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Wenger musn’t make the same mistake with Jack Wilshere

Football FanCast columnist Billy Pearson wonders if Arsene Wenger will be doing his damndest to keep Wilshere out of Capello's lurches.

When Theo Walcott was called up to the England World Cup squad in 2006, it was a move that was endorsed by Arsene Wenger. While the crazy sceptics believed that the Frenchman talked Sven into such a move, as a way of benefitting the Arsenal cause in the long run; the decision regardless proved the wrong move and didn't galvanise the player at all, if anything the pressure and expectation has held him back years.

I have to concede that when the squad was announced, although I felt it was a bold move on Sven's part, I did believe that Walcott will emerge as the Wayne Rooney or Michael Owen of his time and prove to be England's saviour. Unfortunately Sven, who had the balls to make the call-up, then failed him greatly by not using him at all, or getting him prepared to be possibly used. It did Walcott no favours at all and he has always been in a position where he has something to prove ever since.

Three years on and fortunately Walcott is slowly finding his feet and I just wonder with his experience in mind as to whether Wenger will do his damndest to make sure a similar fate doesn't happen to Jack Wilshere in South Africa 2010 and keep him away from Capello's lurches. Don't get me wrong being an Arsenal fan I would love to see our new boy wonder grace an England shirt, but there is a time and place and next summer is far too early in his development.

Wilshere is arguably one of the real jewels in our crown and is likely to make significant inroads into the first team picture this season. Although Wenger is normally known to take the softly, softly approach with youngsters as he is proven with the likes of Fabregas and Clichy in the past, that if they are good enough then he has little hesitation in throwing them into the first team squad; however I do wonder if Arsene will look to use him as sparingly as possible this season, with it being World Cup year, because let's be honest the last thing we need is the potential added pressure of pundits and the press clamouring for his call-up to the seniors.

Wilshere as we have seen has started to make his name at U21 level and for me this is a real worry. Pearce as we know shows little concern when it comes to club wishes and protecting players and my fear is that should he carry on his progress then he will be convincing Capello to take a look at him and given England's rather lack of natural creativity in central midfield. I don't know about anyone else, but for me that would be a huge mistake and as with Walcott, the added pressure on one so young could have a detrimental effect on his progress going forward, as he would be thrust into the spotlight with superstar status overnight. Perhaps he will be in a position to handle it better than Walcott did, but I would rather hope that Capello will have the good sense not to take that risk.

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Article title: Wenger musn’t make the same mistake with Jack Wilshere

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