Wenger talks up Jack Wilshere spirit
Arsene Wenger: Wilshere can emulate Ramsey attitude
Arsene Wenger praised Jack Wilshere for his show of character after he grabbed Arsenal’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at West Brom, while also admitting that he does not believe the midfielder is a goalscorer.
Wilshere put a difficult week behind him to score the goal that took the Gunners back to the top of the Premier League -- his first in the division since November 2010.
The England international had been photographed smoking outside a nightclub, for which he was criticised by Wenger, and struggled in the first 45 minutes at The Hawthorns.
Wenger said: “He had a difficult first half but he has shown he has character and he kept going. It is good he was rewarded.
“I don’t think he will ever be a goalscorer. He is a player who can create chances and provide chances for others. That is as important.”
But the Frenchman said he hopes Wilshere can chip in with goals, adding: “It is good he knows he can score.”
Wenger believes Wilshere will learn from mistakes this week and warned his players that any off-field indiscretions will be noticed.
He said: “He is an honest guy and when he is wrong he knows it. Today the players don’t get away with anything. We got away with more.
“They know that is the rules of the game and of modern society. They have to deal with it. He learns very quickly. What is more interesting for England and Arsenal is that he shows the right approach on the pitch.”
Wilshere, whose deflected strike cancelled out Claudio Yacob's opener, had a below-par game by his own standards.
"He had trouble today to find the rhythm,'' Gunners manager Wenger said on Sky Sports 1. "But he has character as well. He doesn't give up, he continues to play his game.
"I believe he was fouled a few times, pushed over and didn't get the fouls he deserved.''
Wilshere admitted he did not find it easy playing out wide.
"It was a tough game, coming here is never easy. We are happy with the point,'' he said.
"It was a tough game for me. I am not used to playing on the wing, I'm still learning it, but I'm happy to do it for the team. I got a goal which was nice, I've always said I want to score more goals.''
The midfielder has been in the spotlight this week after being photographed smoking and was pleased to respond.
He added: "At the end of the day when it comes to the weekend you've got to do your job and today we've done it well.''
Wenger admitted a draw was probably a fair result, with both sides missing chances to win it.
He said: "Over the whole game I think it's a fair point, over the last half-an-hour I have some regrets, because we could feel we had the opportunities to score a second goal. We again have shown character to come back into this game.''
Aaron Ramsey came off early in the second half, but Wenger reported the Wales international was okay.
"He's all right, he had a kick,'' said the Frenchman. "I saw that he was not completely running free so I took him out.''
The draw lifted Arsenal back above Liverpool to the top of the Premier League, with the two sides level on points, heading into the international break.
"It's a good position to start again after the break,'' Wenger added.
Baggies boss Steve Clarke was pleased to see his side follow up their shock win at Manchester United by taking more points off one of the title contenders.
"We started slowly this year,'' he said. "The last four games have been much better, we played to a good level. We gave as good as we got [today] and we stood toe to toe with one of the better teams in the division.''
West Brom midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu claimed missed chances cost them victory, with Nicolas Anelka was guilty of missing an excellent chance for a second for the hosts.
He said: "We did really well. I think we had a great chance to score, Nicolas missed a great chance. We are really happy with point today.''
Information from the Press Association was used in this report