Midfielder chooses his moment to warn rivals that Gunners are up for the fight
The league leaders travel to Aston Villa this weekend to take on the side which plundered a 3-1 win at the Emirates on the opening day of the season.
It was a shock result which sparked ridiculously premature cries of ‘crisis’ at the Emirates, but Arsenal have swept all before them since that day and Wilshere says they are physically and mentally ready to take the fight to their opponents in the second half of the season.
The match at Villa Park presents Arsenal with an opportunity of revenge, against a Villa side which are in freefall under Paul Lambert, and Wilshere believes Arsenal’s own problems are behind them.
“Something clicked towards the end of last season when we knew we had to get fourth, there were games we weren’t playing well in, but we were still winning and that has carried on this season,” Wilshere said.
“Sometimes you can’t always play your best and you have to still win games - you have seen the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea do that in the past and we are doing it now.
“Every team is going to go through a little blip. We had ours and luckily came back strong. We have won a few games in a row now. We are in a good place in the league, in the next round of the FA Cup and we have a break to recover.”
Wilshere has chosen his moment carefully to let Arsenal’s title rivals know they are up for the fight. Arsenal were convincing in their FA Cup third round win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, their eighth win from their last 12 games in all competitions.
It was a reality check for Spurs and Tim Sherwood, and indicated the gap in quality between the two north London neighbours.
Wilshere’s warning also comes the day after Manchester United’s own season appeared to fall apart after a defeat at home to Swansea in the cup.
Arsenal are now about to embark on a run of very winnable games, against Villa, Fulham, Coventry City, Southampton and Crystal Palace – Wilshere will know that they are in a strong position to cement their place at the summit.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald