Wenger issues Wilshere warning
Arsene Wenger pleaded for patience over Jack Wilshere's return after the Arsenal midfielder made his first appearance in 17 months in the 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Wilshere, who has been sidelined with ankle and knee injuries, impressed during a 67-minute appearance at the Emirates Stadium, after unexpectedly being included in the starting line-up.
Arsenal manager Wenger praised the England international's display after revealing he had not told Wilshere he was playing until the morning of the game.
Wenger, though, made it clear that he will exercise caution as the player steps up his comeback, and ruled Wilshere out of the mid-week League Cup clash with Reading.
"You could see that technically he is there and overall he gave absolutely everything, but what is missing now he will get through competition," said the Arsenal manager.
"He has been out for 17 months and what he misses is the pace and rhythm of the game, but overall what he did of course is class.
"I made the decision without telling him, basically, because when you have not played for such a long time, it's not always easy to deal with that as well because of the high level of expectation when he goes on the pitch.
"Sometimes I think it's better you don't have too much time to think about it when you have been out for a long time. I told him at 10:30 (0930GMT) today (Saturday).
"I don't know what his reaction was; I just gave the team to the players. I spoke in general, but not especially to him."
Wenger added: "We have to see how he responds. When you come back after such a long time out, it goes a bit up and down. What is good is medically he got kicked today and had no problems. The rest will come after games.
"Now, after a game like that, I will certainly not play him on Tuesday (against Reading), but whether I play him next week, we will have to wait and see."
Wilshere's return lifted the Gunners after successive defeats and Mikel Arteta capped a positive afternoon with an 84th-minute winner, scored four minutes after QPR defender Stephane Mbia had been sent off.
But the victory came at a price, with Gervinho hobbling out of the game just 12 minutes after appearing as a substitute.
"Gervinho has an ankle problem," said Wenger. "We don't know how bad it is at the moment.
"But Bacary Sagna did well. He is ready physically. He has not been out as long as Jack, and he has no problem."
Defeat left QPR rooted to the foot of the table and without a win, but manager Mark Hughes drew positives from his team's performance.
"No, not the way we are playing," he said, when asked if he was feeling under pressure.
"We've played nine games, the majority against teams in the top 10. We've got a run of games coming up that hopefully will allow us to get maximum points.
"We weren't expected to win the game but we have had a real go and given a good account of ourselves and we will draw belief from that."
To add to Hughes' frustrations, he was convinced Arteta's goal should not have stood.
He said: "I've seen the replay. Arteta is offside twice – on the initial header that Julio Cesar saves and in the melee he comes back from an offside position and scores. How the referee hasn't given offside, I don't know.
"We've gone in and asked for an explanation and he's come up with some explanation about Ryan Nelsen leaving the field of play so that played everybody onside.
"I've no idea what he is going on about, but that's what you're up against."