‘We test our players’ Wenger denies Arsenal drinking problem after Wilshere incident
PUBLISHED: 05:45 08 April 2016
2015 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
Arsene Wenger insists Jack Wilshere does not have a drinking problem after the midfielder’s most recent late-night controversy.
Wilshere was involved in a fracas at a London nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning, the latest in a number of off-the-pitch incidents that have marred the England international’s young career.
The 24-year-old was filmed talking to police and hiding behind some bins after he was reportedly was caught up in a brawl at the Cafe de Paris venue, but Wenger insists the Arsenal man was responsible for no wrongdoing.
This is not the first time Wilshere has courted controversy - the midfielder has previously received a caution for common assault, been accused of verbally abusing a taxi driver and pictured smoking on two occasions.
But Wenger is adamant that there is no problem with the lifestyle of any of his Arsenal players.
“Jack is not a drinker at all,” said Wenger. “I don’t even have that worry. Of course drinking alcohol is bad. We test our players regularly. We don’t have a drinking problem. Scientifically we control very well our players. The drinking problem was much bigger when I arrived.
“The real question is does he have the serious life or not? A player cannot hide when you watch him practise every day. Jack’s serious in his life. He had a hard training session on Monday and he did very well. If he had been heavy drinking on Sunday I don’t think he would have survived.”
Wilshere has not played for Arsenal this season as he suffered a hairline fracture to his left fibula in the pre-season. He has returned to training in recent weeks, however, and he will play in an under-21 game tonight.
Wenger believes injuries are the only reason that Wilshere may never fully reach his massive potential.
“He is very serious and dedicated,” the manager said.
“The only thing that could stop him having a career he could make is injuries. He should be absolutely well now but, because of the history, you think, ‘Let’s get the consistency before you say you are out of the woods’.
“I have been told by the medical people that I don’t need to worry anymore.”