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May 14, 2014

Jack Wilshere sought out Paul Scholes

FC's Steve Nicol and Craig Burley discuss England's options up front named in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed he put in a phone call to Paul Scholes after the former Manchester United star suggested the Gunners starlet "doesn't look a better player now than he did when he was 17" in a TV interview in March.

Jack Wilshere feels he has improved since his teenage playing days.

Mangan: Arsenal year review

Wilshere claimed his admiration for the 11-time Premier League winner Scholes inspired him to reach out to the former England playmaker after his stinging criticism of Arsenal and their 22-year-old midfielder on Sky Sports.

Speaking at Arsenal's press day ahead of the FA Cup final against Hull this Saturday, Wilshere confirmed he had cleared the air with Scholes and offered the retired United great platitudes aplenty as he spoke to reporters.

"If it had come from a rubbish player I could say 'What are you talking about,' but it came from Paul Scholes and for me he was the best English midfielder of all time," said Wilshere.

"So I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I spoke to him, he explained it a bit better and told me what he thought I should work on. We had quite a good chat. He is entitled to his opinion, but I just wanted to know."

Scholes' suggestion that injuries have halted Wilshere's career were not disputed by the Arsenal midfielder, but he insisted he has made strides forward in his career since his initial break onto the club and international scene.

"He was right in a certain way," continued Wilshere. "When I first burst onto the scene there was all this noise and then I got injured.

"I have had bad luck with injuries, but I can't keep saying I've been injured a lot. There comes a time when you stop being a kid and I think that's what he's referring to. 'He's young, he's got all this potential,' but you have to start putting that potential in.

"This season I have improved a lot, scored a few more than I have in the past and got a few more assists. That side of things, you can keep the ball and you can look good but it's those stats that matter. That's what I have to build on."

Meanwhile, Wilshere confirmed that victory in the FA Cup final is more important than the manner of the success, with Arsenal's eagerness to end their nine-year wait for a major trophy meaning winning is all that matters on Saturday.

"If I remember rightly, Man United were the better team and we won on penalties," he added, reflecting on Arsenal's last trophy success back in 2005. "We'd take that. We just want to win the game, that's really important.

"We've been here before in the Carling Cup. No disrespect to the Carling Cup but this is bigger than the Carling Cup. The FA Cup is a trophy that, when I grew up, you remember the FA Cup finals. I won the FA Youth Cup so it's right that we go on and win this. We don't have to prove we have leaders to win this -- we just have to win it."

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