Wenger fuming with ‘smoking’ Jack

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has reiterated his stance against smoking after being photographed with a cigarette and receiving a stern warning from manager Arsene Wenger.

Wenger fuming with ‘smoking’ Jack

Wilshere was pictured with a cigarette outside a London nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning as players wound down following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli earlier in the week, when the 21-year-old had started on the bench.

Wenger, whose side head to West Brom tomorrow looking to maintain their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League, spoke out against the health issues of smoking in his pre-match press conference yesterday morning, where he insisted he would take up the issue directly with the player.

Wilshere’s representatives maintained the player was taking part in a “prank” where he agreed to hold the cigarette as part of a “dare”, stressing he was “utterly committed to fitness and a healthy lifestyle”.

The England international himself posted a photograph on his official Twitter feed of France World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane smoking, which he then followed it up with a post of “But for the record....I don’t smoke!”

Wenger will have left the player in no doubt as to his future conduct.

“I disagree completely with that behaviour,” he said.

“I don’t know really what happened, so I will need to have a chat with him about that.”

Wenger, though, has no doubts Wilshere remains an integral part of hopes for both club and country this season.

The Arsenal manager continued: “He is a very important player here, you know. All my plans for the future at the club have always been built with Jack and around Jack. We had some setbacks with him — a lot — but he is a very important player in my squad.”

Meanwhile, West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has criticised Saido Berahino’s “naughty” advisors after details of the young forward’s salary were leaked following his match-winning performance against Manchester United last weekend.

It was claimed that the 20-year-old, who is currently negotiating a new deal at The Hawthorns, is earning just £850 a week having recently broken into the first team.

Clarke has accused Berahino’s agent, or agents, of leaking the figure deliberately in an attempt to stir up interest in the England U21 international.

“Seeing what came out in the press after the game last week, obviously his agent has been a little bit busy by putting things out in the open,” said Clarke.

“It was a little bit naughty for the agent to put out the level of his wages and what he earns (into the public domain). It’s not correct. But if Saido continues to do what he’s doing, he’ll be looked after here. No problem.”

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