Wenger admits Wilshere error

Arsenal manager said he pushed young midfielder back into action too quickly

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) competes for the ball against Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) during the Barclays Premier League match at Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) competes for the ball against Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) during the Barclays Premier League match at Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Tue, Apr 16, 2013, 11:49

Manager Arsene Wenger accepts he pushed Jack Wilshere back into action too quickly — but maintains he will need each and every one of his Arsenal squad if they are to finish in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Wilshere admitted his anticipated return from the best part of six weeks out offered little in the way of a trademark dynamic drive at the heartbeat of the team as he laboured through an hour against Norwich on Saturday.

The rehabilitation of the all-action England midfielder, 21, from any injury lay-off, the latest a minor ankle problem, is always carefully monitored and makes plenty of headlines in the wake of him being unavailable for both club and country for more than a year as he was forced to sit out the whole of the 2011/2012 campaign.

However, as he prepares his squad for the crucial end-of-season run-in which continues at home to Everton tonight, Wenger maintains he will have to carefully manage all of the options available, with Wilshere likely to be on the bench as fit-again Tomas Rosicky comes into the starting XI.

“We play again on Saturday, so it is important to make the right decisions and find the right balance in the team because all these players are super quality,” said Wenger, whose side moved up to third on Sunday.

“You must keep the spirit and overall focus of everybody. that is the most important thing.”