Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Jack Wilshere vows never to smoke again after the Arsenal midfielder admits he ... - Telegraph.co.uk

Wilshere had partially put the controversy behind him by scoring Arsenal’s equaliser against West Bromwich and admitted that he had appreciated the supporters’ attempt to make light of the situation. Arsenal fans had sung “he smokes when he wants” at Wilshere during the match.

Wenger also praised Wilshere’s honesty in how he eventually dealt with the situation and the 21-year-old joined up with the England squad on Monday for the critical World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.

Roy Hodgson, the England manager, has stressed that he was happy for Wenger simply to speak directly with Wilshere over the smoking photograph. “I trust Arsène to deal with that situation,” he said.

Hodgson has generally always started with Wilshere whenever he has been fit but he struggled in the goalless draw against Ukraine in Kiev last month. With Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge now available, Hodgson could prefer Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in central midfield.

At Arsenal, Wilshere has been starting in a left-sided midfield position to accommodate Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Özil in the team.

Although England must beat both Montenegro and Poland to be sure of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup, Wilshere believes that they might only need one more win.

“They are two big games,” said Wilshere. “We expect to win our home games at Wembley but don’t get me wrong, they are not going to be easy. International football is tough, as I found out in the last game. I think we need three or four points from two games and we’ll be all right.

“There is no better feeling for an Englishman than to play for his country. It’s a proud moment every time I pull on that shirt and if I’m selected I’ll do my best.”

Flamini, who has spent the past five years playing alongside the likes of Andrea Pirlo in AC Milan’s midfield, is sure that Wilshere will eventually flourish on the international stage.

“Jack is a very talented player, a lot of quality and he plays in a great team,” said Flamini. “He has everything to be successful. He is still very young. He has a lot to learn. Already what he is doing is incredible.

“He is a technical player. So every time he has one or two players against him. He gets kicked from behind or they try and jump on him. It is not that easy when you are talented and trying to make the difference.”

Of the smoking incident, Flamini added: “He is still young, learning. I don’t think that was a problem. The manager talked to him. It is behind now.”

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