Arsene Wenger has rubbished reports that Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere smoking picture is a cause for worry.
Wilshere was pictured holding a sheesha pipe in a picture on his girlfriend’s Instagram that was taken down immediately. However, Wenger has suggested that Wilshere is not a smoker and he’s been working doubly hard to get fit and play for the team.
“I’ve spoken with him about that [smoking] and he’s not a smoker. He is of course sorry for what has happened. It’s down to him to master his life. He had the day off the next day and he went out to watch the Superbowl.
“When he’s here he has to follow the rules that we dictate here, when he’s out of his job it’s his own responsibility to behave like he wants to behave. I don’t think there’s any more to add on that. I believe his photo has been taken at half past 12 when he watched the Superbowl. I don’t know any more of what happened and it’s not of a big interest.
“You’re always worried for your players that they get what they don’t deserve,” added Wenger.
“I think I observe him well and he behaves in a very professional way, I must say. Every morning he’s certainly one of the first in and every afternoon certainly the last out. He works very hard, he’s gone through some bad spells in his career and always recovered. It would be wrong to give him that kind of reputation because he’s a serious player and he works very hard.
“You have been 23 as well. You need sometimes to relieve the pressure a bit. I think today it’s much more difficult because everywhere you go people make photos and a photo shows one second of your life. It doesn’t define who you are.”
Wenger also talked about being more aware of technology wielding fans, citing his pictures from Brazil during the summer.
“I believe you have to take that with a distance as well. I remember when I was in Brazil, I have been seen with some photos by people I didn’t even know were around me so you have to be very careful about that.
“I believe he works hard, he practices well, he’s ahead of schedule in his training, he’s two weeks ahead, and you don’t do that if you are not serious. As I told you, he is first in, last out, and he works very hard to get there. I am not worried at all about that.”