Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere admits the time for excuses has come to an end for Arsene Wenger’s side, as they aim to end their trophy drought next season.
The daily reminders that eight years have passed since Arsenal last lifted a trophy have long become tiresome for Wenger’s players and now Wilshere suggests the moment has arrived for the club to reconfirm their status as one of the giants of the English game.
Wilshere hopes the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United boss and the managerial changes at several top Premier League clubs should play into Arsenal’s hands.
“It’s such an important year for us,” states Wilshere in the Daily Mirror. “I feel we can win trophies this season because everything has changed. Ferguson has gone, Chelsea and Manchester City have changed their managers. We have to set our targets high.
“We need to win the big games. Last year, I think we only won once against the other big teams. We need to improve on that. It’s so important to win something. We really need to be up there challenging.
“Last year, we showed we can be a good team during the run-in. We need to do that through the whole season. I feel as if we can win one trophy then it will open up for us and we can win a lot more.
“We had an unbelievable finish to the season. We had our destiny put in front of us. We knew we had to win those games and it was a big challenge for us.”
Meanwhile, Wilshere has moved to allay fears that the fitness concerns that disrupted the final months of last season will return to haunt him in the coming months, as he has insisted his tag as an injury prone player is not justified.
“There’s no long-term injury issues at all for me,” he added. “They took the screws out (of the ankle) which was causing me a problem and hopefully there will be no problems in it for me.
“It’s such a big year for me and it’s a long season as well. In a long season, you will probably have to manage it, be a bit careful, especially with the World Cup at the end of it.
“I feel physically good. I’m a bit behind at the moment as I wasn’t able to do much for about six weeks, but then I had a programme to follow and I feel good. I haven’t had a pre-season for two years and it’s like you’re always playing catch up.
“The first game (of the season) against Aston Villa will be a massive target for me. I want to have a good pre-season, be ready for the start of the season and then play as much as possible.”