Jack Wilshere’s dreams of England stardom on hold

Aug 25, 2010
Alex Lewis

The teenager is relegated to the Under-21s after his full debut, but Capello will pick Kieran Gibbs

Jack Wilshere's hopes of adding to his one England cap have been put on hold after the Arsenal midfielder was named in England's Under-21 squad for next month's European Championship double-header.

Having been hailed as England's next superstar he made his senior debut two weeks ago as a late replacement for Steven Gerrard during England's 2-1 friendly victory over Hungary. His selection was seen as a statement of intent by England manager Fabio Capello and led some Arsenal fans to predict that he would lead a generation of young English Gunners to success on the world stage.


However, Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has now named Wilshere in his squad for European Championship qualifying matches against Portugal and Lithuania, and that rules-out Wilshere's chances of inclusion in Fabio Capello's squad for England's first Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria next week.   


"Jack's had the experience of an international cap with the seniors and his development will come," said Pearce.


"Like Theo Walcott, having the experience of playing with the Under 21s and seniors will be a help to him and is something he will have to come to terms with. He shouldn't feel disappointed that he's been in the senior squad and then come back to the Under-21s," he added.


One young player who has avoided the dreaded Under-21 call-up is Wilshere's Arsenal teammate Kieran Gibbs. The man who looks likely to be Ashley Cole's long term successor at left back also appeared in England's defeat of Hungary as a second half substitute, and gave an impressive account of himself.


At 20, Gibbs has two years on 18-year-old Wilshere, so there is still plenty of time for Wilshere to cement his place in the first team.


Another young Gunner who will need to be patient is Emmanuel Frimpong, who has been hailed by his manager Arsene Wenger as being a future star of the England squad. But he tore his cruciate ligament last week and is looking likely to miss the rest of the season, so his hopes of an international call-up at Under-21 or senior level have ended.

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