Wilshere receives caution for brawl (and that's before north London derby)

There was mixed news for Arsenal and their teenage tyro Jack Wilshere. The young midfielder was passed fit to play in today's north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur after recovering from the back strain which kept him out of England's midweek defeat to France. He also received a police caution for his part in a late-night street brawl earlier this season.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, 29 August, in High Street Kensington after Arsenal's victory at Blackburn the previous day. At the time Wilshere's spokesman insisted he was merely "an important witness to the incident" who "played the role of peacemaker". That was reiterated yesterday. "During a night out with friends, Jack intervened as a peacemaker in an incident to protect a friend," said the spokesman. He added: "The police have accepted that Jack's involvement was such that it could be dealt with by way of a caution. No further comment will be made as police investigations and proceedings are ongoing and Jack may well be called as a witness."

That Wilshere accepted a "caution for common assault", after options including the prospect of facing charges in court were explained to him, suggests he was more involved than his club would have liked. However, given the seriousness of the incident – a woman suffered a broken arm and a man received facial injuries – it could have been worse. Last month two men thought to be friends of Wilshere, Duane Brailsford, 18, and Adam Mardell, 21, each of Hitchin, Herts, were both charged with affray in connection with the incident. Brailsford was also charged with actual bodily harm.

Arsenal, and England, will hope Wilshere has learnt from this brush with the law that he has to be careful in his leisure time. Young footballers have to grow up fast and, as one of the nation's most promising players, Wilshere is under more scrutiny than most. This was underlined when he faced allegations about his personal life in the red-tops yesterday.

As Arsenal are at home today Wilshere is unlikely to suffer too much related abuse, though the travelling support will doubtless have their say. He will seek to respond on the pitch as Arsenal look to extend their long unbeaten run in home derbies.

Standing in their way will be a former captain who can expect a frosty reception. William Gallas spent four years at Arsenal but the fans rarely warmed to him. His decision to join their rivals has exacerbated the froideur caused by his previous links with Chelsea, and his strange behaviour as captain.

Arsène Wenger stripped Gallas of the captaincy after he followed his centre-circle sit-in at Birmingham with criticism of his team-mates, but yesterday Wenger said he hoped Gallas would be accorded "respect". "When Gallas was on the pitch he gave 100 per cent for the team and that is what you want to respect," Wenger said. "What I look at is just how much does the guy want to win, how much is he committed when he plays? On that front you can never fault Gallas.

"I think the basics of our attitudes at the club has always been to respect other people. We cannot dictate how other people behave, we just want ourselves to respect him."

Arsenal will go top for a few hours if they win, and Wenger said: "It is a big motivation because we have created momentum and won five of the last six. We are at the stage now where we just want to go from game to game and get the points into our account, then see where we stand after."

Wenger added that Arsenal would not be paying Gareth Bale special attention: "We should just focus on our performance. If our performance is right, as I think it will be, then we have a good chance to win."

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'