Jeffers resolves to fight for first-team place

Francis Jeffers indicated his mood will sour if Arsène Wenger does not reward his England Under-21 hat-trick heroics, but still rules out quitting Highbury in search of regular first-team football.

The £10m man suffered an ankle injury after his switch from Everton in 2001 and is now behind Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Kanu and even midfielder and part-time striker Sylvain Wiltord in Wenger's pecking order. Jeffers offered a glimpse of his potential in Tuesday's 3-1 European Championship qualifier victory against Macedonia at the Madejski Stadium. The 21-year-old, who has made two appearances off the bench for the Gunners this season, also scored twice in Friday's 4-0 victory in Slovakia. And with Arsenal facing his former club at Goodison Park on Saturday, Jeffers, who now averages a goal a game from his 12 under-21 appearances, could not fail to have jogged Wenger's thinking.

He said: "Scoring five goals in two games is a great achievement, so I'm very happy at the moment. But, at the end of the day, I want to get into Arsenal's team. Playing on Saturday would be very nice, going back to my old club – so I'll wait and see. It gets difficult for any footballer once you've been injured for three or four weeks. You start to get bored and think what you could be doing if you were playing."

The Irish Football Association are waiting to hear from Uefa before deciding whether to conduct their own inquiry into an alleged incident at the end of the European Under-21 Championship match at Ballymena on Tuesday. There were chaotic scenes in the tunnel after Northern Ireland had drawn 1-1 against Ukraine. Players from both sides jostled and argued following a highly competitive match. The Ukrainians have lodged an official protest with Uefa, claiming one of the Irish players assaulted midfielder Andrei Berezovchuk.

Following the Republic of Ireland Under-21 3-2 defeat by Switzerland, the Ireland manager Don Givens has advised clubs short of wingers to take a look Shelbourne's Wes Houlihan. "I would recommend him to any club looking for a wide player," said Givens. "He is magnificent and improving all the time. I can see a huge improvement since he joined us six months ago."

Givens admitted he was very disappointed with the manner of Ireland's defeat at Buckley Park, Kilkenny. Ireland led 2-0 after eight minutes, but then conceded three goals, meaning they remain pointless in European Championship Group 10. "It's very disappointing and all the players are gutted," said Givens. "We played far better than we did in Russia, but individual mistakes cost us."

Jamie Tolley could become the next Wales youngster to be fast-tracked into the senior Wales squad by coach Mark Hughes. The Shrewsbury player was delighted after his outstanding display in the 2-1 defeat by the Italian Under-21 side at Ninian Park on Tuesday, capped off by a brilliant long-range strike. Cardiff are believed to have offered £500,000 for him last season and although Shrewsbury rejected that bid it seems likely that Tolley will go on to perform at a higher level. Only just 19, the Ludlow-born midfielder spoke of his ambitions after just four under-21 appearances. "I obviously want to play at a higher level, any player would. I have set my dreams on going as high as I can," he said.

"At the moment I am doing my very best for Shrewsbury, and hoping to impress for Wales, then hopefully, one day, I will move up in my career. I have to keep plugging away and improving my football."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project