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Dec 16, 2012

Wilshere ready to commit to Arsenal

Jack Wilshere has confirmed he is close to penning a new deal with Arsenal, denying that the club's struggles of late would deter him from extending his time at the Emirates.

• Blog: Massive six weeks
• Blog: The spirit of Reading

Wilshere, 20, is reportedly close to signing a five-year renewal to his current contract which expires in 2014.

"I am talking to the club and I probably will be committing my future to the club in the next couple of weeks," he said. "I know the team are going through a bad stage at the moment, but that is like any team.

"I think you've seen over the past few years the top players have probably thought they don't see a bright future at Arsenal, but it's different for them as they were a bit older than me. I'm 20, I've still got a long way, touch wood, to go in my career.

"Players like Robin van Persie are older and maybe he thought 'I haven't got time any more'. And Cesc Fabregas wanted to go home to Spain, which was understandable. But, for me, I'm young and there are older players around me, and also younger players around me."

Wilshere's commitment to the Gunners provides a significant boost to the club following their League Cup exit at the hands of Bradford on Tuesday.

But Arsenal could move as high as fourth with a win over bottom placed Reading on Monday night and Wilshere is confident that his side can end their seven-year trophyless run this season.

"It is something we have to change," he said. "It is there and it adds to the pressure. It has been too long for a club like Arsenal. We used to win trophies in the past so there is no reason why we cannot.

"We have got good players. Maybe there is just a mental block we need to get over. When we get our first one, it can all start to happen. We can still realistically win everything we are in. I know we are a long way behind in the Premier League, but football changes quickly.

"If we win three games and another team loses a couple and draws one, we are back in it. It is not i our hands so we need a bit of luck.

"We are in the last 16 of the Champions League, that is going to be difficult, but we know in the Champions League anything can happen. It is two games and we can beat anybody. We showed that at home before when we beat Barcelona. There is no reason why we cannot do it again.

"We have got a hard game against Swansea in the FA Cup, but if we win that and a couple of big teams go out, anything can happen in cup football."

Wilshere joined Arsenal in 2001 and made his first-team breakthrough in 2010 under Arsene Wenger's tutelage.

The England midfielder believes Wenger has become an unruly scapegoat for Arsenal's failings this year and suggests it is time for the players to take greater responsibility and ensure the Frenchman maintains his post at the Emirates.

"For me, there is no question he is the right man," Wilshere said. "You cannot start questioning him because we have had a few bad results. The players have to look at themselves.

"Every year he has been in the Champions League and there is no other manager who has done that. He has built a legacy at this club. He changed everything when he came in 15-16 years ago. He brought the total football, if you like, to Arsenal - the passing game.

"He has also been great for me, has shown great faith in me from when I was young. He stuck with me when I was injured and has still stuck by me."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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