Jack Wilshere says he’s probably 80 per cent fit after the tour of Asia but believes the Emirates Cup and Arsenal’s friendly with Manchester City will have him and the rest of the squad ready to start the season ‘flying’.
The 21-year-old, who is enjoying his first full pre-season since 2010, has shown no sign of discomfort following the removal of screws from his ankle three months ago and believes he’s well placed for the year ahead.
“I felt better and better every game,” he told Arsenal Player.
“It’s difficult with the conditions. You struggle to catch your breath. The performances [in Asia] got better every game and the opposition got harder every game so it’s good preparation.
“We’ve got the Emirates Cup coming up now and then Man City [in Helsinki] and then the season starts so we’re going to be flying.
“I’m probably 80 per cent fit. We’ve got a couple more tests and then we’ll be ready.”
Looking back on a hectic but productive couple of weeks in the Far East, the England midfielder also took the time to praise younger teammates who not only enjoyed game time but also turned a few heads.
“I remember when I was their age,” he continued.
“It’s good to come away and get used to being around the first team and learning from the manager, who is good at bringing young players in and breaking them in slowly.
“They’ve done well and hopefully they can get in the Emirates Cup squad and really show the home crowd what they can do.”
It’s heartening to hear Jack is feeling upbeat about the squad’s preparations, they’ll need to be on their toes in three weeks time for the first-leg of our very important Champions League qualification double-header.
Arsenal won’t find out who they face until Friday 9 August, but as one of the seeded sides the following are all possible opponents:
Real Sociedad (Spain) – team of Carlos ‘Mr Chips’ Vela
Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal) – nicknamed the Beavers
Salzburg (Austria) OR Fenerbahce (Turkey) – the Red Bulls who don’t have Henry OR match-fixing cheats who sold us Andre Santos
PAOK Salonika (Greece) OR Metalist Kharkiv (Ukraine) – beat us in UEFA Cup ’97 OR team of exiled South Americans (11 of squad either Argentine or Brazilian)
PSV Eindhoven (Holland) OR Zulte Waregem (Belgium) – managed by Philip Cocu’s freakishly pointy nose OR …err, no idea.
…now back to the tumbleweed.