Thursday 23 November 2017

Capello to risk wrath of Wenger by playing Wilshere

Sam Wallace

FABIO CAPELLO is on a collision course with Arsene Wenger over his plans to play Jack Wilshere against the Netherlands in Wednesday's friendly, despite the Frenchman's reservations about the midfielder's fitness.

Wenger said on Friday night after Arsenal's friendly against Benfica that Wilshere would not play in the match regardless of whether Capello picked the 19-year-old in the squad.

"They (England) can include him as much as they want, he will not play," Wenger said, setting the tone for what could be an awkward few days.

Wilshere was due to join up with the rest of the England squad last night. As far as the Capello camp understands, the player is ready and willing to play and will be assessed by the medical department this morning.

His injury is an inflammation of his ankle which forced him off early in the friendly against New York Red Bulls eight days ago. Wenger's concern is not simply the start of the Premier League season but the looming Champions League qualifier against Udinese.

The Capello camp have promised Arsenal they will not take any risks with Wilshere but they hope the player will make it easier for them by telling his club he is fit and wants to play.

Although Premier League managers are united in their opposition to the friendly, Capello is determined to ensure there are not mass withdrawals over the next 24 hours.

The Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker is expected to be given his first England start. Glen Johnson went off injured early in Liverpool's friendly against Valencia on Saturday and is not in the squad. The England medical staff also have injury concerns over Peter Crouch, who has a back problem.

Danny Welbeck, called up to the England squad by Capello, injured his ankle in yesterday's Community Shield game and Alex Ferguson cast doubt on whether he would play for England.

Capello is confident Andy Carroll is fit to play having watched him on Saturday. Nevertheless, Capello left Darren Bent out of the squad because of a shoulder problem.

Joey Barton yesterday said he had not given hope of playing for England, even though Capello described him as a "dangerous player" -- and not necessarily in a good way. (© Independent News Service)

England (squad v Netherlands) -- J Hart (Man City), R Green (West Ham), D Stockdale (Ipswich Town, loan); L Baines (Everton), G Cahill (Bolton), A Cole (Chelsea), R Ferdinand (Man United), P Jagielka (Everton), J Lescott (Man City), M Richards (Man City), J Terry (Chelsea), K Walker (Tottenham); G Barry (Man City), M Carrick (Man United), S Downing (Liverpool), A Johnson (Man City), F Lampard (Chelsea), J Milner (Man City), S Parker (West Ham), J Wilshere (Arsenal), A Young (Man United); A Carroll (Liverpool), P Crouch (Tottenham), W Rooney (Man United), D Welbeck (Man United).

Irish Independent

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