Arsene Wenger has asked England manager Roy Hodgson to use midfielder Jack Wilshere sparingly during the international window to keep the player fresh as Arsenal look to maintain Premier League momentum.
Wilshere yesterday took part in England’s workout at London Colney, Arsenal’s training base — which England are using prior to tomorrow’s friendly against Chile — and Wenger was an interested spectator.
The Frenchman and Hodgson had a 10-minute discussion and Wenger is believed to have asked that Wilshere not take part in both England’s upcoming friendlies, against Chile tomorrow and Germany on Tuesday.
Wenger is hopeful Hodgson will only play midfielder Wilshere against Chile and omit him for the Germany game, thereby giving the 21-year-old a lighter programme ahead of Arsenal’s home fixture against Southampton on Saturday, November 22. That fixture is even more important to the Gunners after their defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last Sunday.
Wilshere himself believes he is now under even greater scrutiny because people forget his tender age.
“I do think [people forget my age],” he told Arsenal.com. “People hear I’ve two kids and it’s not often you hear about a 21-year-old with two kids.
“I’ve been in the first team since I was 16 so that’s five years and that’s quite a long time in football terms.”
With Steven Gerrard ruled out of the Chile game with a hip injury, Frank Lampard is poised to skipper England. Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones could feature at the back while Hodgson has the option of handing Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs a first cap in three years. In midfield, 19-year-old Everton star Ross Barkley should start while Celtic’s Fraser Forster is expected to get the nod in goal.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved