Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has criticised the tackle by Manchester United defender Paddy McNair which left him with ankle ligament damage during last weekend’s Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
The England international, who will miss the next three months having undergone surgery, hit out at a Daily Mail journalist who claimed the Gunners’ ace may have the “world’s most brittle ankles”.
But in the process the 22-year-old also blasted McNair’s challenge, writing on Instagram: “…as this picture clearly shows' most people/players would have broken their ankle if someone tackled them like this. Luckily I have 'loose joints', not brittle' and only damaged ligaments.”
Wenger: It was a bad tackle
Wenger echoed Wilshere’s sentiments in this pre-match press conference on Friday morning. The Gunners’ boss told reporters: "His injury is a consequence of a very bad tackle that was not malicious.”
Before adding: "He deals very well with tackles and kicks but nobody would've dealt with that tackle.”
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McNair's rise to prominence
McNair was relatively unknown before the start of the season, but the teenager has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence since making his first-team debut against West Ham in September.
Despite his age and lack of experience, the 19-year-old centre-back has exceeded expectations. He made his fifth appearance for the Red Devils against Arsenal last weekend and helped Louis van Gaal’s side secure all three points in north London.
Rojo back in training
The Northern Ireland Under-21 international is expected to retain his starting spot for United’s next match against Hull City, on Saturday, and will be keen to continue impressing Van Gaal with Marcos Rojo now back in training.
The Argentina international, who suffered a shoulder injury against Manchester City at the start of the month, could be available for United’s next away match against Southampton on December 8.
McNair, along with fellow centre-back Tyler Blackett, has proved to Van Gaal and the Manchester United supporters over the past two months that he is capable of playing at the top level.
McNair must ignore furore
But it remains to be seen whether he has been affected by the recent furore surrounding his tackle on Wilshere.
One thing’s for sure: he will receive all the support and encouragement he needs, not just from Van Gaal and the rest of the Manchester United staff and players, but also the supporters at Old Trafford, where the Red Devils’ next two Premier League fixtures - against Hull City and Stoke City - are hosted.