'Calm down, have a fag': Jack Wilshere reveals dressing room banter with Arsenal team-mates after being pictured smoking

Midfielder is butt of the jokes at the Emirates

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The Independent Football

Jack Wilshere has held his hands up to an error of judgement after being pictured smoking - but it has not saved him from some cutting dressing room banter.

Pictured with a cigarette in his hand on a night out last week, the Arsenal midfielder initially claimed he was holding it for someone else before finally admitting he had been smoking it.

He has since been reprimanded by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger and issued an apology, although that has failed to earn him any credit in the dressing room.

"It is non-stop," said Wilshere.

"After the game on Sunday the physio, Colin Lewin, said 'you smoked that shot'. When I am getting angry in training they say 'calm down, have a fag'.

"We move on eventually but everyone is going to make a joke of it and that's fine."

Even the Arsenal fans have had a laugh at Wilshere's expense, chanting 'he smokes when he wants' during Sunday's draw at West Brom.

"I would prefer them to change it to 'he scores when he wants'," said the midfielder.

Yet Wilshere accepts it was an error of judgement.

"I am not a smoker," he said. "I don't smoke 10 a day as some have been saying.

"It was a mistake. I am not just a footballer. I am a top athlete."

Wilshere needs to be fully focused on Friday when England go hunting a crucial victory against Montenegro that would confirm automatic qualification should Poland defeat Ukraine at the same time.

PA

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