Bendtner: Wilshere is 'fantastic' but coach's hype could hurt him

Nicklas Bendtner fears the damage that his Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere can do to his Danish side tonight; and he also fears what the England management might do to young Jack, having built him up so much in recent days.

Bendtner will lead the Danish line tonight at the Parken Stadium, where the roof will be closed to aid England's preparations for playing at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 26 March. Yesterday he spoke with insight about the international prospects of 19-year-old Wilshere, who is to make his first start for England, and expressed the hope that his development will be handled better than Theo Walcott's was.

The signs so far are not encouraging. Fabio Capello yesterday described Wilshere as playing with "confidence, and never with fear. It's incredible for someone so young." A ringing endorsement for a player who so far has only seven minutes of international football to his name.

Wilshere made his full England debut in August, coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute for Steven Gerrard against Hungary, and six months later Capello is happy to lead the chorus hailing the 19-year-old midfielder as the future of the team.

Bendtner, however, urged caution, having seen what damage can be done by England's selection policy when players are in the squad and then dropped, seemingly on a whim. The Dane used the example of Theo Walcott, who went to the World Cup in 2006 when he was a raw 17-year-old, selected ahead of the likes of Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe, only to miss out four years later when Capello picked his 23 for South Africa.

Bendtner said: "Jack Wilshere has done fantastically for Arsenal this season. He has shown his quality early on and he can be a great, great player for Arsenal and England. Jack is developing all the time.

"Young players are always put under a lot of pressure very early in England. You always throw players around really quickly. Jack has got potential. I have my own theories on how Theo Walcott was treated by England, but I don't want to get too much into that because it will probably just get me in trouble. But Theo can be a lesson for the way you treat Jack. It's important to take it easy and realise he is a kid. He's still young even though he seems very mature."

It is not often you find yourself agreeing with Bendtner – who recently moaned about how much he has had to sacrificed to be a professional footballer, such as missing out on skiing holidays – but this was an exception.

All eyes will be on Wilshere's performance tonight. Capello sees the Arsenal man as a holding midfielder, a player to sit in front of the back four and orchestrate England's attacks from deep. Some think such a role is potentially a waste of Wilshere's talent, but Capello was adamant yesterday.

"An intelligent player can play anywhere. If he plays a lot of games for England, he'll be really important. We'll have found a solution for the player in front of the back four," Capello said. The Italian also likened Wilshere to three of the finest players he has ever managed – "[Franco] Baresi, [Paolo] Maldini and Raul, these players started really young."

Bendtner, however, agrees with those who believe Wilshere might be better served playing further forward. "Jack has got more than just being a holding midfielder. He's got good feet, he's good with the ball and he can also pick out a pass," he said.

Bendtner, who was 18 when he made his international debut in August 2006, is at something of a crossroads in his own career, having failed to nail down a starting place at Arsenal this season. He said he will ask to leave in the summer if the situation does not improve.

He said: "If I cannot play at Arsenal, then I do not want to sit on the bench. I am at a stage of my career now where I should play every game. I would be sad to leave, but you have to think about yourself."

Team-mate Thomas Sorensen said Bendtner had matured in recent years. "He's made mistakes in the team, in training and he's had a fair amount of bollockings from the manager but he seems to pick it up and that's what you want to see," he said.

Wilshere will be up against 18-year-old prodigy Christian Eriksen, who is already being compared to the legendary Michael Laudrup. An attacking midfielder, he broke into the Ajax first team last season, and has attracted admiring eyes from Liverpool.

Denmark will also feature defender Simon Kjaer, who moved to Wolfsburg last summer but still has Premier League aspirations, while midfield anchor William Kvist is the impressive captain of FC Copenhagen.

Players' sacrifices

Nicklas Bendtner has been moaning about things footballers can't do. He is not alone:

Ian Wright The former Arsenal forward was not able to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Andy Goram Goalkeeper was forced to give up cricket to protect his hands.

Ryan Giggs Gave up sportscars after the stress placed on his hamstrings.

Steve Ogrizovic Ordered to give up smoking by Coventry.

Carlo Cudicini Warned off motorbikes following a crash.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices