Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal do not have a drinking problem – and certainly not in comparison to when he took over in 1997.
Wenger on Thursday spoke out in defence of Jack Wilshere, who had been pictured speaking to police in the early hours of last Sunday morning in central London, with the Gunners boss claiming the incident had been “taken out of proportion”.
Wenger also said he had no problem with Wilshere having a night out ahead of a rest day, adding the England midfielder was fine for training on Monday morning.
“The real question is does he have the serious life or not?” Wenger said. “A player cannot hide when you watch him practice every day. He’s serious in his life.
“He had a hard session on Monday and he did very well in the session so if he had been heavy drinking on Sunday I don’t think he would have survived.”
Wenger referred to well-documented, historical drinking issues at Arsenal involving the likes of Tony Adams and Paul Merson when he revealed Arsenal take urine samples to check players’ alcohol level.
The Frenchman said: “We test our players. We don’t have a drinking problem. The drinking problem was much bigger when I arrived.”