Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rebuffed suggestions that Jack Wilshere is not focused on his rehabilitation following an incident outside a London nightclub. The England international was allegedly involved in a brawl outside the venue which led to Wenger issuing a strong defence of the midfielder.
The 24-year-old is currently recovering from a broken fibula suffered in pre-season and has not played any part in the entirety of the campaign. Wilshere will make his comeback against Newcastle United Under-21s on Friday [8 April] ahead of attempts to make a first team return before the end of the current season.
Wilshere remains hopeful of being included in the England squad for the summer's European Championships, with manager Roy Hodgson insisting he still has a role to play. But as his recovery continues, Wenger has defended the Arsenal man following his latest off-the-field misdemeanour.
"The sports science point of view is that if you are not training the next day [as Wilshere was not] — you have exactly the same impact as if you were lying on your bed and not being able to sleep until two in the morning," Wenger said, as quoted by the Guardian. "Of course, drinking alcohol is bad. Not only for football players but for everybody. You need your body.
"He had a hard session on Monday and he did very well. So if he had been heavy drinking on Sunday, I don't think he would have survived. The real question is this: 'Does Jack have the serious life or not?' A player cannot hide when you watch him practise every day. Jack is serious in his life."
Wenger added that Arsenal have a very scientific approach to monitoring their players with various tests done before and after training. The manager is confident that none of the players in the Arsenal squad have a drinking problem, and that the incident regarding Wilshere was not indicative of a culture within the club.
"Scientifically, we control very well our players," he added. "Sometimes, you wonder if we are not too scientific now and predict absolutely everything. But that is the way that the society has gone.
"We test our players and we don't have a drinking problem. The drinking problem was much bigger when I arrived. We test them regularly. Jack is not a drinker — at all. I don't even have that worry. Not at all."