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Criticism of Wenger is a joke – Wilshere

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has backed Arsene Wenger to get the Gunners back on track after insisting criticism of the French coach is a joke.

Wenger has come under fire after six years without a trophy and his team’s dismal start to the season has only added to the pressure.

He has been criticised for promoting young players rather than spending big-money on star signings and Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis felt compelled to issue a vote of confidence in Wenger in the aftermath of the humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United.

Arsenal’s struggles have continued in recent weeks and the north London club are languishing in 15th place in the Premier League after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at local rivals Tottenham.

Yet England international Wilshere sees no reason to blame Wenger for the slump.

“He has been there for 15 years and been great for Arsenal. The criticism Arsene gets is just a joke,” Wilshere told the Evening Standard.

“We do get a harder time from the critics than most teams but we haven’t won anything for six years and that’s not good enough for Arsenal. It is harsh, though, especially on the boss.

“We started a bit slowly but we still feel we can finish in the top four.”

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