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The England international midfielder was substituted after an off-colour performance against Crystal Palace but his manager reveals that he had been suffering with a bug

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger defended Jack Wilshere after criticism of the midfielder's performance against Crystal Palace.

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The Gunners beat their fellow Londoners 2-1 on the opening day of the Premier League, with Aaron Ramsey snatching the points late on, but the England international had been withdrawn, ending early a performance singled out in the media as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed in his place.

Wenger revealed that his charge had been sick in the build-up to the match and backed him to get better, with concerns over his troublesome ankle minimal.

"[Wilshere] was sick in the last few days and I felt he started to still miss some competitiveness," the Frenchman explained to reporters of the substitution..

"I had options on the bench as well.

"No, [the criticism is not fair]. Let's give him games.

"For me the most important thing for him is not to have any problem with his ankle but it looks like he's on the right way on that front. He looks sharper every week at the moment."

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