Jack Wilshere: England future part of reason for West Ham transfer

Jack Wilshere is hoping his move to West Ham will help save his England career, but admitted he is "still sad" about having to make the tough decision to leave Arsenal.

He also thanked new Arsenal boss Unai Emery for being "respectful and honest" in their conversation last month, when he was told he would not be a regular starter for the Gunners.

After seeing his international teammates reach the semifinals of the World Cup, Wilshere says he wants to stake his claim for a place in the England setup again.

"I'm really motivated to get back into the England squad. This team seems to have really connected the fans to the team again," Wilshere said at the launch of NERF's new Laser Ops range. "So I want to be involved in that positive group and positive mindset of going forward with the national team. And that's another reason why I stayed in England because I wanted to be in people's mind, playing in front of the England manager and trying to get back in the squad."

Wilshere openly expressed his disappointment over being left out of the World Cup squad in a series of social media posts before the tournament, but he insisted that he was still able to enjoy the experience of watching the team as a fan.

"It was only disappointing and difficult early on when it first happened, and dealing with it that first week. But as soon as the boys got to Russia I was like a fan. I was watching it, I was cheering them on and I was enjoying every moment," he said. "And I was happy they've done well. They were so close to getting into the final and it's a shame they couldn't.

"But I think this tournament will really help them. You look at the past teams that have won it, like Germany, in the tournament before they won it they got to the semifinals with a young team. So I think this will put is in a good state going into future tournaments."

He also expanded on his reasons for leaving Arsenal, despite a contract offer having been on the table for months and the fact that the club was still willing to keep him even after Arsene Wenger left and Emery came in.

"It was a tough decision, and that's why I took so long. Everyone knew they offered me a contract and it was going on for a while, I didn't know what to do," Wilshere said. "As soon as I spoke to the new manager I realised I wasn't going to play as much. So I made the decision based purely on football. I'm not a kid anymore, I'm at a stage of my career where I need to play week in and week out in a team where I'm important.

"That's why I left. So it was a tough decision, I'm still sad not to be there. I've got a lot of friends among the staff and the players who will be missed."

Emery said last week that he could not offer Wilshere a starting role because of "tactical and technical" reasons but that their conversation was respectful on both sides, and Wilshere echoed that sentiment and said he appreciated Emery's honesty.

"He was honest with me, and that's all I could ask for. He was respectful and honest, and we had a good honest conversation about football and where he sees my playing. And I can only thank him for that," Wilshere said. "Because I could have stayed and sat on the bench a bit longer and not played as much as I wanted to next year."

Wilshere is one of seven summer signings for West Ham, which also includes a club-record deal for Lazio's Felipe Anderson, and he said that is a clear statement of intent from the club as they try to put a difficult season marked by fan divisions behind them.

"They want a more positive season this year. Especially with getting the fans back on the team's side, and really getting them behind us. It's a great fan base, I grew up going to Upton Park and it was always a special atmosphere," Wilshere said. "We're trying to recreate that at the Olympic Stadium. And to do that we need to be the team that the fans want to see.

"They want to see us playing good football, pressing high, winning the ball back. I think if we can start doing that from early on, I think we've got a real chance this year."

The midfielder said he has not even started thinking about what it will be like playing against Arsenal having been at the club since he was nine.

"But I won't have to wait long to find out. We've got them in the third game," Wilshere said, looking ahead to their Aug. 25 clash in the Premier League. "But I'm sure in that week building up [to Arsenal] it will be quite strange. But I'm looking forward to it as well."