EXCLUSIVE: Jack Wilshere says ‘far more to come from West Ham’ as he recalls anti-Spurs songs after Arsenal FA Cup final victories
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
West Ham United Hammers midfielder Jack Wilshere says there is far more to come from Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season.
The well-respected Irons midfielder has been speaking exclusively to Layth Yousif at his house ahead of the launch of his new soccer school in North Herts at the end of the month.
Wilshere, who signed for the East Londoners in the summer after 17 years in the north of the capital, has been out with an ankle injury since last month, but is enjoying his time at the London Stadium.
The Irons go into their Premier League derby with Tottenham – a fixture the former Arsenal midfielder would have particularly enjoyed – on Saturday in 15th place after two wins in their last four matches.
Wilshere joined on a free transfer in the summer after his Arsenal deal expired and believes West Ham are gelling after losing their first four Premier League matches.
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Speaking ahead of the launch of the Jack Wilshere Soccer School in Letchworth, he was bullish about the squad Pellegrini has assembled and positive about his team’s prospects.
Wilshere hailed his new club and team-mates saying: “I’ve had a great time since I’ve been at West Ham. I know we lost a few games early on and we had a tough start but that was all about getting all the new players in and getting to grips with how the manager wants to play.
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“It’s a great stadium and the fans are unbelievable. They can get on the team’s back if they’re not happy – but that’s because they are so demanding and if you channel that in the right way then that’s really positive because you’re filling the stadium every week and have that great support behind you.
“To play in front of a full stadium every week is good. At the moment I’m injured but I can’t wait to get back as soon as I can.”
Wilshere picked up an ankle injury in the week before the emphatic 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park in mid-September, following losses to Liverpool, Bournemouth, former club Arsenal and Wolves.
There is still uncertainty as to how long the England international will be absent for having felt discomfort in his ankle during training. Ankle injuries are always a concern for the 26-year-old given his CV, but Wilshere is confident the issue will not keep him out for too long.
Ahead of the visit of the Gunners bitter rivals the talented 26-year-old has also been recalling his time at Arsenal.
Wilshere has been reminiscing about the trophies he picked up and his the post-FA Cup final celebrations – in particular his and anti-Spurs songs after the North London giants consecutive showpiece final victories in 2014 and 2015 – which forever sealed his high standing with Gooners everywhere.
The Arsenal academy star sang anti-Tottenham chants during the club’s FA Cup victory parade in both those years, taking to the microphone to mock the team from N17 as he and his colleagues celebrated in front of thousands of fans at the Emirates Stadium.
Wilshere was fined £40,000 by the FA and warned as to his future conduct after admitting to a charge of misconduct after he led the massed ranks of Gooners in chanting light-hearted abuse at the Lillywhites,
The Stevenage-born, Hitchin-reared star was reminded about his responsibilities by the club while issuing an apology via Twitter for any offence caused.
Recalling the day Gunners fans across the globe will never forget, Wilshere said: “As a footballer that’s what you work for.
“If you work for something for years and years and you get it then you deserve to let your hair down a little.
“We worked so hard that season [in 2014]. We did have ups and downs and probably didn’t have the best season in terms of the Premier League but in the FA Cup we were brilliant all year.
“That was the year Theo [Walcott] got injured in the win over Spurs [and was carried off around the Spurs fans who pelted him with coins].
“In terms of the microphone I don’t have many memories of that because of the late night,” adding, “I just had a special bond with Arsenal fans. As soon as I went up there and they were cheering my name I just got carried away. It was a mad day.
“We finished the game and Arsene had always been anti-alcohol. That’s just the sort of person he is.
“But I remember him saying: ‘You can have a few beers.’ We sat in the dressing room and had a few beers. We went to a party at the Rosewood Hotel that night. It was brilliant. They put on a nice party and all the players went. Afterwards we all went out. We must have got in at 6am. We had to be on the bus soon afterwards to do the tour…[smiles] it was a mad day. A good day. One of the best days I had at The Arsenal,” adding: “That was one of the highlights in my whole time with Arsenal. “The previous trophy I had won was the 2009 FA Youth Cup so to win the FA Cup with my boyhood club was really special. It was a great memory.”
The Jack Wilshere Soccer School runs in Letchworth on Tuesday, October 30, Wednesday, October 31 and Thursday, November 1. Courses are available for boys and girls aged four to 15. Everyone attending will be given a trophy and a signed photograph of Jack.
Across the three days youngsters will also have the chance to meet Jack and receive expert coaching from him and coaches provided by soccer school associate Paul Deller and his ‘Grassroots Soccer’ organisation.
To book visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jack-wilshere-and-grassroots-soccer-school-tickets-48987092713
Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29