Wenger set for clash with FA over Wilshere

Arsene Wenger is set for a dispute with the Football Association after saying that plans to have Jack Wilshere play for England in next summer's European Under-21s Championship "will not work". The FA's director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, announced on Tuesday that England wanted to take the "strongest possible team" to the tournament in Denmark in June. This would extend to the inclusion of eligible youngsters with full international caps, such as Wilshere.

The Arsenal manager, however, is reluctant to see his young midfielder representing both the senior team and the Under-21s. "The problem is," Wenger said, "the English FA have to decide: is the player in the first-team or in the Under-21s?"

He doubted the effectiveness of players with senior caps returning to play for the Under-21s, because they did not tend to reproduce their best form. "Personally, I don't believe ever a player performs when he has been in a top team and comes back down to the Under-21s. I've never seen it, so, it is always a bad decision."

"When a player plays under his normal real level he is never good," Wenger added. "When you put a player down two divisions, you would be disappointed by him because it is a low mental key, and, for him, he has to adapt to a different game, and he will be lost."

Wenger is worried that Wilshere's increasingly prominent role with Arsenal would make it unwise for him to extend his season into June. "We have to sit down at the end of the season and see how many games Wilshere has played, before considering that he plays in the Under-21s," he said. "That the boy wants to play, I find that positive. But that he is now playing with the first team until June and then playing in the Under-21s, that will not work."

Wilshere has already started 19 games for Arsenal and Wenger argued that if this involvement continues he would need an extended break. "At 18 years of age, you have to be conscious as well, that every time he plays when he goes in the fight he has to put 200 per cent in to win the ball. So, when a guy like him has played 40 games in the season he needs a rest."

The dispute comes after Brooking announced that players with senior experience would still be considered for the Under-21 squad. "We would like to try and get as strong a side as possible for that tournament," he said. This grows out of a desire for young English players to develop experience not only of playing international tournaments but also of succeeding in them. While Brooking conceded that the participation of Theo Walcott, who has been to a World Cup, was "up for discussion", he was keen to have other young players involved. "When you're a young player you should play when the opportunity is there."

An England midfielder at the opposite end of his career, David Beckham, will not be joining Arsenal, despite Wenger's admitting that he "loves" the former Manchester United man. "I love David Beckham and when he was here he was a fantastic example on the professional side. He was the first in and the last out.

"Of course I would consider signing Beckham but it's in an area where we do not need players. We have Walcott, [Samir] Nasri, [Tomas] Rosicky, [Andrei] Arshavin, [Carlos] Vela, [Emmanuel] Eboué who can play on the flanks. I cannot sign anybody in January in the department where he plays."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test