Wilshere charged with misconduct
Published 03/06/2015 | 14:46
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could face a fine from the Football Association after being charged with misconduct following his foul-mouthed, anti-Tottenham chants during the FA Cup victory parade on Sunday.
The 23-year-old, who came through the Gunners' youth ranks, took to the microphone to mock the club's fierce rivals as the players celebrated on a stage outside the Emirates Stadium.
In similar scenes to 12 months ago, Wilshere then proceeded to lead the massed ranks of Arsenal supporters in a chant which included expletives against Spurs, who again finished below their north London neighbours in the Barclays Premier League table.
Arsenal issued a swift apology from the studio presenter during their live in-house media broadcast of the event, while on Monday, Wilshere apologised if his actions had caused any offence and was spoken to by Arsenal staff about the issue.
However, after themselves having warned Wilshere following similar comments during the 2014 celebrations, it is understood the latest outburst prompted the formal disciplinary action from the FA, which may well result in a significant financial penalty.
A statement from the FA read: "Jack Wilshere has been charged with misconduct in relation to Arsenal's FA Cup celebrations on Sunday 31 May 2015.
"It is alleged his conduct in making and/or inciting certain comments during the club's open bus trophy tour was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
"The player has until 6pm on 10 June 2015 to respond to the charge."
Many thousands of Arsenal fans had braved the rain to cheer the squad as they went on open-top buses from the Emirates Stadium to Islington Town Hall, celebrating the club's record 12th FA Cup victory after successfully retaining the trophy with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley on Saturday.
As the players were later presented to supporters back at the stadium, Wilshere took the microphone and said: "I have one question, and one question only: what do we think of Tottenham?"... before adding: "And what do we think of s***?", then joining in as the crowd sang back: "We hate Tottenham and we hate Tottenham... we are the Tottenham haters."
Wilshere, who is set to join up with England this week for the June internationals, received support from fans, with the chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association claiming the player's outburst showed that he "totally understands what it is to be an Arsenal supporter".
However, former Gunners striker Niall Quinn said Wilshere had "overstepped the mark".
While falling short of saying sorry for making the remarks, Wilshere used a Twitter post to apologise to anyone who had been upset by them.
"Sharing back2back Cup wins with so many amazing Gooners is a dream come true. Apologies if I upset or offended any of u with my celebrations," he wrote.
On the pitch, Arsenal are expected to return from their summer break a stronger unit as manager Arsene Wenger targets a sustained assault on the Barclays Premier League title following back-to-back FA Cup triumphs.
Arsenal are intent on improving the squad over the summer, with Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech one transfer target said to be keen to secure a switch across London to the Emirates Stadium.
Full-back Nacho Monreal, meanwhile, wants to stay at the club despite interest from Athletic Bilbao.
Out-of-favour German striker Lukas Podolski, though, could be set to join Galatasaray, having spent the second half of the season on loan at Inter Milan.
England midfielder James Milner is another on Arsenal's radar, but has been also strongly linked with a free transfer move to Liverpool once his contract expires at Manchester City.