Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has slammed those criticising manager Arsene Wenger and has backed the Frenchman to get the Gunners back on track.
Wenger has come under fire after six years without a trophy and his team’s dismal start to the season has only added to the pressure with the feeling persisting that it is sentimentality rather than practicality that is keeping him in a job.
He has been criticised for promoting young players rather than spending big-money on star signings and Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis felt compelled to issue a vote of confidence in Wenger in the aftermath of the humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United.
Arsenal’s struggles have continued in recent weeks and the north London club are languishing in 15th place in the Premier League – only two points off the relegation zone – after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at local rivals Tottenham.
Yet England international Wilshere sees no reason to blame Wenger for the slump and he believes the boss will get it right given time.
“He has been there for 15 years and been great for Arsenal. The criticism Arsene gets is just a joke,” Wilshere told the Evening Standard.
“We do get a harder time from the critics than most teams but we haven’t won anything for six years and that’s not good enough for Arsenal. It is harsh, though, especially on the boss.
“We started a bit slowly but we still feel we can finish in the top four.”
Wilshere, currently out of action for five months after ankle surgery, offered another boost for Wenger as he insisted there is no chance he will follow Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy out of the Emirates Stadium.
France stars Nasri and Clichy joined Manchester City in the close-season and Wilshere, in a clear swipe at his former team-mates, insists that kind of move is only motivated by money.
“No disrespect to Manchester City but Arsenal is the perfect home for me right now,” he said.
“Some players have got their price but, to be honest, that’s not the way I look at the game.
“All I think about is playing at the highest level and in the top competitions so I can measure myself against the best in the world.
“I really am happy at Arsenal at the minute. Obviously, I want to win things and I want to do it with Arsenal.”