Manager praises midfielder but believes team were too cautious after going 2-0 up as Tomas Rosicky and Nacho Monreal add to IInjury worries
Wilshere scored his fifth goal of the season and also helped create Arsenal’s second through Olivier Giroud as the midfielder flourished in a more advanced attacking role.
Arsenal’s win extended their unbeaten run at Villa Park to 15 matches stretching back to December 1998 but Wenger had warned his team were guilty of being cautious as they survived a nervy finish following Christian Benteke’s 76th-minute header.
But Wilshere’s commanding performance only enhanced Wenger’s hopes of ending Arsenal’s agonising wait for silverware.
He said: “Jack has found his change of pace back, and his penetration. His game is about that. He’s not only a passer, he’s a guy who’s incisive with the ball.
“That’s his strength, and for that you need to be at the top of your game physically. You can see it when he’s training well physically. He’s coming back to his best.
“It was a big win for us tonight. There were two very different halves. The first half was about us playing our game — the speed of our passing and control of the game — and the second was more about fighting.
“I don’t know if we were too confident or too cautious. I think we were too cautious. We wanted to keep control of the game and keep it 2-0, but we lost a bit of incisiveness in our game and the ability to score.”
“Everybody was looking to see if we would drop points because they claimed their points over the weekend,” he said. “You’re always under a bit more pressure when you play last as you know you cannot drop any points.
“You can only give one answer, which is to win the game. I like the fact that we’re mentally ready for a fight.”
However, Wenger’s squad could be further decimated by injuries to Tomas Rosicky and Nacho Monreal.
Rosicky suffered a suspected broken nose after an apparent elbow from Gabriel Agbonlahor while Wenger fears Monreal could have broken his metatarsal.