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Wenger: Wilshere up for the fight
Published : 17 Aug 2010 14:10:00
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists Bolton loan target Jack Wilshere is "ready to fight for his place" in the Gunners' starting line-up. The 18-year-old midfielder had a week to savour, making his senior England debut against Hungary as a late substitute on Wednesday evening before being picked in the Gunners' first XI for the Premier League opener against Liverpool on Sunday. Wilshere's first league start in Arsenal colours saw his side rescue a point to 10-man Reds and the talented teenager looked cultured in the middle of the park, despite squaring off against Steven Gerrard at Anfield. But Wenger admits his young gem - who spent a successful season at The Reebok last term - will have to fight for his first-team place, something the Stevenage-born schemer has taken on the chin. "Jack is ready to fight for his place at Arsenal," said Wenger on the club's official website. "That is linked with the fact that you [reporters] ask me if I want to win the title and yet you want as well an 18-year-old player to play in the team. "It is not contradictory because Jack is an exceptional talent but you have to combine both experience and potential to win the league. "You have to accept as well we are in a country where it is difficult [to play a young player so regularly]." Wenger was also quick to play down expectations facing Arsenal this season, pointing to the greater wealth inherited at Eastlands. He added: "You said to me that Manchester City invests over £100million and us £8million and if we do not win the title it is a scandal! You have to accept that the league is at a high level and it isn't as easy as it looks."