Wenger piles praise on Wilshere

BY foxsports • February 13, 2011

Arsene Wenger hailed Jack Wilshere's offensive skills as Arsenal sent Wolves bottom of the table with a fine attacking display at the Emirates.

Robin van Persie scored in each half to take his league tally to 10 for the season but the Gunners could have had several more, with Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin all unfortunate not to join the Dutchman on the scoresheet.

Wilshere, who was arguably better than all of them, has been in the spotlight like never before this week after making his first England start against Denmark and finding himself likened by Fabio Capello to Claude Makelele.

The former Chelsea midfielder was renowned as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder who rarely crossed the halfway line.

Wilshere has just one Premier League goal to his name this season but, as he showed with some fine runs at a shellshocked Wolves backline, he appears to have more to offer.

Wenger would not be drawn into disagreeing with Capello but is pleased with Wilshere's contribution at both ends of the pitch.

Asked about the Italian's Makelele comparison, Wenger said: "It's very difficult for me to speak about that, as you can guess.

"But Jack is a talented player who can defend and attack.

"He had a very good game. He defends well, he attacks well, he creates, he has assists."

The one thing notably missing from that list is a tendency to score goals.

Wilshere conjured a presentable shooting chance for himself against Wolves with score at 1-0 but watched Walcott shoot wide after opting to pass.

Wenger once saw a similar reticence in Cesc Fabregas and believes it will not be long before Wilshere is a regular scorer.

"He is a very confident lad but he has not scored yet. Cesc was like that for a while," said Wenger.

"I believe he will score soon because he looks very close.

"He has a hesitation some time to shoot himself and chooses to always give the ball. When he is a bit more confident he will score goals."

After seeing off domestic relegation candidates Wolves, Arsenal's next challenge is to overthrow European giants Barcelona in their Champions League meeting on Wednesday.

Wenger revealed that Samir Nasri has an outside chance to play some part in the match as he approaches his return from a hamstring injury.

It was thought the playmaker would need at least another week on the sidelines, but Wenger said: "I wouldn't say he has no chance (of playing against Barcelona). I would say there is a chance."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was brought back down to earth unceremoniously after the highs of last week's shock win over Manchester United.

He admitted his side were thrashed and praised Arsenal for their all-energy display.

"There was a murder going on there and we could do nothing about it," he said.

"They've murdered us. All over the park from one to 11 they were better than us, stronger than us, quicker than us, passed it better than us.

"I don't want to get beaten but I have to admire the way they play and the class they have.

"We have been done today but I admire the way they play and aspire to that level of performance."

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