Ahead of the eagerly anticipated Champions league second leg at the Nou Camp Pep Guardiola was talking to the media fresh from hospital and boldly stated that Barcelona have ‘many’ Jack Wilshere’s in their reserve side much to the annoyance of Arsene Wenger:
“Wilshere is a top player. He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team. [But] he is lucky because we have many players in the second team like him but he plays because there is no pressure at his club to win titles.”
Quite a statement from Guardiola, obviously undermining Wilshere’s ability. Wilshere has the potential to be just as good as Xavi so I don’t know why Pep is dismissing his undeniable talent. Not many Barcelona second team ‘Wilshere’s’ could dictate a game against Barcelona as the 19-year-old did in the first leg, I’ll tell you that much. Arsene Wenger was then was asked to respond to Guardiola’s comments about the Englishman and he said:
“I just play Jack Wilshere because he is good enough to play and because he deserves his place. I’m long enough in the job to know when a player deserves to play. It’s nothing do with what I have to deliver or whether I’m under pressure.”
And to be fair he does deserve his place in the side. You could say he out-Xavied Xavi in the first leg at the Emirates.
Oh and by the way, you know how Robin Van Persie was called up at the last-minute? Well Pep decided to crack a joke and ease the media tension when he said that a similar situation might occur with Walcott:
“Maybe there could be a private flight for [Theo] Walcott to come in at the last-minute – you never know,” he said of the injured Englishman who has been left at home, before claiming he wanted Arsenal to be at full strength, if possible.