Arsene Wenger has responded to Roy Keane’s brutal criticism of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Speaking to ITV following Arsenal’s home defeat to Östersunds FK in the Europa League, Keane labelled Wilshere the ‘most overrated player on the planet’.
‘Where do I start? I think Arsenal are a great example on how not to start a game of football,’ the Manchester United legend said.
‘We can talk about being a shambles but they’re so slow out of the blocks – poor attitude. The manager summed it up.
‘No energy, no desire, you’re looking for your senior players to lead by example.
‘I always think, when Wilshere’s your captain, to me, probably the most overrated player on the planet.
‘And they got lucky with the result at the end of it. But if you start a game slowly, no matter how good you are, it’s hard to get going. You can’t just switch it on and off.’
Asked about Keane’s comments on Friday morning, Wenger said: ‘It’s very difficult. I personally rate Jack very highly. After that you can have opinions.
‘Jack was in the team last night and didn’t perform well. Was it one of his best performances? Certainly not. But Roy Keane knows that can happy to everybody.’
Despite suffering defeat to Swedish minnows Ostersunds FK at the Emirates, the Gunners still progressed to the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 4-2 win on aggregate.
Wilshere admitted Arsenal were ‘nowhere near good enough’ and conceded the team ‘underestimated’ their opposition after the first leg ended 3-0.
‘We were nowhere near it, weren’t good enough. We improved a little bit in the second-half but we still weren’t good enough,’ he said.
‘But we’re through and that’s all the counts, we’ll see who we get tomorrow and then we’ve got a big game on Sunday so we have to focus on that.
‘When you’re 3-0 up in two-leg games you still have to go again. We know it’s only half-time and we know they’ve got quality they want to play.
‘Maybe we underestimated them a bit but the main thing is we’re through. We know we weren’t good enough tonight and we’ll accept that and move on. ‘