Arsene Wenger: 'Jack Wilshere will improve in wide role'

Jack Wilshere of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa on February 23, 2013
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that Jack Wilshere will be forced to improve in an unfamiliar role out wide.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that Jack Wilshere can use an unfamiliar wide role to rediscover his best form this season.

With the Gunners depleted by injuries, Wilshere has largely occupied a position on the left flank in recent weeks, allowing Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey to thrive through the middle.

Wenger believes that Wilshere has the attributes to play anywhere on the pitch, but will benefit from being forced to find a yard of pace out wide in tight situations.

He told the club's official website: "Deep-lying midfielder or wide [are his best positions] because higher up he is less comfortable at the moment. He doesn't like to have his back to goal, he likes to face the game.

"Why? Because he has a burst to pass people with the ball at his feet. He is getting it back and I think playing on the flanks helps him to find that back, because on the flanks you have to do a lot of that.

"You ask every good football player and he says to you [he wants to play] 'in the centre'. Nobody says I want to play wide, I've never heard that."

The 21-year-old also drew criticism from Wenger yesterday after being photographed smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub in the early hours of Friday morning.

Jack Wilshere of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa on February 23, 2013
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