Arsene Wenger says that although Jack Wilshere shouldn’t have reacted to a late challenge when playing for the Arsenal U23s during the week, he understands why he did.
The midfielder was subject to a number of late tackles during the game, and took exception to one midway through the second half. He pushed his opponent, who pathetically went to ground clutching his face, before becoming involved with another rat-faced City player, leading to his dismissal.
The set-to continued into the tunnel and drew overwrought headlines from the worst clickbait merchants.
Asked if he understood Wilshere’s reaction, the Arsenal manager said, “At my stage and with my experience in football I can understand a lot, especially what happened to him.
“Ideally he should not have responded at all but when you have gone through what he has gone through, you can see with this bad tackle it was a human reaction.
“At the moment he is working very, very hard to come back from his fracture so another setback would be terrible, and I think it was a bad tackle.”
With less than 12 months remaining on his current deal, Wilshere’s future has been the subject of much speculation, with Wenger hinting that his injury problems might be the determining factor in any new offer from the club.
“You know how much I love Jack and his talent. I started him at the age of 17, but today in the football world you need a consistent presence.
“What is at stake for Jack is not his quality, not his talent, not his determination, it’s his consistent presence at the top and I hope he can do that.
“Nobody questions his quality here.”
Earlier, the manager provided the latest team news ahead of the Liverpool game on Sunday, and there was some good news about a couple of players returning to the squad.