Wilshere, the 19-year-old midfielder, accused Ferguson of “slapping” the Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny as Birmingham players celebrated Obafemi Martins’s 89th-minute match-winning goal at Wembley on Sunday, which arrived as a result of a catastrophic mix-up between Koscielny and the goalkeeperWojciech Szczesny.
He tweeted: “Well done to the BCFC player who slapped Koscielny on the head when they scored, very big of you!”
The comments have disappointed McLeish. “It’s not my world, Twitter and all that stuff,” said the manager. “Cyber-bullying is not for me. We’ll draw a line under it and move forward.”
Doubt may have been cast on Ferguson’s behaviour but no one can argue with the midfielder’s bravery after it emerged that he played with a broken rib for an hour at Wembley, leaving him doubtful for Saturday’s derby against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
“It shows his pain threshold,” said McLeish. “It’s frightening but it shows the character of the guy to do that.”
Ferguson may have a pain-killing injection should he not be fit. McLeish said: “Ferguson has had this before in our time at Rangers and he took an injection into the ribs. It was administered with a giant needle – not something I would fancy – which alleviates the pain. If he doesn’t make it for the weekend, that could be administered in the next week or two.”
Ferguson would also appear to have a softer side, though, after his team-mate Liam Ridgewell revealed that the former Rangers player was reduced to tears after the 2-1 victory over Arsenal. “I wouldn’t want to embarrass him but I’m sure Fergie might have shed a tear or two,” the defender said.
McLeish is adamant that Lee Bowyer could have a future at St Andrew’s beyond the summer despite the midfielder’s claim that he had been told he will not be offered a new deal.
“The club never said that,” McLeish said. “We spoke with Lee last summer and the talks took longer than we thought. We couldn’t agree so it was a case of speaking again at the end of the season. No doors are closed on anybody.”