Wilshere can handle the big-stage pressure, insists Wenger
Arsene Wenger heaped praise on Jack Wilshere after the 18-year-old midfielder helped inspire Arsenal to victory at White Hart Lane on Tuesday night.
The English youngster was outstanding in midfield during the Carling Cup clash as a spot-kick brace from Samir Nasri and a clinical finish from Andrey Arshavin sealed an extra-time victory for Wenger’s men.
Henri Lansbury had given the Gunners a first-half lead before substitute Robbie Keane equalised for the home side soon after the break.
Speaking after the match, Wenger, who was forced to watch the match from the stands after accepting a misconduct charge from the FA, insists Wilshere has all the ingredients required to succeed at the top level.
“We know that he’s an outstanding football player,” said Wenger. “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. He’s much ahead. 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.
The Arsenal boss added: “He can handle it. If he can handle it mentally what happens to him there is no problem, he will be a great player.”
Nasri, who confidently converted his two extra-time penalties to all but seal the result for the Gunners, believes Wilshere’s loan spell at Bolton helped him gain some much-needed Premier League experience.
“He’s a really good player,” said Nasri. “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.”
Tuesday’s other Carling Cup Third Round Results:
Birmingham 3-1 MK Dons
Brentford 1-1 Everton (Brentford won 4-3 on penalties)
Burnley 1-0 Bolton
Millwall 1-2 Ipswich
Peterborough 1-3 Swansea
Portsmouth 1-2 Leicester
Stoke 2-0 Fulham
Sunderland 1-2 West Ham
Wolverhampton 4-2 Notts County (After Extra Time)