Manchester United legend blames Wenger for England international's lack of progress

Former Manchester United hero Paul Scholes has suggested that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is to blame for Jack Wilshere's lack of development.

Wilshere, 22, joined the Gunners at the age of just nine from Luton Town, and made his Premier League debut at the age of just 16. Long regarded as one of the rising stars of English football, Wilshere has already made 20 appearances for the Three Lions after coming through the Arsenal ranks.

However, many people are now suggesting that Wilshere's career has stalled after having a couple of seasons marred by loss of form and fitness. He once again came in for criticism from Arsenal fans for an underwhelming display against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season, with supporters wanting him to develop as team mate Aaron Ramsey has.

One of his strongest critics has been former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes, who believed that Wilshere 'hadn't improved since he was 17'. Wilshere has now spoken with Scholes about his criticism, but Scholes has actually pushed some of the blame onto Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

"I wasn't having a pop [at Wilshere]. I was disappointed he wasn't being helped by his club, by his manager or his assistant manager. As an English midfield player I just want him to do better. I know he has had a nightmare with those ankles, but I played against him when he was 17 and I just thought 'Jesus'.

Some people have made the assertion that Wilshere's off-field issues have played a big part in his stagnation, with photos released over the summer showing the midfielder drinking and smoking, but Scholes says he doesn't necessarily think that's the case.

"What Jack gets up to in the summer is up to him," he said. "He had a smoke, but it's not the end of the world. At United the laundry room used to be full of smoke in the mornings because Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez wouldn't start training until they had a cigarette."

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch