Wenger backs Wilshere to Outshine Bale

Wenger’s side will close the gap on their local rivals
to just one point if they win at White Hart Lane, yet
the Arsenal boss admits his side’s hopes of a place
in next season’s Champions League will suffer a
fatal blow if they crash to defeat against Spurs. While Bale appears to be the biggest threat to
Arsenal’s ambitions in a game that will define the
Premier League campaigns for both clubs, Wenger
believes his team will have no fear lining up against
the brilliant Bale. “Everyone talks about Bale because he is the flavour
of the moment, but when you look at Wilshere, you
will see here a guy who will be very special,”
Wenger said. “No one would doubt that Jack will eventually get
100 caps for England, he will achieve so much in
the game and I am amazed by the way he has
come back from being out for 17 months to reach
the peak of his potential so quickly. “Honestly, I did not believe he could be at this level
so quickly after spending so many months away
from the game. It is amazing.” Wenger believes 21-year-old Wilshere can emulate
former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas and develop a
scoring touch that will give him the complete
package as the leader of a new generation at the
Emirates. “I remember Cesc saying to me that he could not
understand why he could not score goals and it was
something that worried him,” Wenger said. “I told
him the goals would come as he developed. Now
he is a regular goal scorer at the top, top level of the
game. “At the moment, Jack likes to drop deep in the
midfield and he feels comfortable in that role, but
he has a little dribble that allows him to get
through to the final third and this is why I believe
he can develop in the way Fabregas eventually did. “Jack will eventually start to score 10-15 goals a
season and that will only be part of what he brings
to Arsenal in the next few years. You know, this guy
can achieve everything in the game. “Being a leader comes naturally to him and you can
see what he does for the players around him. Santi
Cazorla is free to play because of what Jack does for
the whole team and the attitude of this boy is also
first class. “He breathes football. He doesn’t talk too much and
his feet are firmly on the ground. You tend to forget
how old he is when you see him play. This boy is
21-years-old and he is already at a level of an
established player in the Premier League and
international level. It is amazing really.” Wenger went on to warn his players that defeat in
Sunday’s clash with Spurs may well end their hopes
of a top four finish this season, ramping up the
pressure on his players to perform in the heat of a
derby battle. “We cannot drop points, it’s simple,” he said. “Since
we lost the Chelsea game (in January), we realised
that one more defeat could allow us to fall quickly
behind. So losing against Tottenham is not an
option for us. Losing any game is not an option in
these final 11 games. “I don’t need to remind my players how important
this game is for us. They are all international
footballers who want to be playing in the
Champions League next season, so I have no doubt
that they will be ready for this challenge.”

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