Arsenal’s Wilshere reacts to Paul Scholes' criticism

The England international has admitted that he was taken aback by the former Manchester United man’s comments.

Jack Wilshere has suffered another injury prone campaign at Arsenal, but has been named in England’s World Cup squad.

The Arsenal midfielder was recently criticised by Paul Scholes, who stated that “he does not look any better player now than when he was 17.”

Wilshere has admitted that Scholes’ comments impacted on him but that he was determined to prove his worth in Brazil this summer.

“It was a bit strange – out of the blue,’’ The Telegraph quote the Gunners man as saying.

“I remember watching it, he was having a go at Arsenal, and I was thinking: ‘Is he going to come for me?

“If it had come from a rubbish player I could say: ‘What are you talking about?’ But it came from Paul Scholes! For me he was the best English midfielder of all time.

“For the next few days after he said that I sat down and talked to my dad and a few of the coaches here. I respect him so much and I think he can make a great coach for any young player. I’m a young player and he’s been there and done it so I wanted to hear what he had to say.

“You live in a world of football where you get criticised all the time. It hurt a bit more when he did it. But in the game today everyone is improving all the time, it’s getting quicker. I just wanted to know what he thought.

“I DMed Gary to ask whether I could have his number. Gary Neville wrote back to me: ‘Just go easy on him.’ We had quite a good chat. He’s entitled to his opinion.

“He explained it a bit better and told me what he thought I should work on. He was right in a certain way. When I first burst on to the scene there was all this ‘blah, blah, blah’ [excited chatter about him] and then I got injured.

“I’ve had bad luck with injuries but I can’t keep saying I’ve been injured a lot. There comes a time when you stop being a kid and I think that’s what he’s referring to. ‘He’s young, he’s got all this potential, you have to start putting that potential in [to practise].’ This season I’ve improved a lot, scored a few more than I have in the past [five in 42] and got a few more assists.

“You can keep the ball and you can look good but it’s those stats that matter. That’s what I have to build on.’’

Wilshere will have competition for a central midfield berth in England’s World Cup team, with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley all in the running also.

The Arsenal man has only started 19 Premier League games this season but is expected to be fit and available for England’s World Cup opener next month.

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