Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon believes that the Jack Wilshere smoking incident was blown out of proportion.
The Arsenal midfielder has been caught on camera smoking twice, the latest of which was in the summer when he was on holiday in Las Vegas.
Wilshere was widely criticised for his behaviour, and he publicly stated later that he will not smoke again.
Lennon, who left Celtic in the summer and was appointed the Bolton boss in October, believes that too much was made of the incident.
“I would encourage the players to go out at Celtic now and again,” he told The Daily Mail. “I am not saying they should go out and get bevvied every week, far from it. There is a time and place for it. But they should be able to let their hair down.
“The problem is that we make it a big issue. Jack Wilshere has a fag. So what? It's not gonna end his career. But someone takes a photo and then he has to apologise.
“I played with players who smoked all the time, especially the French players. They loved a cigarette after the game or even before….
“The main aim is to get the respect of the players and for them to buy into what you are doing and then have some fun with it. Football should be about fun and that can get lost.”
Lennon has a point. Wilshere smoking is not going to affect his career, but the problem was that the England international was caught doing so in public.
Rightly or wrongly footballers are seen as role models, which is why Wilshere was criticised by the media and the public alike.