Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere to miss Euro 2012 finals
Jack Wilshere was last night ruled out of the England squad for this summer’s European Championship as Arsenal slumped to an abject 2-1 home defeat to Wigan.
The 20-year-old Arsenal midfielder is now targeting the start of the 2012-13 Premier League season for his comeback. He suffered his ankle injury while playing for England last June and has not played since a set-back during the Emirates Cup pre-season tournament in August.
He had an operation on a stress fracture to his ankle last year but his comeback was then further delayed by a separate stress fracture to his Achilles.
Arsenal had hoped that he would return for the final month of the season but, in what is a significant blow to England’s chances at this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament, Arsène Wenger decided earlier this week that time had now run out. The Football Association were informed of the situation yesterday afternoon.
“Jack Wilshere will not play again this season and will not go to the Euros, that is for sure,” said Wenger. “He is not ready to practise today or next week.
“He makes progress, but slow progress. What is for sure is he will not be ready for the end of the season and not for the Euros.
“He is devastated, and you can understand that. What kept him going until now was that he still felt if it was not with us, he will still have a good chance to go to the Euros, but that is over now as well. We had a chat about it this week. His progress is not quick enough just to hope to go to the Euros.”
Wenger also made it clear that he would oppose Wilshere’s participation in the Olympics. “The Olympics would be the worst idea for him,” he said. “When a guy has not played for a year, he needs a good preparation and a slow preparation after to start the season.
“Once he is fit, he can think about the national team as well. It is not that I do not want him to go to the Olympics, it is just that now he has other priorities than that.”
Asked if he had informed the England manager, Wenger said: “The FA know. At the moment, the manager is invisible, so I cannot tell him.”
Wilshere later confirmed the news. “Gutted, sad, devastated,” said Wilshere. “It’s been a test mentally for me this season and it will continue to be tough until I am back out on the pitch..
“I hope England can do well and bring home the cup. I will be watching and cheering the boys on like a proper England fan. My ankle is good, I just have a few niggles and having been out so long I will not be fit enough for the Euros.”
Arsenal’s injury problems in midfield are compounded by the ongoing absence of Abou Diaby and a fresh ankle injury to Mikel Arteta during last night’s defeat against Wigan. Arteta left the Emirates in a protective boot and Wenger fears that it could be another long-term injury. “It looks quite a serious one. It doesn’t look a little ankle sprain.”
To Wenger’s frustration, Wigan’s second goal came when Arsenal had to cope with just 10 men on the field because Arteta was off the pitch. “It is the fact that when a player is injured, if he stays on the pitch you have time to bring a replacement on,” he said.
“It was a misunderstanding because he walked off and Aaron Ramsey was not ready. The players think they will not come on in the first half, so they are not ready. Basically we played with 10 men, which should not be the case when a player is injured.”
Wenger was unhappy with Wigan’s apparent time-wasting tactics. “It is not serious, frankly,” he said. “It is disrespectful to people who pay big money to watch the game.
“We are sorry we did not play well, but that the referee did not act on that is not right.
“I do not want to look for excuses. I congratulate Wigan, they did well, but I think whether it is tonight or in another game, the referee has to give the keeper a yellow card. I can understand they do it, but it is down to the referee not to allow them to do it.”