Arsene Wenger has admitted he risked Jack Wilshere's fitness at the weekend.
Jack Wilshere has suffered a number of injury blows over his short career that every time he comes out of a tackle wincing, supporters of the club take in a deep breath wondering if any lasting damage has been done.
He most recently sustained an ankle knock against Spurs in the 2-1 loss which led to him missing the win against Bayern Munich, and surprisingly without him Arsenal have turned their form around and gone on a winning streak.
That has had much to do with the excellent Tomas Rosicky; but when the Czech was ruled out of the weekend's game with Norwich, Arsene Wenger sent for an SOS towards Wilshere.
Last night he admitted he got it wrong, telling Arsenal's website: "I rushed Jack back a bit, he was not completely ready,
"How careful must I be? To listen well to the medical advice and that is what I have to do.
"Use him when everything is alright and listen to him as well, how he feels. He has been out for six weeks, so maybe it was a bit too rushed what I did."
His words are definitely cause for concern in light of Wilshere's recent medical history, and combative style of play.
The last thing Wenger wants to do is risk rushing back the midfielder too soon and him break down injured again and be out for longer; but that is exactly what he has just admitted to doing; it's irresponsible management at worst, cavalier at best - some may say desperate given their need to pick up points.
It almost didn't pay off, with Wilshere lacking sharpness against Norwich, and Arsenal labouring to victory, effectively only turning up for the final quarter of an hour.
Of course it wasn't what Wenger wanted; he would have preferred Rosicky to be fit, and for Abou Diaby not to be out - but to be relying on that pair given their own medical problems in the past is a ridiculous position to be in.
Wenger should have given more opportunities to the promising Eisfeld over the past year to blood him into being a first team option, or bought a midfielder in January to give him greater options.
If he wasn't so reliant on Wilshere, he wouldn't have to keep rushing him back - and it was this overplaying which led to him getting injured and missing the whole of the 2011/12 season.
It's time for Wenger to take stock and re-think his policy on Wilshere, and always err on the side of caution. If he is so desperate to risk his fitness and get him into the side - it's clear indication his squad isn't up to scratch and he needs to strengthen this summer to avoid being in the same situation in the future, and risking the health of his most talented star.
Wenger is in effect saying he will take no chances with Wilshere - but the question is, can you trust him?
Do Wenger's words concern you?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald