By Walter Broeckx
So Jack Wilshere has been included in the -21 squad that will represent England on the European Championship this summer. I wish England and Jack all the best.
As we all know Wenger is against Jack being called up for this tournament. Because it would mean that Wilshere will have no real summer vacation and this could be very harmful for the next season not just for Arsenal but also for Wilshere.
Wenger points at Walcott who had to deal with the same thing in the summer of 2009. And at the start of the 2010 season he went from injury to injury and had a rather poor season. The final result was that he even missed out on the world cup for England. So when you look at this example you would say: Don’t do it Jack.
But as we know the other people in England know more than Wenger. Or think they know more. Wenger is a moaner and Stuart Pearce knows more about football than Wenger. This is the message that has been passed to the media. All sorts of old names in football come along to support Stuart Pearce.
Like Sir Trevor Brooking. He defended the inclusion of Wilshere. And he pointed at Spain and Germany as a perfect example on how to win tournaments and later get the benefit to win or come close to winning in the senior tournaments.
And yes we all know that Germany won the -21 European championship in 2009 and that one year later a lot of those players where in South Africa where Germany reached the semi finals. So at first sight one could say: yeah lets include Wilshere and England will benefit from him the year after.
But can one compare Germany then and England now? Can one compare the likes of Ozil and Wilshere? No and what people like Brooking forget to say is that when Ozil was one of the best players for Germany in the -21 European championship he was not a full German international for the seniors.
Oh, well let us take Spain. You know they won all European championships with their youth teams in the years from 2000 and at the end of the decade those players went on to win the European championship2008, the world cup 2010. See we should include Wilshere and England will become world Champion. If it would be that simple.
Because when we look at those youth teams that won those titles for Spain it had players like Iniesta, Pique, Pedro, Fabregas included in their line up. So at first sight again you might say: include Jack for god’s sake.
But what all those people like Pearce and Brooking ignore is the fact that when those players played in those tournaments they were not full internationals for the senior team.
Ozil only went to play for the senior Germany side after having won the -21 European championship.
Pique only started playing for Spain in 2009. Iniesta only became a full international in 2006 and that is many years after having played for the youth teams. Pedro only became a full international since 2010 and before just played in the youth teams. Busquets only played for the Spanish team since 2008 and not for the youth teams.
And also our own Cesc Fabregas never played at the same time for the Spanish youth teams and the senior teams.
And this is where all those people are wrong. Because Wilshere is already a full international player for the senior English team. In the last 2 games he has started and didn’t even get much rest compared to players from other teams.
But the main point is that or he is a senior English international player and the youth teams should leave him alone or they say: no he is a youth team player and then Capello should leave him alone.
But making it look as if it is a natural thing to do is not the truth. As far as I could see the countries they refer to have never played their players at the same time in both the youth team and the senior team.
In fact come to think of it. The only team that has done this before is…. England with Theo Walcott. And we all know what a great success story that has been for him and for Arsenal.
I can understand Wilshere. When you are young you think you cannot get tired or get overexposed. But people more experienced than him know the danger better. So I will not blame Wilshere for going to the -21 European Championship. After all any football player would like to go to such a tournament.
But when Jack will be burned out next season I think it will be time to remember Stuart Pearce and Capello what they have done this summer. Next year will be a very tough year for Wilshere. Because now at the start no one expected him to shine like he did. There was no real pressure on his shoulders. But from now on he will be seen as someone we can build on. And then the pressure will be bigger. And the critics will be harder when he has a bad game. And when in such a season you start with a disadvantage and are more tired you will have more bad games.
The best thing for Arsenal would be that Wilshere is picked where he belongs: in the senior squad and then gets a good rest in the summer. It will do him a lot of good for next season. Not just for him personally but also for Arsenal. And at the end of the day Arsenal is who is paying his wages and are the most important team he should keep in mind.
But if you go to the European championship, good luck Jack.
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