WATCH: Wenger dismisses ‘bad boy’ image of Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made it clear that his footballer players could decide personal decisions, such as smoking cigarettes, for themselves, as long as it doesn’t affect their play on the field.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was caught smoking in the beginning of January, forcing the discussion of this topic during a press conference when Wenger addressed the issue.
[RELATED: Szczesny caught smoking and fined]
As of late, it was Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere followed in Szczesny’s footsteps and was caught by a photographer smoking a shisha pipe at a night club in London.
Wilshere was pictured smoking on two other occasions, and despite this new incident, Wenger expressed his admiration for the 23-year-old midfielder’s hardworking character.
“You’re always worried for your players, but they get what they don’t deserve,” he said.
“He behaves in a very professional way, I must say, because every morning he’s certainly one of the first [players] in, and every afternoon certainly the last [player] out… One second of your life doesn’t define who you are.”
Switching gears to Arsenal’s derby match at White Hart Lane on Saturday, Wenger believes that home-field advantage barely exists.
[RELATED: Tottenham v. Arsenal preview]
“In the derbies, the home ground is not significant sometimes,” he said. “It’s high commitment, high pace, [and] we just focus on the quality of our game, the quality of our performance, no matter where we play. And we’ll do the same tomorrow.”