Arsenal warn England over risk of injury to 'tired' Wilshere

 

Arsenal have raised the stakes in their campaign to persuade the Football Association not to take Jack Wilshere to the Under-21s European Championships next month by disclosing playing-time statistics that they believe make him a severe injury risk.

The Under-21s manager, Stuart Pearce, will name his 23-man squad for the tournament on Monday and has indicated to the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, this week that Wilshere will be included – although the Liverpool striker Andy Carroll will not. However, the situation is changing day to day with Wilshere himself becoming increasingly concerned that he could do himself long-term damage by playing.

Staff at Arsenal have compiled a report on Wilshere's Prozone statistics, the computer software that tracks players' total movements for a game, as well as medical reports on his condition. They believe that the evidence shows that Wilshere is so exhausted from his 48-game season – his first full campaign at Arsenal – that he is in danger of sustaining a long-term injury.

Sports scientists at Arsenal say that Wilshere has shown a "significant dip" in recent weeks. Indeed, a virtual ever-present for most of the season, he was substitute for the game against Spurs on 20 April. Wilshere's Prozone statistics reveal that he has covered much less ground than he did during the course of a game in recent weeks than he did at the start of the season.

Arsenal have made the case to the FA that Wilshere needs rest next month and a carefully considered pre-season training programme to prepare him for the rigours of next season and – providing England qualify – the Euro 2012 tournament that will follow the domestic season next summer.

Should he play for the Under-21s this summer he will virtually go from the senior England team's 4 June Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland straight into pre-tournament preparation with the Under-21s who play their first game against Spain on 12 June.

In the lingua franca of sports scientists, Wilshere is in the "red zone" when fatigue puts him at the greatest risk of injury. Wenger once said that one of his biggest regrets as Arsenal manager was playing Robert Pires in a game against Newcastle in March 2002 when his instincts told him that the player was tired. Pires ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments in that game.

Up until now it has been Wilshere's insistence that he wants to play in the Under-21s tournament that has been the decisive factor in the saga. Wenger is powerless either way – Fifa statutes on international football rule that clubs have to release players – but the suggestion that the player is now wavering is very telling.

The FA is understandably keen to have their best players at the tournament. In the aftermath of England's Euro 2012 qualifying win over Wales in March, Fabio Capello pointed out that the Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, who won the World Cup with Spain last summer, had insisted on playing in next month's Under-21s championship in Denmark.

In addition, the Club England managing director, Adrian Bevington, responsible for all the FA's international teams, has pointed out on his Twitter page that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Alessandro del Piero, among others, have all made appearances for their country's junior international teams subsequent to them winning their first senior cap.

In debate with Bevington, the former England international Gary Neville, who won 85 England caps, tweeted yesterday: "It's a lot to ask of players especially if we want them summer in, summer out but let's see. Wilshere is a player and needs care."

There are plans to allow Wilshere to have a four-week break after the tournament. However, his playing time during the season, 4,585 minutes on the pitch, is huge in comparison even to established senior England internationals. Over 48 games for Arsenal he has had more playing time than Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gareth Barry and Wayne Rooney.

In terms of his Under-21s peers, Wilshere has played more minutes than any other player Pearce is likely to pick in his squad on Monday. Wilshere has played more minutes than Daniel Sturridge (1,858) and Jack Rodwell (1,932) combined.

Arsenal are expected to keep up negotiations with Pearce and the FA over the weekend, with the Wilshere issue the reason for the delay in the squad announcement.

Wilshere's tiring season

*Number of minutes played this season

4,585 minutes (47 club games) Jack Wilshere

*Minutes played by Wilshere's fellow England under-21 players

3,681 mins (38 games) Jordan Henderson

2,885 mins (30 games) Micah Richards

2,813 mins (32 games) Chris Smalling

1,932 mins (27 games) Jack Rodwell

1,858 mins (32 games) Daniel Sturridge

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world