Before the beginning of the week I thought ‘Burnout’ was just a racing game on the Playstation, but after the media frenzy that has surrounded Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll’s inclusions in Stuart Pearce’s latest Under-21 squad for the European Championships in Denmark, I now know it means Arsene Wenger is moaning again.
The Frenchman has covered the back pages recently with a thousand reasons why Wilshere’s inclusion isn’t wise, but all of them seem insignificant after watching England being outclassed by a German side at the World Cup that consisted of Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng, four players who, 363 days before England’s exit, were playing for Germany in an Under-21 Championship final. Surely this is Pearce and Capello’s ideology for the future? An ideology that the likes of Wilshere and Carroll would be key to.
Andy Carroll has clearly struggled with match fitness since his return from injury and Kenny Dalglish will be happy enough for Carroll to go and regain this sharpness over the summer, especially with Liverpool looking likely to have a huge fixture list next season should they qualify for the Europa League.
The argument has been that the Under-21s would be a step back for the players after gate crashing recent England squads, but this isn’t a hugely valid point due to the fact that both players weren’t included in last years World Cup squad. Their international careers are still very much developing and so the next logical step in their maturation would be to play in Denmark this summer. This step eases the transition into the ‘full’ England squad, as Pearce works with Capello at the senior level, thus making the jump up not so extreme. Along with this is the bonus of playing with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones, who will potentially be their international team-mates at in the senior side in the not-so-distant future, hence ripening the team fluidity and ability to work together for several years to come (much like many of the current Barcelona squad in their graduation from La Masia).
Ultimately, the main positive in this whole scenario isn’t that Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll will be important in helping the Under 21s succeed in the tournament; the main message that needs to be received by all English clubs is that country comes first, no excuses. Everyone associated with the international football scene needs to send out this message, loudly and clearly.
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