Arsene Wenger accepted that he made the wrong choice in pushing recovering midfielder Jack Wilshere into action for Arsenal’s match against Norwich on Saturday.
However, the Frenchman was quick to highlight the importance of having a fully fit squad for the remainder of the season, in which Arsenal are aiming at a spot in the top four.
“I rushed Jack back a bit. He was not completely ready,” said Wenger, whose team host Everton on Tuesday.
“I will get advice from the medical department and how he feels as well and use my experience.” “How careful have I to be? To listen well to the medical advice and that is what I have to do, use him when everything is all right and listen to him as well, how he feels.”
Wilshere, 21, suffered an injury to his left ankle on 3 March against Tottenham and has been out for six weeks, despite initial reports claiming that the young midfielder would not be out for more than three.
The injury could not had come at a worse time for club or country, with Wilshere set to be crucial for both Arsenal’s Champion’s League quarter final return leg at Bayern Munich and England feisty qualifying affair with group leaders Montenegro in Podgorica.
The young England international – who only has seven caps to his name – has already seen his career go south due to injuries in the past, and will not be keen on renewing this particular ankle worry on account of his manager’s impatience.
After the injury to his other, right ankle in May 2011, Wilshere started the 15 month-long road to recovery that saw him miss out on the entire last season, including England dire EURO 2012 bid, and Team GB’s Olympic hopes.
After coming back into action in late autumn 2012, the 21-year-old roared into action in the new year, with a stunning FA cup goal against Swansea and a MOTM performance in England’s friendly against Brazil. He admits that the sixty minutes he labored through against Norwich at the weekend were a frustrating reminder that he wasn’t 100% ready.
“I know it was only six weeks, but you still lose your match sharpness and it takes a few games to come,” Wilshere said.
“It was frustrating, because I was flying just before I got injured in March. I felt good, confident, and then picked up another injury.
“Things then drag a little and you lose your sharpness, but this time it wasn’t anything like as long as the one before, so hopefully this time I can get it back more quickly.
“I needed that game on Saturday – you always need your first one out of the way.
I wasn’t great, I know it myself, I am better than that, but you need just to get that first game in so that your sharpness and understanding come back.”
The Gunners will now face Everton on Tuesday night, with Tomas Rosicky’s return to fitness most likely meaning Wilshere will start the game on the bench.The creative Arsenal man has made 19 Premier League appearances for Wenger’s side this season, without scoring a single goal, but has made his presence strongly felt in midfield.
He has had a high level of Open Play Pass completion, at 87%, and does well in defensive zone passing as well, with completion at 93%.
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