by Nia Griffiths
Jack Wilshere has said that having no Champion’s League qualifier next season will be huge in our campaign as we have more time to prepare for the Premier League.
The 23-year-old old, who scored a penalty in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Singapore Select XI in the Barclays Asia Trophy on Wednesday, also spoke about the Gunners’ chances of truly competing against teams like Chelsea next season. He believes our squad as a whole is stronger and in a far better position when compared to last year. Although he also highlighted the need for consistency.
“Competition is a good thing,” he said. “Look at the teams who have won the league in the past and look at Chelsea last year. They had a great squad and we feel we’ve got a squad to match them now.”
He continued, “The Premier League is a tough, tough league. Add to that the FA Cup, League Cup and international breaks and players will pick up injuries, so it’s important to have players who can come in.”
On the weight not having a European qualifier takes off the team’s shoulders, he said, “I think [it’s important to start well] and without the European qualifier this year, which is almost a season definer, it gives us more time to prepare for the first game of the Premier League and concentrate on a good start.”
He added, “We know come February and March we’re always strong, so if we’re in a good position up to then we will be alright.”
Wilshere only got to play 24 matches last season due to a nasty ankle ligament he sustained at home to Manchester United. However, he did come back strongly, scoring an absolute stunner in our final game of the season against West Bromwich Albion, which we ended up winning 4-1.
The midfielder has been looking to build on his fitness and work on remaining injury-free next season.