Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has opted against lambasting Jack Wilshere, and has instead shown sympathy for the Arsenal midfielder following his sending-off in an Under-23s game.
The England international was playing his second match for the development side in order to build up his fitness ahead of a potential return to the first team.
Wilshere spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Bournemouth, where he started 22 Premier League games, but it ended in disappointment when he suffered a leg fracture.
The midfielder has since recovered from the injury and is now easing his way back into action.
On Monday night while playing against the Manchester City Under-23s, Wilshere was sent off after reacting angrily to a rash tackle from 17-year-old Matthew Smith.
The Arsenal man shoved the youngster before getting involved in a scuffle with Tyreke Wilson, who was also issued with a red card.
Wilshere has faced criticism from many quarters, but Nicholas, who played for Arsenal between 1983 and 1988, is on the midfielder’s side.
The Scotsman told Sky Sports:
“The big problem is, we all know how many injuries Wilshere has had and when you’re making a fourth comeback from major injuries, you need to feel your way in. I’m not saying other teams need to go easy on him or that he’s right, but I can totally understand his reaction.
“Even the lad who tried to harm him went down like he’d been shot. Of course, it makes Jack look foolish but he’s an international footballer, he should be an Arsenal regular, but this is where he is, fighting for his fitness, trying everything he can and this lad has gone in with the intention to harm him.”