Arsene Wenger remains cautious over Jack Wilshere's return, warning Arsenal fans not to go 'crazy'

 

Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal and England must not go “crazy” over Jack Wilshere's return to action.

The midfielder played his first match for more than a year in the Under-21s at West Brom on Monday afternoon, having been sidelined by a niggling ankle problem and then knee surgery.

Wilshere, 20, is set for another run-out next week against Reading, but Wenger continues to stress it must be a cautious rehabilitation for the 20-year-old.

"Jack needs a few games, progressive build-up to get his body used again to competition, to shocks, to fights, but he is doing extremely well, the situation looks very good," said Wenger, whose side will look to get their Barclays Premier League campaign back on track at West Ham tomorrow following defeat by leaders Chelsea.

"We have to be cautious, not crazy, because of his talent you are always pushed in a situation where you would like to rush him back, and we have to resist that.

"The next match should be next week and he is working very hard.

"The body is like that, when you have been out of competition for 14 months it takes a long time to find your sharpness back. You cannot rush it."

Wenger hopes a steady fitness programme will see long-term benefits for everyone.

"There are three things that are important for every player: the health of the player, the interests of the club and the interests of the national team," said Wenger.

"You have to try to combine the three but the most important thing of course is the health of the player.

"[England manager] Roy Hodgson is long enough in the job to know that a player who has been out for 14 months, you have to give him time to play again. When the time comes up, he will play for England again of course."

Hodgson called up left-back Kieran Gibbs, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and forward Theo Walcott for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

Right-back Carl Jenkinson was also close to Hodgson's thoughts, with the Gunners now providing a healthy chunk of the England senior squad.

"Yes [it is a change] because I faced many times of course some questions about that," said Wenger.

"I always said that the ideal mixture was to have a basic young squad where 60% comes from this country and 40% maybe from abroad. We get slowly there and we have good young talent from England."

Arsenal head to Upton Park without first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and midfielder Abou Diaby, but are hopeful German centre-back Per Mertesacker can shake off a virus - which would be a boost ahead of facing England forward Andy Carroll, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Wenger expects another stern test against the Irons.

"They have a good balance, they are efficient, they are a good mixture I must say between direct play and playing on the ground," he said.

"Technically they are quite sound in midfield, they have Carroll and [Carlton] Cole up front who can go for high balls.

"We know we will have a big challenge there, we know we will only get away with the points if we perform at our best."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...