In his pre-match press conference today, Arsene Wenger was asked repeatedly about Jack Wilshere’s injury and his future, and the manager had some good soundbites to offer up. He was optimistic about the injury, and complimentary about Wilshere’s quality, but also made some interesting statements about the player’s future and the career prospects of injury-prone players in general.
On the injury:
“We think it’s a simple fracture that doesn’t need any surgery at all, and hopefully he will be back in July for normal training… It’s a very simple fracture of the fibula, and we need patience so let’s hope all goes well”
He added that it was an accidental injury that could have happened to any player, and that it didn’t necessarily have much to do with Wilshere’s injury history or proneness – which should serve as some reassurance to both the player and the fans.
On the treatment:
Surprisingly, Wenger revealed that he hadn’t spoken to Wilshere yet, and made it very clear that he was a Bournemouth player till the end of the loan. He said Jack would remain there till the loan deal ended and then come back to Arsenal for rehabilitation. We’ve often seen in the past that when Arsenal players get injured out on loan, they end their loan spells early and return to the club for treatment, so whether this is some hopefulness on the part of Bournemouth, or a very sticky loan arrangement, we don’t know.
He did add though that the medical staff had met yesterday to discuss the situation and were liaising with the Bournemouth medical team over the treatment, and that he expected to know more next week with Wilshere due to come in for assessment.
On the Bournemouth loan:
“We had many midfielders here and we couldn’t guarantee him to get 30 games and he got that at Bournemouth, so on that front it was a positive experience… The doubt is that you need to go on to the football pitch and not to worry to be injured, and I believe overall that he had a positive season on that front”
On Wilshere’s future:
Arsene was very complimentary about Wilshere as a player, though he had some less reassuring things to say about the prospects of injury-prone players at the top level.
Asked how he felt when hearing the news of Jack’s latest injury, he said he was “Sad, because Jack is a great football player with a great football brain, and his career has been stopped by many injuries”.
He followed this up with an interesting bit about how “a great career doesn’t stop and go”, and how a lack of consistency in getting games prevents players from achieving their potential and becoming top-level footballers:
“The important thing is the consistency of the presence – when the player has been out for a while the game is of such an intensity that it takes you a while to find your rhythm and get your confidence back… When you look at all the players who are at the top level of the world like Ronaldo, these guys play 50 or 60 games a year, they have the luck not to be stopped by injury, so you’re always sad when a guy of that quality is stopped by injury.”
Now whether that’s indicative of his thoughts on Jack’s future at Arsenal we don’t know, but he did add that the player was “still young” at 25.
On a new contract for JW:
New contract for Arsene Wenger? Nothing to say at the moment. New contract for Ozil? No discussions at the moment? New contract for Sanchez? No discussions at the moment.
New contract for Wilshere? You guessed it:
“I don’t know, we haven’t entered any negotiations… I think for all these cases where there is one year to go [we’ll discuss it] during the break”