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Wenger accepts Wilshere had to go


Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted Jack Wilshere deserved his red card in Saturday's hard-fought 2-1 win over Birmingham.

Birmingham went ahead through Nikola Zigic after 33 minutes but Samir Nasri levelled from the spot just before half-time. Marouane Chamakh then slotted home a well-taken second goal two minutes after the restart which proved enough for all three points. Wilshere then showed his immaturity with a reckless challenge on Zigic in the closing stages which earned him a straight red card and a three-match ban.

"He mistimed his tackled and got a red card, which he deserved," said the Arsenal manager.

"Jack has acknowledged he deserved it, but he did not spend his whole game trying to kick people, he was one of the best players on the pitch today.

"It was more of frustration and did not want to hurt the player, but we do not complain about the red card."

Wenger accepted Wilshere's rash actions will grab the headlines, but maintained the teenager was on the right path.

"Wilshere is a complete player. He played defensively well, offensively well, and overall he had a very influential game," the Arsenal manager said.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish maintained Zigic was lucky to have escaped serious injury and feels this incident shows just how easy it is for mistimed challenges to end in disaster.

"It was a bad tackle and if he does not get a red card for that, then we pack our bags and go home," McLeish said.

"Zigic was lucky not to get a very badly damaged leg. We have had to put up with the Eduardo stuff for the last couple of years, and it is scandalous."