Previous
Chelsea
West Ham United
Dec 26, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burnley
Liverpool
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Stoke City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Queens Park Rangers
Dec 26, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
ArsenalArsenal
Queens Park RangersQueens Park Rangers
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
 By Kevin Palmer

Wenger: Jack Wilshere needs to focus

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere is looking to put an eventful week behind him ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifiers

LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged midfielder Jack Wilshere to ignore his critics and let his football do the talking for him this season.

Media pundits such as former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher and ex-Manchester United star Paul Scholes are among those who have questioned Wilshere's development at Arsenal, amid suggestions that the 22-year-old may struggle to hold down a place in the Gunners first team this season.

- Mangan: Flat Arsenal seek a spark

Yet Wenger has suggested that his England midfielder needs to focus his attention on staying fit and turning in the best season yet of a career that he remains convinced will be hugely successful.

"I believe at the moment he should not respond to the criticism, just focus on his game," Wenger told reporters.

"If Wilshere can maintain his fitness, then he will make a huge career. At the moment, I believe he should just focus on that -- being fit, present and to improve physically. The rest will come along. I told him the target is for him to have the whole season being available to play."

Arsene Wenger says if Jack Wilshere focuses on his training, success will follow.

Wenger went on to compare the expectations around Wilshere to those experienced by Wayne Rooney in his formative years, with his recent recruit Calum Chambers now also coming under the spotlight as a potential England international in the making just three games into his Arsenal career.

"Before [Wilshere] was in Calum Chambers' position, then suddenly when you get to 22, the expectation level comes on you," stressed Wenger. "Rooney has gone through that, now it goes through Wilshere.

"He is not [progressing] as far as everyone expected him to be from when he was at 18, but that is because he was injured, not because he doesn't train seriously. He is a guy who when he goes out there, he wants to play, he works hard but he was out for one and a half years."

The imminent return of German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil will put further pressure on Wilshere's place in the Arsenal side, yet Wenger has hinted he may yet consider adding to his midfield options in this transfer window.

The news that Sami Khedira may be available this summer after he turned down the offer of a new contract at Real Madrid may be of interest to Wenger, who has been persistently linked with a move to the Germany star throughout this summer.

When asked whether he would consider signing a defensive-minded midfielder, Wenger responded with a smile by saying: "We are not against that."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.