Jack Wilshere: It’s time for Arsenal to step up and be counted
Jack Wilshere tells his Arsenal team-mates that they must all stand up and be counted if they want to reverse their fortunes
Jack Wilshere has told his Arsenal team-mates they must “step up and be counted” following the Gunners’ miserable recent form.
Arsene Wenger has come under increasing pressure in the last few weeks after the Gunners’ shock defeat by League Two Bradford City in the Capital One Cup and a run of only two victories in seven Premier League games.
Wilshere and his team-mates travel to Reading on Monday night knowing that victory will hoist the north Londoners up into fourth place in the Premier League table.
And the 20-year-old, who is expected to sign a new five-year contract extension with Arsenal this month, believes all the players must lead by example.
“We have got some great leaders in this team – people like Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta,” Wilshere said.
“But all the players can lead by example. We all have to step up now, it’s a tough time but we have to stick together and be united.
“A lot of people are criticising the manager at the moment, but there will be a time when they look at the players and ask questions of us. We don’t want that, so we have to step up and be counted.
“We have to get the result [against Reading], that’s the main thing. We know it won’t be easy, especially having just lost at Bradford.”
Reading are rooted to the foot of the table on just nine points but Wilshere is braced for a tough test at the Madejski Stadium.
“They can play football as well, they are desperate for a win too, down the bottom of the league. So we need to roll our sleeves up, put our foot in and do what we are good at – keeping the ball. When we create chances we know we have to take them.
“I think technically we are probably the best team out there. We keep the ball well and that’s what we have to try to do against Reading. We need to try to create chances, outplay them and also remember our defensive duties.
“As soon as we lose the ball we have to win it back. As long as we have possession, the opposition can’t score. That’s where we start from, and then when we create chances we’ve got to score them.”