Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Capello's Jack Wilshere England Dilemma

Ahead of tonight's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, the topic dominating discussion around the England camp has been the role to be played of Jack Wilshere. Part of the under-21 side who secured a first leg 2-1 lead over Romania on Friday, pundits were split over whether the talented youngster should remain with Stuart Pearce's side or be pitched straight into the clash with Montengro at Wembley.

That Wilshere has a glittering future at international level is not on doubt. After a solid loan spell at Bolton last season, he has returned to Arsenal and broken into the side with a string of excellent performances, showing Arsene Wenger that he can take over the reins when the seemingly inevitable departure of Cesc Fabregas finally goes through.

Understandably, with England coach Fabio Capello keen to bring through new talent in the wake of England's disastrous World Cup, Wilshere has caught his eye and may well be pitched into battle against a Montengro side who should not be underestimated having won all three of their opening qualifying fixtures thus far.

On one hand, it seems a no brainer. Wilshere's performances in an Arsenal shirt have been both consistent and impressive and in the absence of Frank Lampard, there seems little reason to leave out his deft touch and creativity.

On the other hand, we have a tendency in this country to rush players through the system, perhaps hampering their development. Stuart Pearce has admitted that it's a tricky balancing act for the young players and is right when he says "if they are not going to play, leave them in the age group where they can actually play 90 minutes". It could be that Wilshere is better served ensuring the under 21s qualify for Euro 2011, an environment where Wilshere can further hone his talents next summer.

It's a bit of a no win situation for the England boss and one which will only be glossed over should England gain all three points on Tuesday night. The only thing that's not in question is that Jack Wilshere most certainly does have a future at international level.

Written by Colin Hill, a sports writer who blogs about new football kits.

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