After becoming an Arsenal regular at 18, Jack Wilshere is now an England regular at 19.
But Jack still wants to play in the European Under-21 Championships this summer.
He said: “I’ve been playing Saturday and Tuesday or Wednesday when we were in the Champions League. Now we are out of the Champions League, to be honest I could have played the full 90 minutes against Ghana. I just think the manager will be delighted I’ve been picked for my national team. To be honest. I feel better than I ever have. I’ve never played a full season but I feel fitter than I ever have.”
Wilshere also thinks Liverpool striker Andy Carroll should play for the Under-21s in Denmark in June.
He said: “Andy has got himself a good move this year and he is progressing all the time.That goal against Ghana will be massive for his confidence. To be honest with you, it’s up to him. But, if he wants to go in the summer, he should go. The German Under-21 players played in the World Cup 12 months later and that is part of football. You develop a lot and, if you play with players you know, you are going to play well.”
Wilshere is young and has never failed, so he thinks positively: “The mood is good. The main thing is on Saturday we got three points and then we’ve tried new players against Ghana.The new players have done well. Stewart Downing did great, Ashley Young again, James Milner. There is more competition than ever and that can only be healthy.”
He said: “I think the 4-3-3 system works best for the team and me personally.I prefer that system and now the manager prefers it. It is similar to the one at Arsenal. It means you can move the ball around and get more time on the ball and pass it around.”
What Wilshere could not say was this :
I didn’t look as good in a 4-3-3 alongside Gareth Barry and James Milner as I did in a more balanced trio with Scott Parker and Frank Lampard when we beat Wales 2-0.
Of course, Jack knows that Ghana are much better than Wales. He knew that before he played against both teams.
Ghana are ranked No.16 in world football and were one of the best sides in last year’s World Cup in South Africa. They did well at Wembley early on but lost the first half 1-0 and tired in the second because they had played Congo 48 hours previously.
The second half was badly disrupted by Capello’s many substitutions, Ghana didn’t deserve to lose and eventually Asamoah Cygan scored a very late goal that I’ve now seen 10 timess. His goal gets better every time I see it. Brilliant equaliser by a terrific guy. Wish Arsenal had him!
Verdict on England:
If you play 4-3-3, two of your middle three should be goalscorers.
Ashley Young hit the bar from five yards against Ghana. Bad miss, son. That really was a sitter. That ball has to go into the net off your leg.
Bolton’s Gary Cahill was England’s best player against Ghana.
At 25, Cahill is less experienced than the rugged Michael Dawson, who is 27.
On what we’ve seen this season, Gary Cahill is the defender who should replace Rio Ferdinand. He needs to stay fit and improve.
Obviously, Jack Wilshere looks better when he’s playing with Rooney, JT, Ashley Cole and Lampard.
Joe Hart made two fine saves and two mistakes.Worse than that, he made the same mistake twice.
Having kicked the ball straight at a Ghana forward once, he then did the same again!
The biggest change this season is Fabio Capello.
He’s laughing more because he doesn’t care these days. He’s a different animal since South Africa. He knows he got it all wrong in the World Cup but he doesn’t really give a toss any more. Mainly because, as we all predicted after they lost 4-1 to Germany in Bloemfontein, the media are now battering him every month, every week, every day.
When I came back from Somerset to Paddington on Wednesday afternoon, the first football headline I saw was in The Evening Standard : Get off Capello’s back, he is the man to lead us to Euro 2012 glory- Wilshere urges critics to give England a break and says draw with Ghana shows the future is bright.
If only it was bright!
Germany is a much smarter country than UK in the way it organises itself.
Banking, industry and sports are run in a much more intelligent and productive way.
Germany’s general manager Oliver Bierhoff was scathing about England at the Soccerex Conference in Manchester yesterday.
He said: “There was not a big communication and team spirit in the England team. Fabio Capello is a famous, experienced coach but you could see there were certain groups, like France, who were divided. It happened to me in 2000 when we didn’t go through. England had quality players, but you could see the players were not communicating any more.”
Asked if it was the worst England side he’d seen, Bierhoff said: “In this tournament, it seemed to be the worst. In 1996 they were good and together. For sure, England have some excellent players and they had some good players at the World Cup in 2006, but something was missing. They were missing something, some basics that you need to bring.”
He reckons we need an English manager to create a better atmosphere in the squad.
“I think for a long tournament like the European Championships or World Cup, the team spirit has to be OK – or you have extraordinary quality, which is difficult. But if you look at Spain who have won the last two tournaments, they are all friends, they stay together, and they are a group who have played together for a long time at the different age levels.
“If you don’t have this, and you have more personal interests and discussions in the squad for long tournaments – especially in the more difficult moments during a tournament – then it will become difficult.
“We can feel with our national team that every player wants to be part of the national team and, at the end of the day, to be remembered as a true great you need to play in the World Cup finals.
“Financially, 20 years ago it was more important for a player to play in the national team than it is now. Because now he gets very well paid by his club and the club has a huge interest in him not getting injured. The Champions League is becoming more and more important. The national team don’t pay our players anywhere near what they get for their clubs, so it is more a matter of pride at being selected among the 20-23 best players in the country.
“We tried to develop something which you can feel now – someone who is excluded from the group wants to get back into the squad.
“This is not only because of the success of the group but also about how we work together, how we feel together, how relationships are between the players – and also with our co-workers and also with the coaches.
“I think it is very important to create this good atmosphere.”