Wenger: Wilshere’s smoking totally unacceptable


The 21-year-old England international was photographed outside a London nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning with a cigarette.

The players were celebrating Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli earlier in the week.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s match against West Brom on Sunday, Wenger said he was concerned about Wilshere’s health and his reputation.

“I disagree completely with that behaviour. I don’t know really what happened, so I will need to have a chat with him about that,” Wenger said.

“There are two things: first of all when you are a football player you are an example and as well you don’t do what damages your health.

“The fact is that you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you also damage your reputation as an example.”

Wilshere responded to the outcry by tweeting a picture of France legend Zinedine Zidane smoking, before adding: “But for the record ... I don’t smoke!”

Other top footballers known to enjoy a cigarette are former France international Michel Platini and Holland legend Johan Cruyff, while current footballers such as Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Mario Balotelli have all been similarly caught out in recent years.