20 July 2014 05:54
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger downplayed the significance of midfielder Jack Wilshere being photographed smoking.
Wenger previously put Wilshere on notice in October last year, but the England international was spotted lighting up during some post FIFA World Cup celebrations in Las Vegas earlier in July.
However, the French tactician said he was “not deeply concerned”, but did concede a discussion with his player will happen “next week”.
“I haven’t spoken to him so it’s very difficult for me to make any statement. I know what you can make of pictures – I have to speak to him really to see what happens before I come out publicly,” Wenger said.
“I’m not deeply concerned by it. I just want to know what happened and before I know what happened, I don’t want to talk too much about it.”
Wenger did deliver a thinly veiled swipe at Wilshere, too, claiming the 22-year-old needed to work on his fitness.
“He’s at an age where you want him to move forward. He has the potential,” he said.
“I believe for him, the most important [thing] now is to have a good preparation and focus on getting really fit.
“Jack is a great player – he has a football brain and he’s ambitious. I’m sure that [if] he’s injury free, he will have a great season.”
While Wilshere had no joy with the England outfit in Brazil, Wenger was pleased his Germany contingent experienced success – and hoped trio Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski would be better for it.
“What is good is that [Germany] won the World Cup, so their confidence should be stronger,” he said.
“We won the FA Cup with the last game of the season, they went away and won the World Cup.
“Winning makes you only stronger and more confident and hopefully we will benefit from that in the new season.”