Monday 23 April 2018

Wilshere rejects deeney's 'cojones' insult

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere ahead of their Europa League match against Red Star, in Belgrade yesterday. Photo: Darko Vojinovic/AP
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere ahead of their Europa League match against Red Star, in Belgrade yesterday. Photo: Darko Vojinovic/AP

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Jack Wilshere said it was "horrible" to hear accusations from Watford striker Troy Deeney that Arsenal lacked "cojones" after their defeat at Vicarage Road on Saturday, but insisted that it was unfair to question the side's character.

The midfielder, who is set to start tonight's Europa League clash with Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, said the comments were not justified.

Wilshere, who is yet to feature in the Premier League after returning to Arsenal from a loan spell at Bournemouth last season, said the players have not spoken about Deeney's criticism but added that "no one wants to hear those comments".

"As a player, if your attitude is questioned, it's horrible," he said.

"I look around this team and you can't question our character. People try and put us down, they always have. I don't think the comments were justified."

Arsene Wenger, his manager, said: "I know who my players are. "In the last seven games we had six wins and one draw. I trust their strength of character to respond."

Arsenal come into tonight's clash two points clear of Red Star Belgrade at the top of their Europa League group following wins in their opening two games.

Wenger said defender Mathieu Debuchy will "certainly" start in what would be his first appearance since November 2016.

There is also set to be another opportunity for Theo Walcott in European competition after losing his place in the Premier League side.

  • Red Star Belgrade v Arsenal, live, BT Sport, 6.0

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