Jack Wilshere is back amongst the mix in the Arsenal training ground but may not be featuring in the team just yet, Wenger has confirmed.
The ‘bad-boy’ at the center of the recent Arsenal smoke-storm has not played since mid-November nursing a lay-off from surgery on his ankle. He had not been expected in the team till later in the month but has shown quick recovery from his latest injury episode. Wenger had said he would be back in training with the squad before the Leicester game but is not quite certain as to when he will be fully ready for action on the field.
“He’s back in full training this week. I don’t know exactly [how long until he returns], we have to monitor him on a daily basis and see how he develops.” Wenger said on Arsenal.com
It had looked like this would be the season in which the 23-year old would finally get a long run of games to recapture his 2011 form and for the first few months, it did seem as though he was getting back to his best. One might argue that his form for England was much better than in the red-and-white of Arsenal but he has still managed to put in a man-of-the-match game against City while being the Gunners best player in defeats against Chelsea and United.
Naturally, questions are being asked about his place in the team at the moment, with Ramsey and Coquelin the first choice pair in central midfield for now. As with Ozil and Walcott, we have seen that is not a problem beyond Wenger. He will surely have his way in the team whenever he become fit and ready.
More of a worry would be his off-pitch antics at night clubs, with the latest smoking debate having him at the center of it. He appears not to be able to rid himself of controversial scenarios that keep raising doubts about his professionalism.
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”
Wenger does not underestimate his prodigy’s professionalism 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 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 Wenger on Wilshere You’re always worried for your players that they get what they don’t deserve. But I think I observe him well and he behaves in a very professional way, I must say.”
Deep role, Number 10 or box-to-box, Wilshere’s role remains hot debate topic, as also his attitude. But what is important for now is to see him back on the pitch. Hopefully, we won’t wait too long.
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