Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Wilshere admits smoking 'mistake'

Jack Wilshere is desperate to prove his critics wrong

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has expressed regret after being photographed smoking while on holiday in Las Vegas, admitting it was "unacceptable".

Wilshere was criticised last year when a photo of him smoking a cigarette outside a nightclub emerged and he pledged it would never happen again.

However, the most recent image shows him once more smoking alongside friends in a swimming pool, and Wilshere admits he regrets his latest indiscretion.

"The smoking? Of course I regret it," he was quoted as saying by several national newspapers.

"I've been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.

"I'm young and I'll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up.

"I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it's okay for a footballer to smoke because it's not. It's unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on."

Wilshere, speaking shortly before Arsenal's 1-0 friendly defeat to the New York Red Bulls, revealed he is driven to succeed by his critics.

The forthcoming season may be a defining one for Wilshere, who has had his fair share of injuries in the last three campaigns, but the 22-year-old is keen to prove he is up to the challenge.

He added: "It does motivate me to try harder in training and not just in training; it motivates me to improve because a lot of people have started to talk (about me) - people who don't know me but want to have an opinion. Now it is down to me.

"This is a big season for me. I came back early to pre-season to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.

"Over the past few seasons I've had a few injuries. This season I'm looking to have a really great pre-season and get a really good base of fitness and take that into the season."

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