Fabio Capello's plans for England's friendly against Holland on 10 August suffered another blow yesterday when Jack Wilshere aggravated an ankle injury that Arsène Wenger says all but rules him out the game.
The England manager is already without Steven Gerrard and, in all likelihood, Theo Walcott. Wilshere was substituted after seven minutes of yesterday's 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls, having aggravated an ankle injury picked up on Saturday against Boca Juniors.
Wenger said Wilshere had little chance of figuring in Arsenal's friendly against Benfica on Saturday and therefore would not be available for the England game the following Wednesday at Wembley.
Wenger said: "It [Wilshere's injury] is not very serious. He might be out for all next week because it is an ankle inflammation but it is not torn. He is a quick healer and a tough boy so I hope he will be quicker than the medical prediction. The England game is on 10 August. They told me he would be out next week, if he is out then he will not play in Benfica so he will certainly not play in the England game."
Wenger dismissed the reaction of Arsenal supporters who booed at the final whistle after their team threw away a one-goal lead given to them by Robin Van Persie. "You have to keep it in perspective. People always want to win but we don't need to put more pressure on ourselves. The most important thing is to prepare the players for when it really matters."
Wenger said that he had asked the referee Kevin Friend for dispensation for Red Bulls' captain and Arsenal old boy Thierry Henry to play for Arsenal for the last five minutes but was turned down. "He [Friend] stubbornly turned us down," Wenger said. "He said the rules were against it."