Arsene Wenger says that he has spoken to Jack Wilshere about newspaper stories linking him to a nightclub fracas but believes that the matter has been blown out of proportion by journalists.
The midfielder was pictured being questioned by police in the early hours of Sunday morning after he was apparently involved in a verbal exchange with other revellers outside a London nightclub.
At his pre-West Ham press conference today (Thursday), Arsene said:
“I have spoken to him. It looks to be taken out of proportion a little bit. These are matters we like to keep internal.
“There was no training session the next day. He had a day off day. You can accept that sometimes the players go out, when they are free the next day over the weekend.
“What is positive is that he works very, very hard. The news looks quite good, he’ll have a good test tomorrow night [vs Newcastle for the under 21 side].”
When questioned further on the incident, Wenger talked about the difficulty of going out as a high profile figure but defended the right of players to do so.
He said: “This is a completely private matter for me. It’s very difficult to speak about it, I don’t know what happened.
“You know as well, he can be provoked, it’s not easy today to go out when you’re well known without creating some provocation. Even when you’re known, you have the right to go out.”
On the subject of the team, the boss revealed that Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini are both available again for selection, although I find it difficult to see how they could force a way into the team, given the relative good form of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny.
In fact, Arsene confirmed as much in the press conference, saying that he was “reluctant to change what works”.
Arsene also revealed that both Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere would be returning to action for the under 21s, but he urged caution over expecting too much from Jack so soon after injury.
He said: “Let’s not rush him. He will play for the under-21s on Friday but I’m cautious.”
As to Jack, I’m in no rush to see him return to first team action. As I’ve said before, I think it would be better that he spends the summer building up his fitness in preparation for a tilt at winning a place in the squad when the new season begins.
Tomas Rosicky, however, I would like to see him turn out for the team again, if possible. I expect that he will leave the club in the summer – perhaps for a last season or two in his native Czech Republic – so a final farewell in Arsenal red would be fitting.