Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal hero Samir Nasri praises Jack Wilshire

Samir Nasri hailed Jack Wilshere as a future England star after the Arsenal youngster inspired a 4-1 victory at Tottenham in the Carling Cup.

Wilshere was outstanding in midfield as Arsenal won after extra time at White Hart Lane, where Nasri scored two penalties in the additional 30 minutes.

"He's a really good player," Nasri told Sky Sports.

"Last year when he went (on loan) to Bolton it helped him because he played a lot of games with Bolton.

"Now he's ready to play and be a good player for Arsenal.

"And I think England need a player like him. Jack is a wonderful prospect for the future."

Nasri also revealed he had agreed with manager Arsene Wenger that he would take the spot-kicks today, after Tomas Rosicky missed from 12 yards against Sunderland on Saturday.

"I provoked the foul and then I didn't take the penalty," Nasri said. "But after I talked with the boss and said, 'Next time I will take the penalty', and I scored."

Wilshere is hoping Arsenal can go all the way to Wembley in the competition, but cautioned: "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.

"In the last couple of years we fell short.

"Hopefully we can concentrate on each match as they come and hopefully we can win it."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp accused Nasri of throwing himself down under Sebastien Bassong's challenge to win Arsenal's 92nd-minute spot-kick, from which they took the lead at 2-1.

Redknapp said: "I thought the first one was harsh. He fell over. Really I think he dived for the first penalty."

Wenger served a one-match touchline ban, but had a good vantage point in the stands from which to assess his team's performance.

"I felt that we dominated completely," Wenger said.

Wenger also hailed Wilshere's display, saying on Sky Sports: "We know that he's an outstanding football player.

"But he can get tackles and give tackles, he's tough. I believe he has an outstanding future.

"He just needs to keep well, humble and enjoy his game."

Wenger admits 18-year-old Wilshere is ahead of where he expected him to be in his career progression.

"He's much ahead," Wenger said. "But I believe as well that talented players play early. All the big players play early, at the age of 18 they start to play at the top level.

"He can handle it. If he can handle it mentally what happens to him there is no problem, he will be a great player."

Wenger explained that Nasri had previously resisted taking penalties after fouls on himself.

"He had a superstition to think that when a penalty is made on you not to take it," Wenger said. "But I tried to prove to him that that's solely based on fear.

"He realises now that it was a bad superstition."

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