Jack Wilshere gives telling one-word response on thoughts of ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger and Jack Wilshere
Arsene Wenger was "like a father figure" for Jack Wilshere at Arsenal -Credit:Getty Images

Jack Wilshere expressed his deep respect for Arsene Wenger after being asked for his one-word summary of the former Arsenal boss.

The bond between Wilshere and the iconic French manager is undeniable. After all, it was Wenger who introduced him to the senior game in 2008, nurturing his talent as he evolved into a key player for both club and country.

Both departed the Emirates Stadium in 2018, marking the end of an era at Arsenal, but not before Wilshere had amassed nearly 200 appearances across all competitions and grown immensely under Wenger's tutelage.

His fondness for him was on full display during his appearance on Sky Sports' Saturday Social. Faced with quick-fire questions requiring single-word answers, Wilshere's response to Wenger's name was telling.

He wrote on the whiteboard provided "boss" accompanied by a heart emoji, reports the Mirror. Elaborating further, the 32-year-old said: "I could have put 'dad' but my dad will probably be at home watching this, but he was like that, he was a father figure.

"He was very calm, but he was like that as a coach, he wasn't very different [away from football]. You could see he was very authentic. He protected his players and at times, probably at the wrong moment as well."

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Wenger, despite his legendary 22-year tenure at Arsenal, faced mounting criticism towards the end of his reign. His reluctance to criticise his players publicly often drew ire from supporters, yet he remains a revered figure for his contributions to the club.

Wilshere's promising career was marred by injuries, leading to an early retirement in 2022. He almost immediately returned to his former club, however, taking up the coaching role of Arsenal's under-18s.

His loyalties lie firmly on the red side of north London, as evidenced with his one-word summary of Tottenham - "enemy". He shared a personal anecdote to highlight the depth of the rivalry, adding: "You know all of my family are Spurs?

"I grew up with a lot of Tottenham fans in the family and I remember coming home from holiday and there would be cardboard cut outs of David Ginola. Then I grew up playing against Tottenham with that rivalry.

"Whatever you think about that game or playing against them, they are the enemy. You have to have that in your DNA if you want to play for Arsenal."