I feel old when I begin to complain about how "Players these days just don't respect the shirt they put on, galavanting around!". But perhaps there is some truth to the wisdom beyond my years.
It's not like players in the 'old days' didn't fuck around a bit. George Best and Robbie Fowler dabbled in the legal (and illegal) substances, while former Gunners Peter Storey and Tony Adams showed their dark side while wearing an Arsenal shirt.
Peter Storey funnily enough came from the same town I grew up in, Farnham, Surrey. All similarities ended there, however, when he first became quite a good footballer and then decided that opening a brothel in London would be a good idea. The authorities didn't agree and he was sentenced to 6 months in prison. That brief stint was over shadowed by the 3 years he spent in the clapper due to his part in funding an effort to counterfeit gold coins. Then, finally he rounded it all off with a month behind bars for smuggling porn vids across Europe in his spare tyre..... A fellow with big balls and a healthy appetite for boobs and gold apparently.
When it came to Arsenal captain, Tony Adams he was just a drunk. He spent 4 months in prison for crashing his car while drunk, but perhaps most impressive was the game he played while apparently wasted in 1993.
All this makes Jack Wilshere look like a saint, but that was then and this is now. Back then players didn't make millions and certainly weren't given the kind of support they are given by their clubs now. Footballers are paid a shit ton of money to not only apply their trade on the pitch, but to act as role models for young kids. As cheesy and cliche as this may sound, it's important, and when you're playing at the top level for a classy club like Arsenal, you're expected to portray yourself in a manner that is in line with the way the club operates.
While smoking outside a nightclub might not bother too many people, it certainly bothered Arsene Wenger who, having heard the rumours of Jack having a quick smoke, was clearly not happy. When he came to Arsenal in 1996 he revolutionized the entire league with the rules he put in place at the club as far as fitness and lifestyle. He immediately installed a zero tolerance for drinking, smoking, drugs and even poor diets. This was proven successful as you saw Arsenal players run circles around lesser opposition who didn't have the same sort of discipline.
Jack Wilshere has been subject to the public eye form the age of 16 or 17, so you'd be kind to let some of his abject behavior slide. However, with the recent suspension following his polite wave to the Manchester Citeh fans last week, he's got to start watching himself. His performances haven't been stellar, so he hasn't got that to fall back on. If he was even average we might be quicker to forgive his cockiness, but quite frankly, he's been shit lately.
I truly hope we're not witnessing a player who's beginning to crumble under the pressure, because he's already shown the talent he has so we know for a fact there's plenty to look forward to. Last season he had an injury that caused him to miss pre season, and a good chunk of the regular season and still ended up having a good last few games. This season he participated in a full pre season but it's his antics that are getting him all the attention so far.
Come on Jack, we're not asking for you to lead the team anymore, we've got others to do that now. All we're asking is that you give the effort, play at the level we know you're capable of and most importantly respect the cannon you're wearing on your chest. This is Arsenal Football Club and you're lucky to be a part of it, start acting like it.
A perfect time to turn this negative press into a sublime performance would be Monday, so let's show those Russian bastards what history, class and pride really is. Come on Arsenal!