There is a real threat of Arsenal gaining a tag of the Smoking Club with a second incident coming barely four weeks after the Szczesny affair on New Year’s Day, but Wenger won’t be drawn into a conclusion that the latest culprit, Jack Wilshere, is proving himself more interested in smoking than football.
While not being involved in major training yet, Wilshere has had lots of free time on his hands and with that usually comes the tendency to reach out to extremes which would possibly have been too far if dutifully engaged. He is only a few days away from returning to full training with the team but the latest picture of him being snapped with a hookah (shisha for some) has kind of dampened the excitement amongst fans.
Wenger, though, insists that the 23-year old father of two remains a committed player and not even this new episode will undermine his opinion of him.
“I’ve spoken with him about that [smoking] and he’s not a smoker.”, said Wenger on Arsenal.com
“He is of course sorry for what has happened. It’s down to him to master his life. He had the day off the next day and he went out to watch the Super Bowl. When he’s here he has to follow the rules that we dictate here, when he’s out of his job it’s his own responsibility to behave like he wants to behave. I don’t think there’s any more to add on that”
In light of the punitive measures taken with regards to Szczesny’s, some had expected some kind of ban for Wilshere but the statement above makes it clear the club views it as something done outside of its jurisdiction, more of a personal than professional matter.
Wenger does not underestimate his prodigy’s professionalism, either and will want to see his hardwork pull him through the tough run he’s had ever since he got that dubious “Golden Boy” tag.
“Every morning he’s certainly one of the first in and every afternoon certainly the last out. He works very hard, he’s gone through some bad spells in his career and always recovered. It would be wrong to give him that kind of reputation because he’s a serious player and he works very hard.”
It is obviously a bit disappointing to see him in the midst of another storm but it must not be forgotten that with the right support, he could eventually become that player we know he should be. Wenger has never proven a man to abandon a wrecking ship and with Wilshere, it won’t be any different.
Wilshere is expected back in full training on Sunday and a video of a rigorous exercise posted on his Instagram account was part of his response to all that has been made of his career.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.