Pearce & Capello Need To Work Out What Is Best For Wilshere

Last month Little Jack Wilshere must have wondered what he had to do to receive international recognition from Fabio Capello. His performances had been consistently good in the first team yet he was not called up. This despite doing exactly what the Italian had told him he had to; get first XI football on a regular basis.

So this week’s call up to the Under-21s must have been a bit of a blow, even though it is for the play-off for the junior European Championships, an important match for this level. Bewilderingly, he received a call-up to the full squad for the home Euro2012 qualifying clash with Montenegro at the same time. My knowledge of the travel industry is a little rusty but I am pretty sure that Wilshere is going to find it hard to play a match in Romania and get back to Wembley for kick-off. In fact he will probably struggle for the second half. And that is before you get to his fitness.

Would Messrs Pearce and Capello please care to elaborate? They did to an extent, the man formerly known as ‘Psycho’ (TMFKAP) clarified the position. Essentially, Wilshere stays with the Under-21s if the result on Friday does not leave them with a clear margin of victory for the tie. Or Capello decides he wants Wilshere with the full squad. A not unreasonable outcome. Which benefits the player more is debatable; two competitive matches at a junior level or one wholly one-sided affair with the seniors, in which he will play about four and a half minutes.

Where this become even messier – let’s face it, this is something to do with the FA so it is bound to be crap – is the following observation made by TMFKAP:

Jack is one of the youngest members of the Under-21 squad and for me it is vital that he plays as much football as he can.

Given the almighty screw up with Theo Walcott’s fitness, it is hardly surprising that the comment caused a fair amount of consternation. Had the rest of the quote been publicised as heavily, fears would be shown to be misplaced:

If we just left him with the seniors this time, he would have missed the game on Friday and I’ve no idea whether Fabio would pick him to start on Tuesday against Montenegro…The most important thing is the care of the player. Jack will be fine for a place in the side on Friday and then we will make a decision from there in respect of whether Fabio wants him after Friday or whether he plays the second leg with me.

We could fast-track a lot of young players possibly but what is the point of being with the senior squad and not playing? The real experience in football is to actually play.

Leaving aside TMKAP’s vested interest in qualifying, he is actually right as far as international football is concerned. The only thing Wilshere can learn from the full England squad is bad habits. The majority  of the squad can barely trap a ball, let alone pass and move in the manner that Arsenal do. At least at the lower level a certain amount of tactical knowledge must be imparted to achieve their qualifying objective. And with that Wilshere will see just how good a manager Wenger really is or the polar opposite with TMFKAP.

Arsene believes that they should get their act together, leave the petty game playing alone and generally stop messing Wilshere around. It isn’t going to happen. Capello has to get England to Euro2012, TMFKAP a similar target. Capello’s contract is up after that event and frankly I doubt he cares whether or not the next generation is ready for Brazil2014; he needs them now because the current crop is absolutely atrocious. They proved it in South Africa.

As far as Arsenal is concerned, burnout is the issue. Walcott’s season was ruined by overplaying in the summer. A spell at the lower level consistently might be preferrable for competitive matches if Wilshere is going to be rotating in and out of the first team, depending on the fixtures. Should he be in the first team on a regular basis, being with the senior squad might be the better option yet not playing for them is of little use.

Whatever the case, Wenger won’t have far to look to find out if one of his charges has received a knock whilst away. Turning onto ITV will provide the answer.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 7, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Delia-----Block 112

    Just to clarify the venue for Friday night’s under 21s game. It’s at Carrow Rd , Norwich.

  2. Delia

    It’s a two-legged affair, the first in Norwich, the second in Romania on Tuesday, the same day England play Montenegro.



    Intersting comment about the “other two not doing that well”. I can understand his frustration but slagging his teamates in the press will not do him any favours.

  4. whichever way, arsenal is going to be the loser in this case…

  5. andy

    But isn’t that what Szczesny hinted at the other day when he was bemoaning his lack of action? Seems like there is some competition for places and four into two doesn’t go.


  6. at least TMFKAP has a point.

    Though Wilshere just playing four minutes for the seniors squad is no thing bad. Chances of being injured in the four minutes must be relatively slim… except if he is Gibbs

    (Is it only me who gets Wheel Chair when I type Wilshere? Guess our injury woes are Legendary)

  7. Mannone is very well rated in the Italian goalkeeping setup. It’s taken as a matter of course that he’s going to go on to be capped at senior level. He’s their U-21 goalkeeper, and if he were Arsenal’s cup keeper he’d have a good chance of being called up to the senior side.

