Jack Wilshere may be tipped for greatness, but there is something ironic about a wet-behind-the-ears 21-year-old telling his team-mates they need to grow up.
Yett that it is exactly what Wilshere has told his Arsenal colleagues is expected of them, if they are to end the hurt caused by nearly a decade without silverware.
Showing the kind of leadership he is said to have percolating beneath his boyish exterior, Wilshere says the remedy that will spark Arsenal’s evolution is if they go from boys to men this season.
"Last season, we lost games in cup competitions in which we could have been there at the end," Wilshere told Sport Magazine, in an interview sure to please the England international’s zealous and dedicated fans.
"We lost against Bradford away [in the Capital One Cup] and Blackburn at home in the FA Cup. We should never be losing games like that, but this year we have to get over that, grow up a bit and realise that we need a trophy.
"Arsenal are too good not to be winning trophies. We will be in four competitions this year. We know we have to win one of them."
Wilshere says he and his fellow Gunners can “understand the fans’ frustration”, but that Arsenal’s good form at the end of last season suggests they have a real chance to finally add some silverware to the expectantly empty Emirates trophy cabinet.
"I have been reading things like: 'Arsenal aren't title contenders', but we have had that for years," he said.
"We feel we have a great squad, as we showed towards the end of last season, when we went eleven games unbeaten.
"So if we can reproduce that form, then we have a chance. When we had to get the results, we went out there and got them, and that’s what we need to take into this season.”