The 22-year-old was pictured with a cigarette in his mouth during a party on a post-World Cup holiday in Las Vegas and admits he regrets his actions
Jack Wilshere admits he regrets smoking on a post-World Cup holiday and insists he will work hard to re-discover his best form and fitness ahead of what he describes in personal terms as a "big season".
Wilshere caused controversy when pictures of him smoking in a swimming pool during a Las Vegas party surfaced earlier this summer, immediately after England's failed World Cup campaign.
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“The smoking? Of course I regret it,” he told reporters. “I’ve been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.
“I’m young and I’ll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up. I have kids myself and I don’t want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it’s OK for a footballer to smoke because it’s not.
“It’s unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on.”
Once heralded as the future of the Arsenal and England midfield, Wilshere started just one of three matches in Brazil - a dead rubber against Costa Rica - and was criticised last season by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, who suggested the 22-year-old had failed to develop his game in the four years since his Gunners breakthrough.
Wilshere admits this is a "big season" on a personal level and is hoping past injury problems do not re-surface to prevent him rising back to the top of his game.
“This is a big season for me,” he added. “I came back early to pre-season to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.
“Over the past few seasons I’ve had a few injuries. This season I’m looking to have a really great pre-season and get a really good base of fitness and take that into the season.”