  8. YW – You are right, 4 onto 2 (or even one) does not go. I am not sure how it will work, but I expect there may be quite a bit of movement in our goalkeeping department come the summer. All 3 reserve keepers could feasabily be playing 1st team football elsewhere. If they don’t see that they are going to make a breakthrough they will ask to leave.

  9. goonerandy

    Schwarzer in January,Szczesny No2.Almunia definately gone and Fabianski out next summer

  10. Maybe its just a matter of competition for places. With time as Cesc RVP Theo come back the same will be happening in the outfield players too. but I think Arsenal has so much football to play, there will be games for everyone.

    I wonder if Goalkeepers can be rotated like the out field players.

  11. @Ken

    you forgot to add *you heard it hear first*. I wonder if you work for or the Gossip section on BBC

  12. Ken is Dear Deidre.

  13. TMFKAP?

  14. The Man Formerly Known As Psycho

  15. Ken is Mystic Meg

  16. These abreviations are getting silly now arent they

  17. Can’t defend the music though. The guy’s got to be f*cking with us – it’s the only explanation.

  18. Are u friggen impaired he’s what 19 years old and you think he’s wondering what he has to get a call up to the senior squad? I’m pretty sure he’d be focused on maintaining a place in the Arsenal 11 which is one hell of an achievement for someone his age. Lets face it most people wouldn’t get a call up to full squad till there mid twenties! Way to write a shit and ridiculous article!

  19. Mick

    And there was me thinking that you got called up for ability. Well d’uh.

    Way to write a shit and ridiculous comment which is grammatically and linguistically diabolical. Still we ought to be impressed that nursery schools are allowing their pupils access to computers.


  20. that article on Mannone has plenty of holes.How can a 22yr old be playing in the under 21’s

  21. TMFKAP – The Man Formerly Known As Psycho

    Don’t him hear you saying that, YW. It could all end acronymoniously.

  22. Trying reading Mick’s post in the voice of Mick McCarthy!

  23. “Don’t him hear you” ?? Oh dear… one of those days.

  24. Our backup keepers are sure big on self promotion. Much like a certain Mr Lehman.

  25. I hate the idea of football coaches “fast-tracking” a player along some imaginary conveyer belt of minutes. (x appearances at level y = developed player) Bullshit!

    I think they’ve nicked it off bowling coaches in cricket where the need for a young bowler to bowl hundreds and hundreds of overs is about fine-tuning a repetitive action; breaking certain muscles and sinews in, stretching your spine out, building endurance in your ankles and shoulder, drumming the memory of the action into your body in such a way as to make it second nature to bowl a ball at 90mph and get it to land in exactly the same place 80 times a day.

    Football is completely different. Wilshere’s played football his whole life. He knows his game. Physically he is ready. He plays in the Arsenal first team, in top of the table clashes, in the Champions League, in derbies and vital league games. What on earth is he going to learn with the England under-21s?

    Technically, mentally – he is ready. Just let the boy play football! That’s what Arsene has decided to do, and if it’s good enough for Arsenal then it’s sure as hell good enough for England.

    It’s not like cricket or rugby where the standard suddenly shoots up when you get to test level – in fact the opposite is the case. The opposition England face will almost always be of a lower standard to that which he’s facing with Arsenal.

    Granted he might end up having to carry the whole team for 90mins at a time… in fact, maybe that’s what he’s learning with the U-21s… yeah… this makes sense now…. he’s learning to be one star in a group of numbnuts, rather than one of XI stars.

  26. Oh dear. Sorry for the long post. Got carried away. Back to work now!

  27. LA,

    Arsene once said the hard thing about being a professional is recovery. The ability to recover mentally and physically to play again every three days. That’s what changes from youth or reserve level to first team level. At top levels, there’s nowhere to hide. Wilshere must be living in dreamland amazed at how quickly it all changed for him such that he’s now keeping a player of Rosicky’s quality on the bench in certain games.

  28. That Macheda quote is hilarious! Thanks FirstLady!
    I would prefer Wilshire to be on the senior team and not play at all, it lessens his chances of being crocked. I could care less about any “development” while playing with any national team, especially the English one.

  29. @limpar
    “Don’t him hear you” ?? Oh dear… one of those days.

    I too pulled a *you heard it hear first*

    hear = here

  30. The problem for Stuart Pearce is that his under 21’s are going to form the core of Britain’s Olympic squad in 2012. As the home team there is great pressure to do well. It looks like he wants Wilshere to lead that squad, which isn’t surprising in that he’s the most talented player his got. At the same time Capello is desperate for a cultured player for the European cup. Mancity’s Johnson is the other such player, apart from Wilshere, but being a winger is less central to being a matchmaker. Indeed the hopes of England may be on Wilshere’s shoulders but the coaches understand – or I hope they do – that Wilshere can’t play in two big tournaments in the space of a month!

