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Wilshere on verge of big game

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes he is just a few games away from hitting his best form for the Premier League club.

The 20-year-old recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with ankle problems, ending a 17-month absence from the first-team when he featured in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over QPR.

The England international has since made starts against Schalke in the Champions League and against Manchester United, a game in which he was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Despite the sending off, Wilshere has expressed his satisfaction with his progress since returning to top-flight action, believing his best form is not far away.

He told the club’s official website: “I’m quite surprised actually. When I first played in the (under-21s), I was really rusty and I think it was clear for everyone to see.

“Everyone was just being nice to me saying: ‘You played well’.

“Now I’m feeling better and better as every game goes on and there’s no hiding place when you’re playing at the Emirates, at Old Trafford and you’re in front of everyone. You have to be at a certain standard so you don’t let your team-mates and your fans down.

“Mentally it has been tough because you question yourself all the time.

“You go to the Emirates, you watch games and you think, ‘has it got quicker? I don’t remember it being this quick. Can I get back to this level that I was at before?’

“But I feel good now and hopefully, with a few more games, I can get back to my best.”

Wilshere’s comeback has been greeted by an instant return into the international fold after being called up by Roy Hodgson for England’s friendly against Sweden on Wednesday.

Ahead of his return to international football, Wilshere praised his manager Arsene Wenger for the way he managed his return to the Arsenal first-team.

He added: “I think the boss did it (my comeback) quite cleverly because maybe if he’d told me the day before, I’d have been a bit anxious and not slept as well.

“I was just preparing to sit on the bench and hopefully come on at some point in front of the crowd.

“He told me at half 10 (on the day of the game that) he was going to start me. I was nervous but I didn’t have time to worry about it. I just went out there and I thought I did quite well.

“The intensity was totally different from the under-21s. I played 90 minutes for the under-21s but after 60 to 65 minutes, my legs started to go and the boss took me off.”

Wed 14 Nov, 2012
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