The 22-year-old was pictured with a cigarette in his mouth during a party on a post-World Cup holiday in Las Vegas and admits he regrets his actions
Jack Wilshere admits he regrets smoking on a post-World Cup holiday and insists he will work hard to re-discover his best form and fitness ahead of what he describes in personal terms as a “big season”.
Wilshere caused controversy when pictures of him smoking in a swimming pool during a Las Vegas party surfaced earlier this summer, immediately after England’s failed World Cup campaign.
Boss Arsene Wenger voiced his disapproval of his player’s actions and the two have since held talks, and the 22-year-old has now publicly conceded his actions were a “mistake”.
“The smoking? Of course I regret it,” he told reporters. “I’ve been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.
“I’m young and I’ll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up. I have kids myself and I don’t want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it’s okay for a footballer to smoke because it’s not.
“It’s unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on.”
Once heralded as the future of the Arsenal and England midfield, Wilshere started just one of three matches in Brazil – a dead rubber against Costa Rica – and was criticised last season by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, who suggested the 22-year-old had failed to develop his game in the four years since his Gunners breakthrough.
Wilshere admits this is a “big season” on a personal level and is hoping past injury problems do not re-surface to prevent him rising back to the top of his game.
“This is a big season for me,” he added. “I came back early to pre-season to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.
“Over the past few seasons I’ve had a few injuries. This season I’m looking to have a really great pre-season and get a really good base of fitness and take that into the season.”