Wilshere finds positives out of ban

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is feeling better with every game and admits his upcoming one-match ban may actually be beneficial as he continues his return from injury.

Football News: Jack Wilshere, Arsene Wenger

The England international played his first 90 minutes for the first team on Tuesday in Germany, where the Gunners squandered a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with Schalke in the Champions League.

It was Wilshere's third game in 11 days after missing the whole of last season with niggling ankle and knee problems, which ruled him out of both Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.

The England international will have to wait for his fourth appearance as he misses Saturday's clash with Fulham after being sent off in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United - something the midfielder is trying to see in a positive light.

"I am gutted to miss Fulham after being out for so long," Wilshere said.

"It's disappointing to miss any game but if I think about it another way, maybe it will be good for me to have a little break and come back for the Tottenham game [a week later].

"It is difficult [to be out for so long] for any player and especially for me - I was 19 and just breaking into the footballing world and coming into the team.

"I'd had a good season and was looking to push on next season.

"To have a setback like that was heartbreaking but now I'm back. I am still doing my maintenance work in the gym and am keeping fit.

"Hopefully now I can keep fit and push on. It [the original ankle injury] was serious, of course.

"It kept me out for so long but it wasn't the result of a bad tackle or anything where it was career threatening. It was just something that happened over time.

"I knew it would take time to heal and then I suffered a few setbacks.

"Obviously you then question yourself and say, 'Am I going to come back to the level that I was at before?' Hopefully, now I can get back to training well.

"Every day I need to work hard and get back up to the level I was at.

"Last night, I felt better than I did over the weekend and the weekend before that, so I am feeling better after each game.

"It's a long season, so I need to take it easy a bit but I am looking forward."

Last night's draw in Germany came courtesy of first-half goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

The former was making his first start in the Premier or Champions League since late August - a period out of the team that coincided with contract talks stalling.

Walcott's current deal expires at the end of the season and Wilshere hopes he stays on at the Emirates Stadium.

"Theo has been great," he said. "His future is down to him and the boss to sort out.

"I hope he does sign. He has been great for us. He's an English lad and great to have around."

The result in Germany means Schalke continue to lead the group and remain a point ahead of Arsenal, with both teams able to secure qualification on matchday five.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar again proved a major thorn in Arsenal's side two weeks on from the Royal Blues' 2-0 triumph in north London.

The Dutch international reduced the deficit in first-half stoppage time and his goal was added to by Jefferson Farfan as Schalke fought back.

"I think it was important to get the first goal back before half-time," Huntelaar said.

"Unfortunately we have not managed to equalise straight after the break, but we were still at it and have finally taken it to 2-2. This speaks for the high morale of our team.

"Of course we are satisfied that we have made up a two-goal deficit against such a strong opponent like Arsenal. Nevertheless, we could have gone on to win the game."



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