Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was pictured smoking a cigarette outside a nightclub after playing the final 27 minutes in his side's 2-0 win over Napoli. It's hardly the first time a footballer has been caught smoking, but what makes this instance even dumber than usual is the excuse/denial his representative decided to use.
Arsene Wenger was asked about the picture during his Friday press conference since everything is going very well for Arsenal at the moment and people don't read good news. Naturally, the man who banned chocolate bars upon taking over at Arsenal 17 years ago doesn't think smoking is a good idea for a footballer. Said Wenger (via ESPN):
“I disagree completely with that behaviour,” Wenger said. “I don’t know what has happened and I will have to have a chat with him about that. When you are a footballer you are an example and also don’t do what damages your health.
“You can smoke at home and drink at home and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially, you damage your reputation as well. I have not spoken to him yet and what I say will be between him and me.”
Wilshere initially responded to Wenger's comments by tweeting a picture of Zidane smoking, the implication being that if it's OK for Zidane, it's OK for him too. Which could mean he plans to start headbutting opponents any day now.
Not content to leave it at that, Wilshere then attempted to deny everything entirely.
But for the record....I don't smoke! — Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) October 4, 2013
Wilshere's representative then decided to run with that obvious lie and make it infinitely worse. He told The Sun:
"Jack was with team-mates and friends. One dared Jack, who does not smoke, to momentarily hold the cigarette as part of a prank.
"Jack absolutely didn't smoke the cigarette, and nor does he condone smoking. Jack is utterly committed to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
"In no way is this picture an accurate reflection of his attitude towards smoking."
So Jack Wilshere's representative wants you to believe that his client — a wealthy and talented man who is also an adult and a father — momentarily held a cigarette (with his mouth) as part of a prank (the lamest prank ever) because his friend dared him to. If anything, that explanation paints Wilshere as a simpleton as opposed to someone who had a cigarette after a few drinks with his friends.
Had he just said, "Yeah, he had a cigarette. He doesn't do it often, but it was dumb and he won't do it again. So let's all move on with our lives. The end." That would've been it (depending on how busy or slow the next few days are in the news cycle). But no. Jack Wilshere and his nameless representative would like you to believe that he is both highly impressionable and deluded enough to tell you that a picture of him smoking isn't a picture of him smoking.
Meanwhile, Dimitar Berbatov is just going to relax over here...