Jack Wilshere: Arsenal midfielder regrets smoking mistake

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he regrets smoking and admitted making a mistake after he was photographed with a cigarette in a Las Vegas pool.

The 22-year-old England international was widely criticised when the image appeared following his country's group-stage exit at the World Cup.

It is the second time in nine months Wilshere has been caught smoking.

"Of course I regret it," he said. "It's unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and move on."

In October, Wilshere was pictured with a cigarette outside a London nightclub after a Champions League win over Napoli.

Manager Arsene Wenger criticised Wilshere and said he would talk to him about the issue.

Speaking on the club's pre-season trip to the United States, Wilshere vowed to put the matter behind him.

Jack Wilshere

Wilshere played 45 minutes in Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to New York Red Bulls

"I've been seen before doing it," he said. "I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.

"I'm young and I'll learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up. I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it's OK for a footballer to smoke because it's not."

Wilshere endured a difficult season at the Emirates Stadium. In December he was handed a two-match ban after making an offensive hand gesture in a match against Manchester City while in March he was ruled out for six weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot in a challenge with Liverpool's Daniel Agger.

"This is a big season for me," he said. "I came back early to pre-season to show people my commitment. I am fully committed to the club and to my job and I want to show everyone that.

"Over the past few seasons I've had a few injuries. This season I'm looking to have a really great pre-season and get a really good base of fitness and take that in to the season."