Martin Keown has used Arsenal’s use of Jack Wilshere previously to defend Gareth Southgate’s decision to overlook certain players for England’s upcoming fixtures.
The Three Lions are set to take on Andorra and Hungary inside the next fortnight as they look to close in on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
We currently sit four points clear of Albania at the top of the table, and could well cement our place as group winners depending on other results, with Albania having two tough matches to win in this set of fixtures.
Our opponents may not be considered the toughest opposition, which may have allowed the manager to be a little lenient in his squad selections, and Gareth has left out two of our youngest and brightest prospects in Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood.
The reason for that is due to fatigue supposedly, and Keown has backed that decision in order to protect players, using Wilshere’s painful injury record as an example.
“The manager is telling you they are fatigued, so we just have to take that on board,” Keown told TalkSPORT listeners.
“Professionally, the players do need it. I mean, look at Jack Wilshere.
“He’s probably one of the best talents we have seen come out of English football for many years.
“He’s 29 years of age now and he is not playing football. He played too much football.
“You have Arsene Wenger telling us every day he regrets the amount of football he made him play as a young man.
“You have to listen to that.”
I don’t think anybody would wish the struggles that Wilshere has endured on anyone, a player who should now be in his prime, and I think players fitness is still struggling since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, with the European Championships also meaning there was very little break from football for the majority of players this summer.
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that our key players make it through the international break with minimal issue, an occurrence that happens almost never for our players, but thankfully we have almost our entire squad fit at present at least.