Jack Wilshere takes step forward as Arsenal fast-track return from injury
Arsenal are trying to arrange a match next week to speed up Jack Wilshere's rehabilitation from injury, as the club believe he is well "on the way back to being the player we know he is".
The England midfielder played his second game for Arsenal Under-21s on Monday night, completing 74 impressive minutes, described by the club's reserve coach, Terry Burton, as a "big improvement", with Wilshere helping to make both goals in a 2-0 win.
There is no Under-21 fixture scheduled for next week, and so the club are trying to arrange something to fill the gap. "We haven't got an Under-21 fixture until a fortnight today," Burton said on Monday night. "But we'll probably try and rearrange a game of some sort next week to keep them going. Obviously I'll speak to the boss about that, but we'll try and fix them another game."
The game would either be a rescheduled Under-21 Premier League game or a friendly, likely to be held at Arsenal's London Colney training ground. Wilshere is training there this week along with the other Arsenal players not on international duty such as Mikel Arteta, Bacary Sagna and Andre Santos.
Wilshere was bright and influential on Monday night against Reading Under-21s, looking visibly sharper than he had in his return at West Bromwich Albion the previous Monday, when he played 62 minutes.
"It was a big improvement on his first one in terms of his fitness," Burton said afterwards. "He looks to be on the way back to being the player we know he is. We'd always said that we were trying to build on what he had last time, so we've achieved that. That's what these games are about really, to get him his match fitness."
Wilshere played a perfect reverse pass to Thomas Eisfeld, who set up Serge Gnabry's opening goal, before Wilshere's corner was flicked on by Ignasi Miquel and finished by Chuba Akpom.
"Those are the things that will please him," said Burton. "Because he's that kind of player, isn't he, that wants to be creative and make things happen."
"The plan was to let him drop deep and get on the ball so he was getting his touches and getting people making contact with him. He always uses his body really well when he goes past people."
The tackling was rather robust but Wilshere came out unscathed, and Burton had no worries about his involvement: "I think he's a sensible enough player. He only knows one way – if the ball's there to go for I think he'll go for it. And I think you'll be doing him an injustice if you started saying to him, 'Hold out of something' or 'Go into this'. He'll see the game and he'll react accordingly. He needs that contact [from opponents]. So, good, as long as it's done fair and square then we don't mind."
"Everybody's keeping their fingers crossed, everybody's happy at the moment."
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.