so we are happy.”

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