Wilshere to miss out on the Olympics too
Published 22:00 17/04/12 By John Cross
Jack Wilshere has agreed to sacrifice his Olympic dream to get himself fit for Arsenal.
The Gunners midfielder was keen to be part of the Great Britain football team at this summer’s Games, but has shelved that possibility to concentrate on getting ready for next season.
Wilshere was ruled out of the rest of the season and England’s Euro 2012 campaign on Monday because of his long-running foot injury.
The 20-year-old still harboured hopes of playing in the Oympics, but has now accepted that, having missed the entire 2011-2012 campaign after being injured in a pre-season friendly, he should focus on regaining fitness for Arsenal.
At the urging of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, Wilshere will instead go on the club's three-game pre-season tour of the Far East, which begins at the end of July.
It is believed Wenger has also made it clear to Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that he would prefer they chose Arsenal’s pre-season over the Olympics.
Wilshere admitted he was “gutted” to miss out on the Euros but has decided to knuckle down and get ready for next season.
The midfielder is fiercely patriotic and loves playing for England but has focused on Arsenal because, despite his huge talent and promise, he believes he will have to fight for his place in the side after missing this season.
Credit Wilshere for remaining grounded and determined to make up for lost time, as it was likely he would have been in Team GB manager Stuart Pearce’s plans for the Olympics.
The BOA were keen for him to take part in the Team GB photoshoot earlier in the season, but he declined because he was out injured.
Wilshere’s latest blow comes on the back of an injury-ravaged season, with his problems beginning last June during England’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland.
He aggravated an old foot injury during the end-of-season game and went straight off on holiday, so it was not picked up as it might have been during the season.
The problem was further aggravated in pre-season and Wilshere has not played again since despite undergoing surgery.
The player was desperate to get back into the Arsenal team as quickly as possible, but a string of setbacks have ruined his season.
Wenger has also admitted that he picked Wilshere more often than he would have liked last season - leaving him in the “red zone” where players are vulnerable to injury - and also pushed him hard to get back to match fitness.
Meanwhile, Wilshere's fellow Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta could also miss the rest of the season after undergoing a scan on an ankle injury.
Arteta suffered an ankle injury against Wigan on Monday and was immediately ruled out of Saturday's game against Chelsea.
The Spainaird has now had a scan on the damaged area, amid fears that the injury will stop him being involved in the run-in.