Boss Confirms He Wants Wilshere – Wenger Responds

By on October 19, 2012

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has responded to comments made by Stuart Pearce claiming he wanted Jack Wilshere to represent his England under-21 side at next summers European championships.

Wilshere has been on the sidelines for over 14 months with ankle and foot injuries and was forced to miss this summers European championships as a result.

Pearce opened the door for the Arsenal midfielder to gain tournament experience by linking up with the under-21 side for next summers European championships, despite the fact that Roy Hodgson is expected to include the 20-year-old in the senior England team set-up.

Pearce is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail:

‘Look at Tom Cleverley for example, who’s had an Olympic experience and international tournament experience,’

‘It’s the same with Steven Caulker and one or two others; going to the major tournaments will stand them in great stead because as we stand at the moment we’ve still got a scenario with the likes of Jack Wilshere, because of his injury and whatever, he’s not been to a major tournament with England yet.

‘All of a sudden he’s approaching his 20th birthday and I don’t know when the next opportunity of a major tournament will be for him – next summer, the summer after?

‘The more tournament football these boys can get the more it prepares them for the senior team and it also gives us the opportunity to vie for a major trophy at under-21 level because if you don’t get to these tournaments then you can’t win them.’

However, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has responded to Pearce’s suggestion by insisting now is not the time to be talking about Wilshere playing international football, and he must be given time to return to form with his club before he’s considered for his country.

Wenger also feels it’s a bad idea for Wilshere to be used in both the under-21 and senior squads, and believes England have to decide which level they want him to play at. Wenger told Arsenal.com:

“Let’s wait until Jack comes back. He has not played in the first team for 14 months,” said Wenger.

“Do you know what that is like, 14 months out of competition? He works very hard. He is doing well but let’s not go too far.

“I never believe that a player, once he has gone up to the top team, plays well with the Under 21s,” Wenger added. “It does not exist – I have not got one example.

“That’s why I believe England has to make a decision – is Jack in the first team and not in the Under-21s?”

It’s farcical for Pearce to still be pushing for Wilshere to represent the under-21’s. The under-21 squads should be considered as a stepping stone to the senior squad. A way for young players to showcase what they can offer at international level in the hope they earn a call-up to the senior squad.

Wilshere is now considered an important member of Roy Hodgson’s side so there is no need for him to be considered for the under-21’s as well.

I understand the point of gaining experience at international tournaments, but he plays at the top level for Arsenal week-in week-out, so how much can really be gained by playing at a lesser standard for the under-21’s?

Jack’s been out for so long it’s not going to do him any good playing more (unnecessary) matches next summer.  Give the lad a breather and let his body recover so he’s fresh not only for Arsenal but also the senior national side.

What do you think, should Wilshere play for both the senior and under-21’s sides? Get involved in the comments section.

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2 Comments

  1. wardy

    October 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    pearce needs to get it out of his thick skull that you need to play in tounaments at youth level to have success in the senior squad. What utter rubbish! the reason england havent won anything is down to coaching, belief and genral TALENT. by the time your 18 a players technique is already established the rest is down to man squad set up.

  2. GoonerNo.1

    October 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Pearce is an idiot England should get a decent U21’s manager! He has the most talented group of players for ages and is another failed tournament manager. The guy is clueless….get rid.

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