Premier League - Wilshere to 'accept smoking consequences'

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has expressed regret after being photographed smoking while on holiday in Las Vegas, admitting it was "unacceptable".

PA Sport
Premier League - Wilshere to 'accept smoking consequences'

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Jack Wilshere, Arsenal (PA Sport)

Wilshere was criticised last year when a photo of him smoking a cigarette outside a nightclub emerged and he pledged it would never happen again.

However, the most recent image shows him once more smoking alongside friends in a swimming pool, and Wilshere admits he regrets his latest indiscretion.

"The smoking? Of course I regret it," he was quoted as saying by several national newspapers.

"I've been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.

"I'm young and I'll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up.

"I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it's okay for a footballer to smoke because it's not. It's unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on."

Wilshere, speaking shortly before Arsenal's 1-0 friendly defeat to the New York Red Bulls, revealed he is driven to succeed by his critics.

The forthcoming season may be a defining one for Wilshere, who has had his fair share of injuries in the last three campaigns, but the 22-year-old is keen to prove he is up to the challenge.

He added: "It does motivate me to try harder in training and not just in training; it motivates me to improve because a lot of people have started to talk (about me) - people who don't know me but want to have an opinion. Now it is down to me.

"This is a big season for me. I came back early to pre-season to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.

"Over the past few seasons I've had a few injuries. This season I'm looking to have a really great pre-season and get a really good base of fitness and take that into the season."

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