Wilshere frustrated by criticism

Wilshere frustrated by criticism

Daniel Sturridge is a doubt for England

Daniel Sturridge is a doubt for England

Daniel Sturridge is a doubt for England

Danny Welbeck, pictured, could be the main beneficiary if Daniel Sturridge is ruled out of England's game against Switzerland

England's Jack Wilshere has been frustrated by the criticism aimed at him by the press

England's Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge during a training session at St George's Park, Burton Upon Trent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 5, 2014. Daniel Sturridge's place in the England squad to face Switzerland is in doubt af

First published in National Sport © by

Jack Wilshere is disappointed by the "reckless and aggressive" criticism some have directed at him, with the England international particularly irked by Jamie Redknapp's comments given his own struggles with injury.

It has been a stop-start few years for the Arsenal midfielder due to a string of complaints, restricting him to just 21 caps since making his Three Lions debut four years ago.

Wilshere's progression has stunted as a result, leading to criticism from former players such as Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher and Redknapp.

The latter last month said he could not see the 22-year-old getting any better right now, saying "Jack Wilshere's problem is Jack Wilshere" and that he had "no excuses anymore".

Those comments rankled with the England international, who was disappointed by the lack of understanding shown by a man whose own career was curtailed by injury at the age of 31.

"I listen to the people who I work closely with," Wilshere said ahead of Monday's European Championship qualifier in Switzerland.

"With all due respect, if anything, I think Redknapp should have a little bit of [empathy]. He was injured more than I was.

"It's easy for someone to go on television and say 'he should be doing this, he should be doing that' but if you look back, he was injured just as much as I was. Maybe more than I was.

"And he was never injured at my age as well and it does take a lot of mental strength [to come back].

"So to hear people go on TV and say 'he's got to be doing this or that' - I don't need that.

"I listen to people like the boss here, Gary Neville, people who talk a lot of sense and can help me with my game."

Wilshere clearly felt Scholes could aid him as he got his number off England coach Neville to get some more in-depth feedback.

The 22-year-old accepts criticism comes with being a high-profile footballer, but the manner in which it is delivered sometimes grates.

"It doesn't hurt me as much," Wilshere said.

"It probably disappoints me a little bit more.

"It's easy to go on TV and say 'he's got to do this or that,' 'if he's not fit he's not in the starting line-up' and 'he's got to get fitter'. That's the easy way out.

"I heard what Robbie Savage said and that was, if you like, the first ex-player to give me constructive criticism. I respected that. I'll take criticism.

"I know that's part and parcel of football, but when it's just reckless and aggressive, I don't listen."

Wilshere has not just come under fire for his displays on the field, having this summer been pulled up after being pictured smoking for a second time.

That, he insists, will not be an issue moving forwards, pointing to his two children as reason enough to stop such incidents.

"I don't want them growing up thinking: 'Look at Daddy, he goes out all the time, he smokes.' I'm not one of them," he said.

"It's under control. I have a good family around me and it won't be a problem."

Wilshere is well aware how important it is to be a good role model and to have a strong campaign with club and country.

For the first time in several years he has had an interrupted pre-season and called this the "time to deliver", taking onboard advice from a psychologist at Arsenal to help with that.

"He's taught me that, if your head's not right, it can affect other parts of your body," Wilshere said.

"So get that right and enjoy your football, and that's what I'm trying to do.

"Every time I'm on the pitch I just enjoy it. I'm not as aggressive, not as angry.

"If something goes wrong, a couple of years ago I would have gone to the physio: 'Look, my ankle's not right'

"Now I'm on top of it, enjoying my football and I've grown up. I realise things aren't going to go my way every week. Of course they're not. "You can't expect them to, but the main thing is to give your all and enjoy."

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