England star Jack Wilshere has heaped praise on under-fire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, thanking the Frenchman for sticking by him during his time at the Emirates Stadium.
Wilshere, 25, is currently on loan at Bournemouth from the Gunners. He came up through Arsenal’s youth academy, and became the club’s youngest debutant in 2008, at the age of just 16 years and 256 days.
The North London side have never finished outside of the top four under Wenger’s 20-year tenure, but are in danger of doing so this season. They languish in sixth position in the table, seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City.
Wilshere, despite not currently plying his trade in the red and white of Arsenal, rather the red and black of the South Coast Cherries, remains appreciative of the impact Wenger has had on his career.
He told Sky Sports: “He [Wenger] has always been great for me. He put me in at a young age which you don’t see a lot at top clubs with all the pressure for trophies.
“He stuck with me and showed faith in me. So for me he’s great and I can’t imagine Arsenal without him. He has been great for me and that’s all I can say.
“Sometimes a manager can only do so much, as in prepare a team and then the team have to go out there and perform.
“Again all I can say is that he has been great for me. I’ve been away for a year so I don’t know what’s happening there, in the dressing room or what training has been like.
“All I can do is help Bournemouth then go back at the end of the season.”
By Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75