Wenger bemoans Wilshere blow
The Gunners will be without the starlet for up to five months after he underwent surgery on a stress fracture in his right ankle on Monday. The England international has been sidelined with the problem since pre-season and, although he initially hoped to be back within a few weeks, he was forced to go in for the operation after it became clear that rest was failing to make an impression. Arsenal have made an indifferent start to the new Premier League campaign and Wenger accepts Wilshere's absence only intensifies the pressure on his current crop of stars. "It makes us a bit shorter in midfield and it puts more pressure on our midfielders to perform week in week out because there is less room for rotation," stated Wenger. "But every club can be tested on that front so it shouldn't be any excuse at all. He can come back strongly and help us finish the season well." Wenger meanwhile is unhappy that Arsenal's medical staff has come in for criticism over their treatment of Wilshere, stating there is nothing more they could have done. The youngster suffered the blow during a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June and England coach Fabio Capello angered the Gunners by claiming their club doctors allowed the teenager to go on holiday rather than issue immediate treatment. "It is unfair because the club's medical staff hasn't made any mistakes on that front," he continued. "The red colour (of Arsenal's shirts) seems to attract a lot of criticism. "When we don't do as well as expected we get criticised. It shows we are a very popular club. We have to accept it." Wilshere underwent successful surgery on Monday and Wenger has breathed a sigh of relief that the whole procedure progressed without a hitch. "It was a big relief that the operation went well. The news we have is very positive but the time he will be out is quite long," said Wenger. "It changed because the fracture didn't heal. What I've been told is we had to go in quite quickly to repair it. "He had an early fracture at the age of 16. That healed but around that area it created another opening. "Was it down to a kick or playing too much? I don't know. I'm not a specialist. He told me he felt it the first time against Switzerland."