Jack aims to keep improving

BY foxsports • May 21, 2011

The 19-year-old will have played more than half a century of matches for club and country by the time he finally gets to head off for a well-earned summer break, which is not likely to be until after the end of England's involvement at the European Under-21 Championship. Wilshere may now be an integral member of both the Gunners and Three Lions set-ups, but the teenager has no intentions of resting on his laurels. "My target at the start was to play 20-25 games. I have to keep working hard," Wilshere told the June edition of the official Arsenal magazine. "Next year I will set myself new targets and one of them will be to score more goals. I have only scored twice this season and that is not enough. "I used to score a lot in the youth team and there is no reason why I can't take that into the first team. "Above that, though, I have to keep my place in the Arsenal team. "I am still young, still learning and there is plenty of quality in the squad who can step in." The Gunners head to Fulham tomorrow with a sense of what might have been. A run of just two wins in the last 10 Barclays Premier League matches has seen Arsene Wenger's young squad slip back down the table to fourth, with FA Cup winners Manchester City now in the driving seat to claim automatic Champions League qualification. Wenger is in no doubt their cataclysmic collapse was sparked by the shock a last-minute loss to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final. Wilshere feels if things had gone differently at Wembley that fateful afternoon in late February, a great burden would have been lifted. "If you get that first trophy then you hope more will follow," he said. "It would bring a different sprit to the team, there is more happiness and you can be more relaxed when you go out there and play." Wilshere added: "It was so frustrating this season with Arsenal because we were close to doing it, but we were just missing that little bit extra. "We have to put our finger on it and change it next year because we know it could open up new road for us." Wenger always maintains the final league table does not lie, with consistency rewarded over 38 games in the acid test of a team's true credentials. The Gunners are set to examine just what impact so many games as the squad fought in all four competitions had on individuals. "Some players have suffered from fatigue. We played many games around the beginning of the year and it caught up a bit with us in April," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "We are analysing it at the moment. Is it mental, because we lost at Barcelona after being beaten by Birmingham in the Carling Cup final, or is it purely physical? "It is difficult to know that, but there was certainly a mental factor." Whether or not Arsenal are indeed the fourth best team in England remains open for debate, with Wenger often defending their relative achievements compared to what others have spent. The Gunners boss is certainly to add reinforcements over the summer, and is reported to be closing in on midfielder Ricky Alvarez, 23, who would be a free agent after his contract with Velez Sarsfield in Argentina has run down and as he holds Italian citizenship would not need a work permit. However, fringe players who have again failed to seize their opportunity will leave the Emirates Stadium. Wenger confirmed: "There will be some movement of players who have played less and who need to play. "Of course we will try to strengthen the squad again, but we want to keep the basis and the style we have." Wenger added: "We are looking, analysing, talking to people. "We had a few important ones, but this [summer] will certainly be big one on all fronts."

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