The Arsenal boss may not be too happy about this, but it looks like Roy Hodgson is planning to take a risk on the fitness of Gunners midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Following England’s undeserved defeat to Italy in the opening group stage game, Hodgson knows that he needs to win, or at the every least to avoid defeat to Uruguay on Thursday night.
We do not know for sure whether the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will start for England against Italy on Saturday night, but most football pundits think it is highly unlikely. The way that the England boss, Roy Hodgson, has used his squad in the warm up games strongly suggests that it is Liverpool man Jordan Henderson who will get the nod.
And the way Hodgson set up England to face Italy in the quarter-finals of the last international tournament, Euro 2012, suggests that he will try to nullify their attacking threat rather than trying to make the most of England’s own. That is where he is missing a trick, in my opinion.
Although Arsenal Football Club will be well represented at the FIFA football extravaganza that is the World Cup finals, the Gunners are a bit thin on the ground when it comes to England. Theo Walcott was already ruled out through injury, of course, but it looks like we might not see too much of Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain either.
The England coach Roy Hodgson has assured Arsenal’s very own Jack Wilshere that he will be on the plane to Brazil in June. Hodgson said in a report in the Daily Mail that the squad will include players that got England to the Championship and new faces are unlikely.
He said: ‘Wilshere has been training with the others at Arsenal and, while he is not being thrown back into the fray, he is there. He has been training with the team, as far as I know, for a while.
Poor Theo Walcott is set to miss out on playing at the World Cup for the third time after injuring his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Spurs last weekend, and the England manager Roy Hodgson is sad for the player himself as well as England and Arsenal for losing such a crucial player for such a long time.
“I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him,” Hodgson told TheFA.com.
“It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England.
Well how wrong can you be? I thought that Arsenal had not only escaped the international break without picking up any injuries, but it seemed like all the Gunners had been able to rest and recover as none of them were overplayed by the national managers, but now it seems like we have got an injury after all.
I don’t think that the Arsenal manager has enough influence over the England national manager, but he was in deep conversation with Roy Hodgson ahead of England’s training session yesterday. The England team are using Arsenal’s training ground as they prepare for the two international friendlies against Chile and Germany and it seems that Wenger is taking the opportunity to make his case to Hodgson.
They have both been fixtures of the Arsenal team this season, and Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker would normally be two of the first names on the Germany team sheet as well. But the German Gunners will both sit out the international friendly against Italy this week, due to being hit by the illness bug that some have blamed for the below par showing against Manchester United on Sunday.
Jack Wilshere is one of only two Arsenal players called up to the England squad for the two friendlies against Chili on Friday and then Germany, the other being Kieran Gibbs. There are usually more, of course, but Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still on the injured list.
The timing of this break could actually work in the Gunners’ favour for a change, allowing vital time for some players to recover and others to return from the sidelines. But it could also be useful in giving some game time and confidence to a few, most notably Jack Wilshere. The 21-year old has been slowly coming back from an ankle problem, but he looked sharp and hungry when he came on at Old Trafford on Sunday, and so another couple of run outs for England could see him ready and raring to go when the Premier League restarts.
The young Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere probably wishes that the English media and the world of Twitter would find something else to talk about at the minuted, because for the last week or so he has been embroiled in controversy, partly due to his own actions and partly due to misunderstanding and over-reaction.
While one former Arsenal left back anxiously awaits a medical report on a damaged rib, the current holder of the position at the Emirates, Kieran Gibbs, is doing the same thing but for different reasons. Arsenal fans’ favourite (NOT) former defender Ashley Cole had to be substituted in Chelsea’s win over Norwich yesterday, and he left the field grimacing and clutching his side.
His manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that this is an ongoing problem, so it seems as if Cole will probably miss the two England games coming up against Montenegro and Poland, although we are still waiting for confirmation from Chelsea’s medical staff.
I am not trying to completely excuse the performances of the Arsenal stars Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott in England’s draw against Ukraine on Tuesday, because both were below par, but there are some mitigating circumstances we should look at, and the main one is Wilshere’s lack of match fitness.
Roy Hodgson defended the 21-year old midfielder after he was criticised for his England performance. The national team boss reminded people that Jack is still not at his full fitness, and that is why he was replaced in the second half. Well, you were warned, Roy. Wenger said before the break that it would make more sense to keep Jack in reserve for the Ukraine match, but Hodgson used him against Moldova and he was much sharper in that game.