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Dec 10, 2012

Wilshere: I'm nearing full fitness

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes he is getting close to full fitness after an impressive performance in the 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

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Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has said Wilshere is several months ahead of schedule in his efforts to get back to his best, and the 20-year-old is delighted by his rapid progress after a 14-month injury layoff.

"I have got better every game, and I'm maybe 90% fit now," Wilshere said. "Every game that goes by, I feel better and better fitness-wise. When I get up to 100%, I will really show what I can do.

"It's a new experience, my first injury, and I didn't know what to expect. I spoke to a few players who have had long-term injuries. They said you will come back and have a good game and you think 'I am back', but then you will have another game and you are not so good."

He said he felt adrenalin had got him through his first few games back but added: "Then you start to realise it is not as simple as that and things start catching up with you. Then you start to get back to your best."

Wilshere praised midfield partner Mike Arteta, whose two penalties set up a much-needed home victory against the Baggies.

"Tactically, his positioning is the best around," he said. "He is not the biggest lad, but the amount of balls he wins in the air is good.

"He's an older player, and is great for the younger players. You can talk to him on the pitch and off the pitch."

Meanwhile, Arteta thanked the Arsenal fans for helping the team to get back to winning ways.

His brace of penalties - the first awarded after a contentious tumble from Santi Cazorla - eased the pressure, with the Spaniard saying he had been unsure how the crowd would react after Arsenal's recent slump in form.

"What the fans showed towards the team was a really big lift for us because we didn't know how upset they would be after last week [a 2-0 defeat to Swansea]," he told Arsenal's official website.

"We have to thank them for an unbelievable effort, and we got a good three points."

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