Sir Alex Ferguson: Arsenal right on Jack Wilshere


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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson empathises with Arsène Wenger's frustrations about Roy Hodgson's decision to call up the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere for next week's England friendly in Stockholm.

"I can understand completely where Arsène is coming from," the Manchester United manager said. "When you are out for a long period and you play your first game, adrenalin helps you. But there is a reaction, a physical reaction, a few days later and that is what we are worried about with Chris Smalling."

Ferguson claimed he will have to deploy Smalling at Aston Villa this evening if Jonny Evans fails to recover from a groin strain sustained at Braga in midweek.

The United manager also said that he believes Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez will each score 20 goals this season and that United may eclipse their 1999/2000 total of 97, finally topping 100. Rooney's miss against Arsenal, however, made him the fourth United player to miss a penalty this season, and Ferguson added: "I think Wayne has to accept he has to have a better strike-rate with his penalties."