Jack Wilshere is raring to go in the Carling Cup after taking a breather for the recent FA Cup tie against Leeds United.
The 19-year-old did not play a minute of either game against the Championship side but was back in the starting line-up for Saturday's visit of Wigan in the Premier League.
Wilshere was his usual assured self in the centre of midfield in that 3-0 victory and he admits that his recent rest has done him good.
“The boss has brought me in and out recently, as you’ve seen,” he told the Official Matchday Programme. “I’ve had a decent rest and the boys have done a good job. Obviously I want to be playing every game, but I know that I can’t because I could get burnt out.
"This time last year I was going out on loan so it’s amazing what a year can do. At this stage I just want to play as much as I can, but if the boss chooses to rest me then I understand completely.”
Wilshere will be hoping for another start when Ipswich arrive at the Emirates on Tuesday night for the second leg of a finely-balanced Carling Cup Semi-Final. Arsenal lost the first leg 1-0 after a below-par display at Portman Road and Wilshere knows they must improve to maintain their hopes of a Wembley Final.
“I think, and the boss also said it, that maybe we weren’t expecting them to be as good," said Wilshere. "We needed to get used to the Championship style perhaps, and we know now that these teams, be it Leeds or Ipswich, will always be up for it.
"We knew they’d tackle hard and be tenacious but their quality was good as well – the standards are so high in that division now and if Arsenal are loaning players to these teams then it has to be a good level. On Tuesday we’ll have to do to Ipswich exactly what we did so well at Elland Road – go at them, get an early goal and take it from there.”
Arsenal would have even more to do against Ipswich had Wojciech Szczesny not stood tall to deny the Tractor Boys a second goal with a point-blank save at the end of the first leg. Wilshere is a big fan of the young Polish goalkeeper.
“Wojciech has never been short of confidence and is now showing what he can do," said Wilshere. "He’s been brilliant, to be fair – he made a big save at West Ham and that was just one example. We all know his quality, but it’s a different pressure when you’re actually playing and he has come through.
"Over the past few games you can see he’s improved and grown up a bit too, but he’s admitted himself that he is working on things in training and still has plenty to do. He is going to be massive in the future, a big part of this club.”
This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Jan 2011