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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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ArsenalArsenal
4:00 PM GMT
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By ESPN Staff

Jack Wilshere regrets smoking

Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry was asked if Arsenal's newest influx of talent would make them a contender for the Premier League title.

Jack Wilshere admits it was "unacceptable" for him to smoke on holiday in Las Vegas after reportedly being warned by Arsene Wenger that he risks throwing away his career.

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The Arsenal midfielder received heavy criticism after being photographed smoking and drinking in a hotel swimming pool earlier this month following England's early exit at the World Cup.

"The smoking? Of course I regret it," Wilshere was quoted as saying in several national newspapers. "I've been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.

"I'm young and I'll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up. I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it's OK for a footballer to smoke because it's not. It's unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on."

Wilshere returned to preseason training three days early after the incident and has since held talks with Wenger at London Colney.

The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger told Wilshere, 22, he could fail to fulfil his potential if he doesn't change his habits, having expressed his disappointment last season when Wilshere was pictured smoking outside a London nightclub.

Having seen his Arsenal career stalled by a series of injury setbacks in recent years, Wilshere admits he will have to prove himself in the coming season.

"It does motivate me to try harder in training and not just in training," added Wilshere, who was speaking after coaching some New York children in an Arsenal clinic on their preseason trip to America.

"It motivates me to improve because a lot of people have started to talk [about me] -- people who don't know me but want to have an opinion. Now and it is down to me.

"This is a big season for me. I came back early to preseason to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.

"Over the past few seasons I've had a few injuries. This season I'm looking to have a really great preseason and get a really good base of fitness and take that into the season."

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