My injury saved me! Wilshere claims 14-month layoff could prevent burnout at Arsenal
10:49 GMT, 27 December 2012
Jack Wilshere has said being out of action for 14 months might have helped him avoid burning out.
The Arsenal midfielder has been looking on the bright side of his ankle and knee injuries and claims he’s in peak fitness, although admits there were some frustrating times.
‘I was at Emirates for every single home match,’ Wilshere told the Arsenal magazine.
Burnout: Jack Wilshere believes he could reap the benefits of his long-term injury
‘It was hard at times, because I really wanted to be out there. Not just for my own selfish reasons but I wanted to help the team too because we had some difficult periods last season.
‘There were a few moments [it was hard to miss out on]. When Thierry came back in January for example. He’s a legend and I really wanted to play in the same team as him. I also would have loved to play in that north London derby in February.
‘When I look back now though, I could probably have done with a break, having played so much the previous season. Obviously I didn’t want the break to be so long, in fact I didn’t want to have a break at all, but if I look back on this in 10 years’ time, it might have done me some good in the long run.’
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The 20-year old signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners earlier this month, which he described as his way of repaying manager Arsene Wenger’s loyalty, while he credits Cesc Fabregas for wise words on how to make a footballing career last.
‘My body is stronger than it was before,' he said. 'I’ve done a lot of work with Declan Lynch and the other physios here over the past year. I’ve improved my core, improved my leg muscle strength – everything.
'Cesc [Fabregas] used to say to me ‘take it easy, don’t play too many games’. Obviously I didn’t want to have a year off. But when I’m 24 or 25 I won’t have played as many games as someone like Cesc, and that will help me.'