Jack Wilshere has hit out at reports suggesting he picked up an ankle injury while on international duty with England, claiming he is feeling good after completing a full 90 minutes over the weekend.
Suggestions were floating around that the Arsenal star suffered yet another knock to his troublesome ankle in last week’s friendly loss to Germany, however he proved his critics wrong with a strong display against Southampton on Saturday completing his first 90 minutes for some time.
The midfielder operated mainly from the wing for large segments of the match, however filled in centrally when Arteta came off injured. Last week England boss Roy Hodgson suggested Wilshere required more regular action under his belt to return to his all action best, and his weekend’s performance suggested he’s now not far off the pace.
Wilshere told BBC Sport:
I read in the paper this week that I was injured – I don’t know where that’s come from. It’s complete nonsense and someone’s made it up.
I played half an hour against Germany, I came back and trained all week and played today so I’m alright at the moment. You never know what can happen in any games but at the moment I’m feeling good. It was good to get 90 minutes under my belt today, I can’t remember the last time I’d done that.
The Gunners responded to their loss to Manchester United with a win against the Saints, and Wilshere believes they’ve demonstrated a positive attitude when faced with setbacks this season.
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We know it’s only a good start and we have to continue it but we’ve shown great character this season, especially after the first game of the season as well when we were disappointed, we didn’t play well and it was at home so people expected us to crumble a bit but we picked up ourselves up and we’ve been on a great run since then.
Wilshere’s battling performance against Southampton was encouraging, and will help his confidence after playing much of the season out of position and frequently in and out of the side.
The return of Walcott will make starts even harder to come by for the central midfielder, but should injury strike in the deeper lying roles, a return to his favoured and most dangerous position will be on the cards.
The 21-year-old adds something unique to the side with his deep driving runs, and is starting to exercise more composure in the box, his little dink over Boruc almost produced a moment of magic, something he’s starting to produce again.
If he can remain injury free this season then he will gain regular game time especially if he can maintain a high level of performances.
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