  31. At least Don Vito has not spoken of going elsewhere. The fact that he’s demanding a loan spell shows his willingness to stay & fight for his place, as well as his maturity (unline Schezny).
    Surprised you dint cover it Yogi..

  32. I don’t care how many minutes they plan to ‘use’ Jack for, the simple fact is they are using him.

    How they cna possibly contemplate using him in both friendlies, never mind both squads is just plain stupid and shows how utterly flawed the FA and International setup is. Abusing a player because he is eligible to play in both competitions, that is what this is, and that is what it was with Theo.

    I don’t think Theo has any fond memories of the way England has treated him, I expect Jack will go down the same route if they don’t smarten up.

    I am beyond the point of wishing an Arsenal player well when it comes to their England or International prospects. As the employers of the players we need a bit more protection, I am sure every fan feels the same.

  33. & looks like Mick has been brought up in Wolverhampton family..

  34. Thank you.

    A bit slow today. Me, I mean.

  35. The notion that players will learn more from the internation setup always amuses me. There is no longer a “step up” to international football. Wilshere is surrounded by better players at Arsenal than he is at either level for England.

  36. So i take it your not going to revert back to the old better website design Yogi?

  37. Ole,

    I have been utterly amazed at his consistency. In fact, he’s amazed me in lots of ways. He seems to have become a top quality player right under my nose! It wasn’t long ago I was watching him run the FA Youth Cup Final against Liverpool, he wowed us all then but he was still very raw with his jagged little runs and flicks which noone else was quite ready for. Then in the Carling Cup where he looked great again but a little petulant in the tackle – like he wanted to impress us all a little too much with his commitment, and his power (for a small guy!) – and he tried to bissect the midfield and the defence all at once with one magic pass a little too often.

    Then I blinked, or looked away for ten seconds and he’s bossing Liverpool away, Blackburn away, Bolton, Braga, Partizan, Chelsea… astonishing.

    I’ve been trying not to get carried away about him… but when I saw him taking Tottenham to bits with such composure and discipline, and with such a cool head – in front of such a hot crowd – I had to start acknowledging just how impressive the kid is.

    Did you see him being so heavily involved this year? I thought he’d be on the bench at best! Denilson’s abdominal injury has given him his chance I guess.

  38. LA
    You have just expressed how I feel exactly. Where the feck has he come from? I too try not to get carried away but he is a sensation, no two ways about it. It has got to a point whereby if by some divine- miracle counter apocalypse everyone in the squad was 100% fit he would still have to be considered for the starting XI I feel.

    The boy is a machine.

  39. @Limpar – Wenger often surprises us with such moves, doesn’t he? 😉

  40. And, we still have the Welsh lad in the wings who is no slouch! Yes indeed, Wishere is an astonishing player! To be that young and playing in the violence of the Premiership, with his size, turns nature on its head.

  41. Why is G4E crawling over other posters these days?

    Is it some kind of sexual thing?

  42. It’s not me, it’s Vela.

  43. Probably his mating season, Bob. New age, people these days have different ways to please themselves, you won’t get it. It’s called wordpressing.

  44. Quiet day today!

    I guess we can blame the international break!

  45. Also, I quite like the new web design.

    About time. How long before he’s labelled a French Pussy.

  47. “Theo van Seggelen, the general secretary of global players’ union FIFPro, has defended his members.
    “I don’t believe there is a player in the world – and we have 50,000 members – who would deliberately try to injure someone else,” said Van Seggelen. “That would not be acceptable.””

    That would not be acceptable but it’s happening. Plus, I don’t understand why no player in the world would deliberately try to injure another? If there is any thing at stake, even if it’s just the 3 points then there is enough cause. Let alone when your manager insinuate to you to go strong on this player or that player, if you don’t do it to your manager’s liking, you may not play again, enough cause to hurt someone else to keep your place.

    The idea that a professional player won’t deliberately hurt his fellow professional player is just a false and flimsy wall to hide behind. It’s been proven and it’s human nature, if there is anything at stake, people don’t mind hurting each other.

  48. @ G4E – In fact some player even admitted doing it, a few days back. Robbie Savage, under Mark Hughes, was it?

  49. there’s more bad new, Sagna has had a thigh muscle strain on Sunday & has pulled out of the France squad. Hope its nothing serious…
    I am giving up the hope of seeing fully fit squad 😦

  50. news*

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