I will always be available when England need, says Wilshere

Jack Wilshere is determined to play for England at this summer's European Under-21 Championship, insisting: "I will never say no to my country."

The Under-21s head coach, Stuart Pearce, defied opposition from Wilshere's club manager at Arsenal, Arsène Wenger, by selecting the player in his provisional 40-man squad for next month's finals in Denmark. Wenger is adamant Wilshere should not play in the tournament, having become part of England's senior set-up, amid fears the 19-year-old may suffer burnout after a season during which he has already played 52 times for club and country.

But Wilshere has no intention of asking for a rest, telling 4-4-2 magazine: "This summer, if I'm selected, I'll play for the Under-21s. It's down to Arsène Wenger, [the England manager] Fabio Capello and Stuart Pearce, but I will never say no to my country."

Wilshere is certain to make Pearce's final 23, along with the Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who was another controversial selection. However, even with those two on board, Pearce claims his Under-21 Championship squad will be weaker than the one which reached the final in Sweden two years ago, which included players such as Joe Hart, James Milner, Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott.

Never before have any England side travelled to a tournament with a £35m player – Carroll – in their ranks, while Wilshere has just been crowned the Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year.

"I personally think the last squad that I took was extremely strong," Pearce said. "I'm not sure this squad is as strong as that. There are some great players who have been through the Under-21s and a mark of it probably is the fact that they've made that transition into the senior team. If we come back with the trophy, I'll probably turn around and say I was wrong."

England will be expected to reach the final at the very least in a competition missing virtually every other big nation apart from Spain. Pearce's greatest headache could be integrating Wilshere and Carroll back into his team. By the time the tournament kicks off, Wilshere will not have played for the Under-21s for eight months, while Carroll's last cap at youth level came in March last year.

Both are likely to be in the senior squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on 4 June, meaning they would not play a part in the Under-21s' final pre-tournament friendly against Norway 24 hours later. But Pearce said: "Under-21 football chops and changes quite a bit. We've got 40 individuals and only one is uncapped. It shows the turnaround."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine