• Premier League

Wilshere faces big season, admits Wenger

ESPN staff
August 5, 2014
Arsene Wenger impressed by Chambers

Arsene Wenger admits this is a "big season" for Jack Wilshere and has challenged the midfielder to finally fulfill his potential at Arsenal.

Wilshere apologised after being pictured smoking on holiday in Las Vegas and conceded it was "unacceptable" with Wenger reportedly warning him that he risks throwing away his career.

The 22 year old has also struggled with injuries in recent seasons and was sidelined last term for two months with a broken foot, but Wenger believes Wilshere can finally put his fitness problems behind him and prove his class.

Arsene Wenger feels Jack Wilshere's ankle problems are behind him © Getty Images

"This is a big season for Jack but he is in his best pre-season shape for three years," Wenger told The Sun.

"At the top level you need consistent presence. It does not work anymore when you rest for three weeks and then you are fit again - in and out is finished today.

"He is rid of his ankle problems and if he can maintain that I think he will have a great season. But he needs games and I agree that this is a very important season for him."

Wilshere returned to pre-season training three days early from his post-World Cup holiday and said he would have to prove himself this season.

Arsenal's title bid was hit by a succession of injuries last season to Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Vermaelen, and Wenger has brought in Germany's World Cup fitness coach Shad Forsythe to try to avoid a repeat.

Forsythe joined up with the Arsenal squad for the first time at last week's Austrian training camp, having spent 10 years working with the German national team.

He will be responsible for monitoring post-match recovery and will reportedly introduce a regime of exercise, massage and hot and cold baths for players on their days off.

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