Arsenal News Roundup, Jan. 5: Jack Wilshere, Robin Van Persie, Eduardo da Silva

Martin BentleyCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2009

Jack Wilshere signed a professional contract with Arsenal Monday, just days after his 17th birthday.

Wilshere has already featured for the Gunners in all four competitions, including becoming the youngest player to appear for the club in the Premier League and the Champions League, and scored his first goal against Sheffield United in the Carling Cup.

"We are delighted that Jack has signed a professional contract with us," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "Jack is a player with great potential, with an ability to find the final ball and also score goals.
"Jack is a passionate and committed young player, he is not afraid of tackles and I am convinced he will have tremendous penetrative power in a few years.
"We have already seen Jack's qualities in both his first team performances and in training on a regular basis, and we look forward to Jack being an important part of our first team for years to come."


Robin van Persie has spoken of his dream to play at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup Final.

The striker, who scored twice in Arsenal's third round victory over Plymouth Argyle last weekend, won the FA Cup in 2005, but the final was played in Cardiff, and the Dutchman wants to repeat the feat at Wembley on May 30.

"In my first year, I scored two goals in the last eight minutes in the [Semi-Final] at the Millennium Stadium," he said. "It was fantastic to be in front of 70,000 people but it is still a dream for me to play at Wembley. I have never played there.

"Of course it was a dream come true for me as well when I scored two goals in the last eight minutes of a Semi-Final of the FA Cup—which of course brings you to the Final—but I still want to do it at Wembley."

Van Persie also spoke about how he did not expect Arsenal to go four years without a trophy since that win over Manchester United in the 2005 final.

"At the time, no [I didn’t think that] because they were winning trophies for fun. I came to the champions so I was expecting something like that but it's not really happened in the last three years.

"But it's not a reason for me to give up—it is a bigger challenge for me to do it. If we can do it now, then it is a big achievement.

"If you want to win a trophy you need to see it game by game. You can’t say 'OK at the end I want to lift a trophy.'

"You need to give absolutely everything game by game. If you look at Man United, they had a great year, but if you look at the Champions League, they were lucky. Terry slipped. If he hadn't, it would have been different.

"It's really hard—the line between winning and losing is really thin.

"I know that everyone at Arsenal will give absolutely everything to win but still I can't guarantee we are going to win."


There was bad news for Eduardo da Silva today, as Arsenal's reserve match away at West Bromwich Albion was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The Croatian international was expected to get another start in his bid to fully recover from a broken leg, after having played the first half against Portsmouth's reserves last month, but with the game called off, Eduardo will have to wait for the trip to Stoke City's reserves on Jan. 21 for his next potential game.

No date has been given for the rearranged fixture with the Baggies' reserves.