EXCLUSIVE: Jack Wilshere says it was a shame Arsenal couldn’t win the Europa League for Arsene Wenger but team had no ‘Plan B’
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...
Wilshere has revealed it was a ‘shame’ last season’s Arsenal side did not manage to lift the Europa League for the outgoing Arsene Wenger. .
Speaking at his home as he gears up to launch his own soccer school in North Herts later this month, the star who spent 17 years with the Gunners, admitted it was a real disappointment that the Gunners could not get past Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of Europe’s second tier competition to give Wenger the winning send-off he desired.
Arsenal drew the first leg of the last four clash 1-1 on a raucous evening at the Emirates but threw away a one goal lead against ten-man Atleti.
Antoine Griezmann punished Arsenal’s lax defence late on as 10-man Atletico Madrid salvaged a draw from the Europa League semi-final first leg at Emirates Stadium.
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The visitors were on the back foot from the start after defender Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for two yellow cards with only 10 minutes gone.
The furious Simeone was sent to the stands shortly after but the Spanish side survived unscathed to half-time, with Alexandre Lacazette clipping the post with a half-volley the hosts’ best chance.
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Lacazette headed in Wilshere’s cross on the hour but with eight minutes left against the ten men Antoine Griezmann shrugged off Laurent Koscielny to fire into the net a precious away goal before winning the second leg 1-0 to knock Wenger’s side out of the competition and end hopes of delivering silverware in his final month.
Reflecting on that momentous time Wilshere said: “It was a shame we didn’t go on to win the Europa League for him because that would have been a great way to send him off.
“But listen, he’ll go down in history for what he did for Arsenal no matter what he did or didn’t do last year. He will go down as probably the most successful Arsenal manger of all time. He certainly is at the moment.
“I know he went a long time without winning anything but it’s not always the manager’s fault, players have to take some sort of responsibility. What he did with the Invincibles and other teams he built he will always go down as an Arsenal legend
“The way Arsene was it was always a case of: ‘If we play our football, we’ll be alright no matter who we were playing. Sometimes our football didn’t always go right and we struggled with a Plan B in those tough away games.”
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