England boss Roy Hodgson has sympathised with Jack Wilshere over his latest smoking controversy by admitting that he too has puffed on a shisha pipe.
The Three Lions coach even revealed that he had found the hookah wanting saying it left him with nothing but ‘a faint fruity last in the mouth’.
His comments come just a week after a picture of the injured star holding a shisha pipe was posted on Instagram and Arsene Wenger said he would demand an explanation of the midfielder.
Wilshere has been out of action for three months following ankle ligament damage, but whilst he won’t feature against Middlesbrough this weekend, he has returned to full training and could be back in the Arsenal squad in the coming weeks.
“I thought tobacco was smoking and shisha pipes were water with flavour,” said Hodgson to the Daily Telegraph. “Does it [contain nicotine]? Are you sure about that? I am not.
“Well, you are blowing in and you’re blowing out. As an ex-cigar smoker, when I tried it [shisha] I thought it was a complete nonsense, I couldn’t understand who would do it. Apart from a faint fruity taste in your mouth that was about the end of it.
“As far as I am concerned that is a club matter and Arsène [Wenger] dealt with it very, very well. If you are asking me, in an ideal world, is that an ideal thing to happen?
“Of course it isn’t but we don’t live in an ideal world. I am happy it has been dealt with and it won’t occupy a lot of my time with Jack when I see him because we have a football match to win.”
This has been the third time in the last two years that Wilshere has been pictured smoking or with the implements to do so and has led to concerns over both his health and commitment to his professional career.