Jack Wilshere says: It’s a ‘good time’ to play Arsenal ahead of London derby against West Ham
PUBLISHED: 10:29 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 22 August 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal face West Ham at the Emirates on Saturday and are set to line up against a familiar face in Jack Wilshere – who says he has a point to prove against his former club.
The 26-year-old left the North London giants in the summer after 17 years at the club to join Mauricio Pellegrino at the London Stadium.
All eyes will be on Arsenal after Emery’s side lost their opening two league matches to Manchester City and Chelsea.
West Ham go into Saturday’s London derby in the same boat having lost two out of two, falling 2-1 at home to Bournemouth in East London on the first day before Liverpool comprehensively outclassed them 4-0 at Anfield last time out.
However, Wilshere will have extra motivation when the side’s clash due to his deep links with Arsenal – and believes his Irons will do well thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the club.
Speaking to the official West Ham matchday programme the midfielder said: “It’s down to me to prove a point to Arsenal that they were wrong to get rid of me.
“I quite fancy our chances. I know them really well. They’ve got a new manager but it’ll be a good time to play them.
“I’ve got to try and block all the emotion out.”
Wilshere struggled with injuries and loss of form during his latter time with the club, and was loaned out to Bournemouth for the 2016-17 season.
He forced his way back into the side last term but was allowed to leave after Unai Emery replaced Arsene Wenger as head coach.
The Hitchin-reared midfielder who burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 16-year-old posted on social media after meeting new boss Emery in June, he decided to leave the Gunners in favour of regular first team football, which the former PSG boss could not guarantee.
It is understood Arsenal had offered him in the region of £85,000 per week, plus a heavily incentivised package based upon future appearances.
However, with Wilshere seeing his midfield colleague Mesut Ozil awarded £350,000 per week, representatives for the England international – once hailed by Pep Guardiola in a Champions League match against his Barcelona charges in 2011 – wanted more, although, nowhere near the amount Ozil is receiving.
*In the head to head in all competitions over 138 matches, Arsenal have a considerable upper hand, winning 65, drawing 39 and losing 34.