Jack Wilshere pictured smoking: Arsenal midfielder wants to draw a line under incident after repaying Arsene Wenger with goal against West Brom

Wilshere scored the equalising goal that restored the Gunners to the top of the league days after being pictured smoking outside a nightclub

Jack Wilshere has admitted that he made a mistake when pictured smoking a cigarette and that he now hopes to draw a line under the incident.

The Arsenal midfielder was snapped outside a London nightclub smoking while out with his club team-mates celebrating the 2-0 Champions League victory over Napoli last week.

After initially claiming that it was part of a prank with his colleagues, Wilshere admitted that he was in fact smoking, but insisted that he is not a smoker and that he will not do it again.

Having come off the bench against the Italian side, Wilshere was restored to the starting line-up for Sunday’s trip to West Brom, and he ensured that people soon forgot about the incident by firing in the Gunners’ equaliser that returned them to the top of the Premier League.

Ahead of England’s campaign defining matches against Montenegro and Poland, Wilshere has said that he discussed the matter with club boss Arsene Wenger and that people do make mistakes.

“I've learnt that you've just got to concentrate on your football," Wilshere said in a pre-match press conference.

“You're a footballer at the end of the day and when it comes to the weekend you've got to be ready.

“Players and young people make mistakes and I made a mistake.

“I spoke to the boss (Wenger) and we sorted it out and he put me in the team on Sunday and hopefully I repaid him with a goal so hopefully it's all done now.”

Despite Wilshere accepting he was in the wrong, fans took little time to let him off as they sag “Jack Wilshere, he smokes when he wants” in the stands at the Hawthorns.

Having learned from his mistakes off the pitch, Wilshere accepts that he still has a lot to learn on it, and intends to use these England matches to learn from experienced midfield duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have both surpassed the 100 cap mark.

"As a young footballer I have grown up watching those two and you can learn things from both of them," Wilshere said.

"The way Steven Gerrard passes the ball, his range of passing and how he puts his foot in and the way Lampard gets forward and his goalscoring record speaks for itself so I can learn from both of them."

A win against Montenegro on Friday would put the Three Lions on the cusp of World Cup qualification, meaning they would need just a point against Poland next Tuesday to secure their place in Brazil next summer, and could also go through even if they lose with their superior goal difference.

Lampard joined the 100-club in the goalless draw with Ukraine last time out Lampard joined the 100-club in the goalless draw with Ukraine last time out  

But losing is not something that Wilshere is considering as he claims England’s rejuvenated strike force will pose a major threat to the opposition.

"We have got Sturridge and Rooney back which is going to be massive for us as you want your best players available," he said.

"Rickie Lambert has done a great job. He scored a couple and did well in Ukraine which was a difficult place to go and be up there on your own and do the job he did, he did really well.

"We have got Defoe as well who can score from any position and Danny Welbeck as well who is looking sharp. We have got a good mix there and it can only be helpful for us."

Despite going into the match with an unbeaten record throughout their group games, England have failed to beat any of the sides that they are competing against for qualification, with their wins so far having come against San Marino and Moldova.

Wilshere acknowledges that the unbeaten run gives them some momentum, but accepts that they could keep that record intact and still fail to qualify even for the play-offs.

"It's nice to be unbeaten but we can still be unbeaten and not go to the World Cup," he added.

"We don't want that. We have got two big games ahead of us and that's the way we've got to look at it. We need to focus. We will look at Montenegro and look at their strengths."

Jagielka has been an integral part of England's unbeaten run Jagielka has been an integral part of England's unbeaten run  

England and Everton defender Phil Jagielka also appeared in a confident mood that Roy Hodgson's team can deal with the expectancy that they will book their place for next year’s showcase tournament.

"I was there when we drew the game away at Montenegro, as a team they've got a fantastic unit together," said Jagielka, who has become a mainstay at the back for England alongside Gary Cahill.

"They put us under a lot of pressure, they are progressing and they're confident as well.

"They're going into this game as confident as us due to the fact they've picked up draws against us before, and they're still in with a chance of trying to qualify themselves.

"We all know the task that lies ahead. I think there are quite a few people who've got the experience of being in similar situations before, so they've got big roles to play.

"We've also got some young lads with fantastic ability, so we're massively confident we can go out there and put on a good performance which can hopefully produce goals."

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...