Jack Wilshere has admitted he made a mistake after being photographed smoking on holiday and vowed to make this his best yet as an Arsenal player.
The Gunners youngster was heavily criticised after being snapped while in Las Vegas with friends and he revealed his regret at the incident when talking about it publicly for the first time.
It was the second time in a few months that he had been photographed smoking, the first being at the turn of the year outside a club, and he said then that he would not be doing it again.
Arsene Wenger was openly critical of the 22-year-old then and said any professional footballer that smokes is making a massive mistake. Wilshere echoed these words when speaking after the pre-season friendly loss to New York Red Bulls.
“Of course I regret it. It's unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and move on,” he is quoted as saying by the BBC.
“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."
While the two aren’t exactly connected, this latest controversy surrounding Wilshere has raised questions about his long-term future and whether he is going to realise the vast potential most fans of the Emirates Stadium club saw when he first appeared for the senior Arsenal team as a 16-year-old.
Injuries have hampered him for the best part of two years and he has seemed in a perpetual state of recovery from the latest knock he has picked up, but his form has been a worry for some time.
Aaron Ramsey should be the first reply to anyone suggesting that the England midfielder will never progress into the world class midfielder he could become, but this season is his biggest yet as a professional.
Disappointment at England’s early exit from the group stages at the World Cup in Brazil will be present still, but Wilshere was not involved a great deal, which is a blessing in disguise after he only just made the trip following recovery from a broken bone in his foot.
Arsenal are making a number of new signings and the competition for midfield places is growing ever more fierce. Wilshere would probably not get into the starting XI with everyone fit at the moment and he needs to stamp his authority on a side he was once expected to eventually captain.