Wenger backtracks on Hodgson criticism and congratulates France for World Cup entry
Jack Wilshere has been a touchy topic at the Arsenal camp. The English midfielder has been under a lot of criticism for his futile attempts to prove his worth to the club, despite being Arsene Wenger’s apple of the eye.
The England international has been plagued by injuries since making his debut for Arsenal at the age of 18. Wilshere headed for the recent international friendlies with Wenger’s message to handle with care.
The Arsenal manager advised England coach Roy Hodgson not to overuse Wilshere and restrict his appearance to only one game. Hodgson paid no heed to Wenger’s warnings and used the 21-year-old against Chile as well as Germany.
Consequently, Wilshere picked up an ankle injury in the match against Germany. Wenger showed signs of being frustrated after receiving news about Wilshere’s injury. The French boss criticized Hodgson for not listening to his advice and overusing an unhealed Wilshere.
In an interview to Arsenal’s official website Wenger dismissed all reports suggesting he criticized Hodgson for playing Wilshere in the second game and insisted that the England boss kept his part of the deal by using Arsenal’s medical staff.
“First of all Jack is not injured, that was not the right information,” Wenger said. “Secondly, I have no problem with the FA. They respected completely what they told me and it was [for Wilshere] to play in one game and be on the bench in the other. They did that very well. So there is no misunderstanding there.”
Wenger also took this opportunity to congratulate his nation, France, for qualifying in the World Cup finals next year. Wenger also understood that key players from his squad such as Olivier Giroud, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny will have to go through a tough schedule next year.
“I have a smile on my face because first it was a relief [for France] to go through,” Wenger added. “It's positive for France because it was a big relief and the country needed it.
“You have to give credit to Ukraine, they were unlucky because they got a man sent off and they conceded an offside goal. Overall you could not forget that Ukraine gave a fantastic resistance.
“There is a lot of unrest between the French national team and the country, since South Africa [at the 2010 World Cup], and that they could turn a situation like that in a positive way will help people to love the national team again.”