Wenger: Wilshere can captain both club and country
Friday 25 January 2013
Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has tipped Jack Wilshere to become the England captain in the future but warned that it is too early to consider him as Steven Gerrard's permanent successor.
In the absence of regular incumbent Thomas Vermaelen because of injury, Wilshere could become Arsenal's youngest-ever captain in tomorrow afternoon's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton & Hove Albion, beating Tony Adams' record of 21 years and 82 days by two months. He took over the armband when Vermaelen went off injured in the 5-1 thrashing of West Ham United on Wednesday. Regular deputy Mikel Arteta is still also sidelined.
Wenger this afternoon refused to confirm that Wilshere will step in but admitted the midfielder has all the attributes to captain his country one day.
"Let's not go too quick," he said. "The potential is there of course. But I'm not national-team coach – you should ask that question to Roy Hodgson, who will be happy to talk about it. In the national team you have a massive pressure straight away. It's important that the player gets to the stage where he develops first completely into an accomplished football player and then takes responsibility to take care of other people."
"He is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader," Wenger said of Wilshere. "If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen, no. It is not a question that holds me at the moment. But do I think Jack will be captain of this club one day – yes, of course."
Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky return for Arsenal to face Brighton in a competition that offers them their only realistic chance of a trophy this season. Although Wenger insisted they still have a good chance of progressing past Bayern Munich in next month's Champions League last-16 tie, the Frenchman is well aware that the FA Cup is a more likely target. "It is important because people will look at us, how we respond to a challenge like the FA Cup," he said.
Latest in Sport
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Refugees welcome: More than 250,000 sign Independent petition calling for Britain to 'take its fair share'