EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere and Carroll are OUT of the England U-21 squad
Published 23:01 21/05/11 By Steve Stammers
Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are out of the England Under-21 squad for this summer's European Championships in Denmark.
After weeks of heated debate the 23 man squad named by Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce will omit the Arsenal midfielder and Liverpool’s £35million striker.
Arsenal will be relieved by Wilshre’s absence. Manager Arsene Wenger has repeatedly warned that the 19 year-old needs a summer’s break to recharge his batteries after making the breakthrough as an Arsenal first teamer as well as a full England international.
Wilshere had wanted to be part of the Under-21’s quest for glory. It seems in the past few weeks Wilshere has had a change of heart and eventually decided he would follow the guidance of Arsenal’s medical team and miss the finals.
“Wilshere has played more than 50 games,” said Wenger. “If he goes with the Under-21’s then I will give him a four-week rest.”
That could have delayed Wilshere’s appearances for Arsenal next season.
Carroll’s situation is different. Since his January move to Anfield the towering striker has been handicapped by a thigh injury. Even at the end of the season he looked woefully short of fitness.
Rather than seeing the summer tournament as a route to getting fit, Carroll will be left to work on his conditioning at Anfield.
That will please Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish who has made the point that the Under-21’s should be a stepping stone to full international appearances. Carroll has moved into the big time and will gain little by moving back to the junior set-up.
Wilshere’s absence, in particular, will be a blow to coach Pearce. Senior FA officers believe Pearce is in a no win situation.
He has had the clubs campaigning to keep players out of his squad and yet he is expected to lead the Under-21’s to glory and show the England set-up is heading in the right direction.