• Premier League

Wenger 'shocked' by smoking Wilshere

ESPN staff
October 4, 2013 « Coleman points finger at Madrid over Bale problems | Chartbeat test »
Wenger 'disagrees' with Wilshere's behaviour


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed his disappointment after Jack Wilshere was photographed smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub.

Wenger has refused to rule out the prospect of fining the midfielder for behaviour that he described as 'shocking', as he used his latest press conference to give his 21-year-old star a very public dressing down.

"I disagree completely with that behaviour," Wenger declared. "I don't know what has happened and I will have to have a chat with him about that. When you are a footballer you are an example and also don't do what damages your health.

"You can smoke at home and drink at home and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially, you damage your reputation as well. I have not spoken to him yet and what I saw will be between him and me."

Wenger went on to suggest a change in cultural behaviour is one of the reasons why Wilshere indiscretions cannot be tolerated, as he admits times have changed since his days as a player in France.

"I must say the English society is very sensitive to smoking as well," he continued. "It is more shocking here that somewhere like France and you don't need to convince me that times have changed.

"Things are different, in England, especially. I travelled as a footballer player on coaches in France when you didn't see each other with so much smoke on the coach, everybody smokes.

"The example, the role model request on players has changed as well."

Wenger went on to insist Wilshere will continue to be a key player in his plans for this weekend's game at West Bromwich Albion despite the controversy over his social activities, as he stressed his omission from Tuesday night's Champions League game against Napoli was not a sign that he has slipped down the pecking order in his first team.

"He is a very important player here," Wenger added. "In my plans for the future of the club, they have always built around Jack. We have some setbacks with him, a lot of setbacks, but he is a very important player in my squad."

Wenger also admitted there is "more to come" from his table-topping side.

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