Arsenal unhappy with Wilshere

Footage by the Daily Mirror appears to show Wilshere being questioned by police officers over an alleged assault case in London.
Footage by the Daily Mirror appears to show Wilshere being questioned by police officers over an alleged assault case in London.

LONDON • Arsenal have been left distinctly unimpressed to learn Jack Wilshere has been spotted at the scene of an altercation between two groups of men in the early hours of Sunday morning, and are seeking clarification from the player as to what occurred at the venue close to London's Leicester Square.

Footage obtained by the Daily Mirror appears to show Wilshere, who is back in full training after almost nine months out with a broken leg, being questioned by police officers while people, apparently his friends, attempt to obscure the 24-year-old from the view of onlookers filming on their mobile phones.

A police spokesman later confirmed officers patrolling the area had been alerted to an altercation with one man claiming he had been assaulted, though he did not require hospital treatment and no arrests were made.

While Wilshere was not in breach of any club rules by being out on a Saturday night, there is a sense of disappointment at Arsenal that the player has put himself in a potentially awkward situation, just as optimism was growing that he might be nearing a return to the first-team squad.

The midfielder broke his left fibula on the eve of the side's victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield last August and underwent surgery in mid-September.

He has been pencilled in to feature in Friday's Under-21s match against Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium.

England coach Roy Hodgson has already indicated a desire to take the player, capped 24 times, to Euro 2016 if he can prove his fitness, while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last week spoke of his hopes that Wilshere is included in the national team's 23-man squad for the finals.

In that context, the incident on Saturday night was distinctly untimely. Arsenal were made aware of what had happened on Sunday and are treating it as a "private matter", but have taken a dim view over why their player was out so late.

It is understood that Wilshere denies any involvement in the alleged assault.

The player is no stranger to controversy, having been arrested and, eventually, cautioned for his part in a fight outside a nightclub six years ago.

In 2011 he accepted a police warning for attempting to spit on a taxi driver, wearing a Tottenham Hotspur hat, who had refused to take him home apparently because he was too drunk.

Wenger has regularly called upon the midfielder to "master his life" after he was photographed on three separate occasions between 2013 and 2015 smoking in public.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2016, with the headline 'Arsenal unhappy with Wilshere'. Print Edition | Subscribe