Arsene Wenger admits Jack Wilshere deserved red card
Arsene Wenger admitted Jack Wilshere deserved his red card for a reckless challenge on Nikola Zigic in the closing stages as Arsenal got back to winning ways against Birmingham.
Alex McLeish’s City side took a shock first-half lead when Zigic headed past Lukasz Fabianski but Samir Nasri restored parity from the spot before Marouane Chamakh slotted home early in the second half to seal victory for the gunners.
Teenager Wilshere was shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson in the 90th minute after his heavy touch led him into a dangerous tackle on Zigic and Wenger believes it was the correct decision.
“He mistimed his tackled and got a red card, which he deserved,” said Wenger. “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.
“It was more of frustration and did not want to hurt the player, but we do not complain about the red card.”
“Wilshere is a complete player. He played defensively well, offensively well, and overall he had a very influential game,” the Arsenal manager added. “He will be suspended for three games and will be punished.
“I have spoken with him about it already. He said he mistimed his tackle, touched Zigic on the ankle and deserved a red card.”
Wenger’s side had lost two and drawn one of their last five Premier League matches before Saturday’s clash and the Frenchman admitted his side were lacking in confidence following their poor run of form.
“Victory was imperative,” said the Arsenal manager. “We were backs to the wall in the championship, where we were in a position where we really had to win, and when we went 1-0 down, we made it even more difficult.
“We played with nerves, and you could see our fluency was affected by the fact we had not won for two games.
“We played a bit with the hand brake in the final third, especially when we were 2-1 up.
“It was never comfortable today, you could see and feel that in the way we played.”