Jack Wilshere set for Arsenal return after U-21 Everton win
Relief for Wenger as Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong also look fit after long injury lay-offs
ARSENAL need some good news right now and they got some on Monday with Jack Wilshere taking another big stride down the comeback trail. The England midfielder completed his second full game in a week in helping Arsenal Under-21 defeat Everton 2-1.
Wilshere's contribution amounted to more than just getting through the 90 minutes unscathed. He created both goals for Thomas Eisfeld and showed no ill-effects from the ankle injury that has laid him low for the past 18 months.
Wilshere wasn't alone in having reasons to cheer his performance against Everton. Senior team-mates Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong were also using the match to fine-tune their fitness after lengthy injury lay-offs. "Sooo proud of the team today we played well and deserved a 2-1 win..." tweeted midfielder Frimpong after the game.
The prospect of seeing Wilshere back in an Arsenal shirt for the first time since May 2011 is a welcome one for Arsene Wenger. The Gunners' toothless defeat to Norwich at the weekend leaves them 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea and the Arsenal manager has to get his squad ready for tomorrow's crucial Champions League clash against Schalke.
Victory against the Germans would give the Gunners control of Group B at the halfway point but defeat would ensure that Arsenal's Annual General Meeting on Thursday is a feisty affair.
A year ago a minority of Arsenal fans began calling for Wenger's sacking, and though the Gunners haven't yet reached that point this season the Frenchman knows the club needs to start winning. With only one victory in their last four Premier League matches, the club's long-suffering shareholders will arrive at the AGM expecting answers, particularly to the question of why the club last won a trophy in 2005.
Despite the must-win nature of Wednesday night's game, Wenger is unlikely to include Wilshere in the squad to face Schalke. Instead he'll save his return for Saturday's Premier League clash with QPR. It should be a good game to ease Wilshere back into the side: Rangers are bottom of the Premier League and still without a win. Surely not even Arsenal can lose that one… can they?