Goals, intensity and focus - Jack Wilshere sets his targets for the new season
Jack Wilshere has set his sights on hitting the net regularly after scoring his first West Ham United goal in Saturday’s Betway Cup clash with Athletic Club.
The midfielder converted Sebastien Haller’s cut-back with an unerring first-time left-foot finish, drawing the Hammers level after they had fallen two goals down to their Spanish opponents within 16 minutes.
And, having got off the mark in Claret and Blue, Wilshere is targeting more goals, but knows the Hammers cannot afford to make a similarly slow start when they host champions Manchester City in their Premier League opener next Saturday afternoon.
We’ve got players who you know, if you give the ball to them, they’re going to keep it and make something happen
“We didn’t start great but we know, with the players we’ve got going forward, that we’ll always give ourselves a chance but equally we know we can’t start games like that, especially in the Premier League,” observed the 27-year-old.
“We have to be more focused from the start and start with higher intensity because after 15 minutes we were on top, pressing high, winning the ball back high and they didn’t look like they had any chance of scoring, so we need to start better.”
Once they did start playing with the required intensity, West Ham were irresistible for long periods, with the front five of Wilshere, fellow goalscorer Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson and new boys Pablo Fornals and Haller linking to devastating effect.
“We’ve got players who you know, if you give the ball to them, they’re going to keep it and make something happen,” the England international continued. “They’re going to give you it back and move into a better space.
“When we play behind the [opposition] midfield and in front of the defence, we’ve got players like Manu, Felipe and Pablo who can make things happen.
“For me as well playing in the deeper midfield role is nice because nine times out of ten Dec [Rice] is going to sit in there and allow me to go forward and get into the box.
“I’m looking forward to this season and seeing what it brings.”
And, as previously stated, Wilshere is hoping it brings him more goals on a personal level.
“I said before that I wanted to score more goals and this pre-season I’ve been getting in the box a little bit more and I’m trying to add that to my game,” he confirmed. “We’ve got players who can create things and with Dec behind me it gives me that insurance.
“I need to get in the box more and I did that on Saturday and thankfully it came off and hopefully there will be some more this year.”
West Ham now return to Rush Green for their final week of pre-season training before kicking-off the Premier League campaign against Manchester City at London Stadium next Saturday.
“It’s been a good pre-season but a long pre-season,” he concluded. “We’ve been away a lot and away from our families, but we know it’s part of the job and we enjoy each other’s company and we get to bond a little bit more.
“Now we’re back at Rush Green and pre-season is done, but the hard work is just starting.
“It doesn’t come much harder than Man City and we’ve got to be ready. We can’t start that game the way we started on Saturday and be two [goals] down because City will just finish the game.
“We need to be focused, we need to work on our game-plan this week and get ready.”