England boss Sam Allardyce announced his Three Lions squad to face Slovakia on Sunday in a World Cup qualifier, with Allardyce’s side odds of evens to claim victory in the new boss’s first outing as national team boss.
There were a few surprises like Everton’s Ross Barkley, who has made a decent start to the campaign. One of the other surprise omissions was that of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Maybe it was not a surprise
Okay so maybe it should not have been such a surprise. The central midfielder has made just two substitute appearances for the Gunners this season, amounting to just 37 minutes in total of action.
It would not be logical for a player to be called-up up for international duty having played so little football. Former-England boss Roy Hodgson seemed to pick Wilshere, when not injured, despite a complete lack of match fitness.
Not youngster anymore
Wilshere was just picked for Euro 2016 because of his supposed potential by Hodgson. I said at the time that it may have served Wilshere better to have stayed in England and built up his fitness ahead of the new campaign.
Wilshere is not a youngster anymore. The midfielder is 24 and should have played far more games for club and country. However, constant injury problems have prevented him playing football, which has now impacted on his international career.
For a long time now Arsenal fans have said he needs to prove that he can stay fit and be an important member of the first team. Unfortunately, everybody is just waiting for his body to break down again every time he makes a return from injury.
That supposed potential when he broke into the Arsenal first team as a 16-year-old now needs to be turned into actual productive performances. To do that he has to be fit and that’s where Wilshere’s problem lies.
Omission may be a blessing
Wilshere’s omission from the England squad could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The midfielder can concentrate on getting back to full fitness and injuries permitting back to form.
It must be so frustrating for Wilshere to suffer so many injury setbacks, as it is frustrating enough monitoring his situation as a fan. If Jack Wilshere works hard and gets himself fit it will not be long until he is back in the England set-up.
Should Jack Wilshere be in the England squad?