Wilshere right to play for England

Before I go on, let me ask you this. Are we a nation that restricts young players from representing their country? Does out football set-up not want our best young players to get experience playing in competitive tournaments?

You might have guessed already that I am talking about the Jack Wilshere situation. The Arsenal midfielder is to play for the England Under-21 side this summer despite establishing himself as a regular for the senior side in the last few months.

One of my biggest issues when writing this article is to slate Arsene Wenger before I tell you what he said about the situation, to set the scene somewhat, or to put his comments out there first. Let’s go with the latter.

On Wilshere competing in the European Under-21 Championship finals in Denmark, the Gunners boss said: “We have to accept and respect the choice even if we think it is the wrong decision.

“To go to a tournament, for me, is a massive risk. Jack knows that he is nearly at the end of his energy level but he is keen to do well.”

Now, I can see where he is coming from to an extent and some people placing free bets agree with the Frenchman. But to publically say that a 19-year-old has made the ‘wrong decision’ having chosen to represent his country in a competitive tournament, what on earth does that say?

The fact is that Wilshere wants to play – so let him. He will gain valuable experience being away with England, getting the feel for a major tournament ahead of Euro 2012 next year.

Do we really want him going into next summer not having experienced any kind of international tournament? Wilshere is young, he is in excellent condition and he wants to play as much football as he can. How can Wenger say this is wrong?

I don’t buy the ‘massive risk’ element either. If he is referring to Wilshere getting injured, that could happen anytime. That could happen in the pre-season games Arsenal have, it could happen in training, it could happen if Wilshere went for a run in his garden.

Wenger should just let the England man get on with it and respect the fact that he wants to play for his country. I’d rather someone had Wilshere’s approach than Ben Foster’s for example.

From England’s perspective, it can be beneficial having the Arsenal man involved too. Some say that he is blocking the path of another upcoming player, but he will be a big player for Stuart Pearce’s men and a positive influence on the other members of the squad with  less experience.

The tournament is only a couple of weeks long anyway, so Wilshere will have a month’s rest before the season starts. I for one would happily place a free bet on him being an improved, rested player come the first game of the 2011/2012 campaign.

Let the boy play!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *