Jack Wilshere says it’s horrible when the character of the team is questioned, and says that the only answer is on the pitch, but also that the comments made by Troy Deeney following the 2-1 defeat to Watford last weekend were not justified.
In a post-game interview the Watford striker accused Arsenal of having no ‘cojones’ (balls), which was hard to argue with on the day, but then there were no Arsenal players doing likewise when Deeney and chums got turned over 3-0 at home last season.
The comments struck a nerve with the England international ahead of tomorrow’s game with Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League.
“As a player if your attitude is questioned, it’s horrible”, said Wilshere. “I look around this team and you can’t question our character.
“People try to put us down, they always have. I don’t think the comments were justified. When we look back at the game we look back at ourselves and what we did wrong. I don’t think we can look back and question our character.
“We did certain things wrong but we certainly didn’t want to let the lead slip. We will move on.
“We have a game tomorrow and another big game at the weekend and we have seen with this team that the players can bounce back quick – and we will do that.”
Whatever anyone thinks of Deeney’s comments, Wilshere’s response is the right one. Similar to Per Mertesacker earlier in the week, they say they don’t pay any heed, but you can be sure what the Watford man said will have stung.
Earlier Arsene Wenger revealed that Mathieu Debuchy is in line to start his first game of the season, having lasted just 16 minutes in his last game before injury ruled him out for the remainder of last season.
“He has not played for a long time because every time he is close to come back he is injured again,” said the manager.
“Hopefully he gets through. He certainly starts.”