Fabio Capello is on course for a major disagreement with Arsène Wenger over plans to field Jack Wilshere for England against the Netherlands in Wednesday's friendly, despite the Arsenal manager's reservations about the midfielder's fitness.
Wenger said after Friday night's friendly against Benfica Wilshere would not play regardless of whether Capello picked the 19-year-old. "They can include him as much as they want, he will not play," he said.
Wilshere was due to join the England squad at their Hertfordshire headquarters last night. His injury is an ankle inflammation 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 Arsenal's season but the two-legged Champions League qualifier against Udinese later this month.
Although Premier League managers are united in opposition to the friendly, Capello and staff are determined to ensure there are not mass withdrawals over the next 24 hours.
The Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker is expected to be given his first start. Glen Johnson was substituted with an injury early in Liverpool's friendly against Valencia on Saturday and is not in the squad while the medical staff also have injury concerns over Peter Crouch, who has a back problem.
Danny Welbeck, called up by Capello, injured his ankle in yesterday's Community Shield game and Sir 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, but left Darren Bent out of the squad because of a shoulder problem. Bent said on Twitter: "Gutted I had to pull out of the England squad, the shoulder has been bothering me and want to make sure I'm fully fit for the big KO next week." Capello watched Bobby Zamora play for Fulham in last week's Europa League qualifier and is not convinced he is fully fit yet.
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. On Twitter, Barton said: "On the plus side at least Capello knows who I am." He added: "My goal is to get in that Euro 2012 squad and team for the Olympics, all I can do is more of what I did last season; if it's enough, it's enough."
And in another tweet: "To even be mentioned in the reckoning, is a testament to how far I've come since my troubled years, looking forward to pushing for a place."Reuse content