Arsenal are playing better without Jack Wilshere. That's because the young England international plays an individual, rather than a collective game. He also lacks guile and creativity in advanced areas.
It's no coincidence that since Wilshere returned to the team against Norwich City on April 13th, the standard of Arsenal's play has deteriorated.
Specifically, the pace and craft of Arsenal's passing has suffered. One of the chief reasons has been that Wilshere is slowing things down in forward areas.
He has been positioned as the advanced member of Arsenal's midfield trio. This is the crucial position for manager Arsene Wenger's formation and style of play.
It's the position for Arsenal's creator in chief. It must be occupied by a player who can add the finishing touch to the Gunners' passing moves.
He must provide flair and creativity to link the midfield and forward lines together. For years Dennis Bergkamp took on this role as a supporting forward.
His through passes provided numerous goals for speedy strikers and late runners from midfield. After Bergkamp retired in 2005, Cesc Fabregas became the creative fulcrum.