Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Get Dragged Down Again, Jack

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Get Dragged Down Again, Jack

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

JACK WILSHERE is 21 years old and he had a cigarette. In the grand scheme of things, it really is not that big a deal.

That is, as long as he learns from what happened. There are many players who enjoy a smoke, a point Wilshere himself chose to make via Twitter last week when posting a picture of Zinedine Zidane lighting up.

But then Zidane won the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League and League titles in Italy and Spain on his way to becoming one of the finest players of his generation.

Wilshere, by contrast, has won nothing yet with Arsenal.

Winning does not justify smoking, of course, but Wilshere is at a stage of his career where he needs to do the right things and look after himself in every way possible to maximise his huge potential.

Smoking is not illegal but it is ill-advised, especially for a professional athlete.

The health issues are obvious, as is the damage to his image in some quarters to be casually puffing away outside a nightclub. …

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