The issue in question relates to Jack Wilshere potentially featuring in the upcoming England friendly with Sweden. Jack Wilshere last featured for the Three Lions in 2011 against Switzerland in a 2-2 draw that Joe Hart would rather forget but since then it has been injury hell for the 20-year-old.
However he has been making his tentative steps back into the Arsenal fold in recent weeks and played a masterful 67 minute cameo against QPR this season. Once again he showcased his exquisite range of passing and ability to find space at the highest level and showed no signs that his injury problems might be taking away his natural ability on the ball.
Roy Hodgson must be chomping at the bit to get Wilshere involved in the England set-up. Linking the Arsenal man with Manchester United starlet Tom Cleverley has to be a tantalising thought for an England manager, a nation which has previously been bereft of talented technical operators.
The game with Sweden is on the 14th November and while that does seem a fair distance away you can understand the Frenchman’s protective attitude to one of his better talents. This season started with Arsenal fans getting rightfully excited over the scintillating form of the returning Abou Diaby. That eventually turned to an all too familiar feeling of being cheated by injury as he picked up an injury while on international duty with France.
Wenger had informed Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps not to play him in the fixtures with Finland and Belarus; advice which was not heeded and the result was blindingly predictable.
Wenger seems to have a good working relationship with Roy Hodgson and the comment about gaining royal approval for Wilshere’s absence was quite obviously jocular in manner. In fact the mood softened on the matter and while he immediately admitted he felt Wilshere should ‘skip’ the friendly he later made it clear he did not want him to play the entire game. For a friendly fixture it is not ridiculous to suggest that Wilshere should join up with the squad at the very least just to reacquaint himself with a new set of players, coaches and training methods, as well as giving a welcome boost to the rest of the Three Lions squad.
So in my opinion Wenger is half-right on the issue. He shouldn’t play in the game itself but most definitely should join up with the squad in some capacity. However I would love to be a fly on the wall if Arsene Wenger genuinely did call the Queen…
Now that would be an interesting conversation.
image: © Matt and Kim Rudge