Sam Allardyce has his say on Jack Wilshere's future, why Ross Barkley missed out and Team GB's Olympians

The England manager made it clear where he stands on those players omitted from his squad

Mark Ogden
Chief Football Correspondent
Monday 29 August 2016 23:02
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Sam Allardyce had plenty to say at his press conference on Monday
Sam Allardyce had plenty to say at his press conference on Monday

Sam Allardyce begins his reign as England manager against Slovakia in Trnava on Sunday, and Roy Hodgson’s successor has had his say on players, the Olympics, recruiting foreign stars and other key issues.

On overlooking Ross Barkley:

“Ross is a difficult one because he has been playing quite well since the start of the season, but the change of position for Wayne Rooney makes it difficult for him.

“It may be that Wayne is listed as a midfielder in this squad, but he is playing behind the front man at Manchester United and that, for me, puts him where he has started.

“Dele Alli has started well too, so that makes it a difficult choice.”

On Jack Wilshere and what he needs to do get back into the squad:

“Jack just hasn’t had enough game time. Hopefully he will get that in the future at Arsenal.

“If Jack Wilshere was playing every week for Arsenal, he would be in the squad. But unfortunately, he isn’t.

Jack Wilshere struggled to make an impact at Euro 2016

“It is game time for him and it has been few and far between because he has had too many injuries unfortunately.

“It is a question of game time and the contribution he is making to Arsenal. He is not doing that at the moment so I left him out.”

On leaving out Marcus Rashford:

“I can understand the question, because as soon as he scored at Hull, I was pleased for him and pleased for Man United, but I knew what it would bring.

“But he is such a young man at a such a young age and the experience he could get at the Under 21s, and hopefully scoring goals, and what he did in 15 minutes or so for Man United makes me think about him.

“I will be watching the 21s at Colchester on Tuesday and that performance, if it is as stunning as it was for United, then next time round I will put him in the squad.”

But will he be missed if England are needing a goal in the final 15 minutes against Slovakia?

Marcus Rashford recently proved his worth to manager Jose Mourinho with a late winner against Hull 

At that moment, we would have Sturridge, Kane, and Vardy. He wouldn’t expect Harry to be dry for too much longer.

“He has made a massive impact in the last few years and we felt the experience with the Under 21 would be the best thing for Rashford during this international break.”

On the defensive problems that forced him to select Chris Smalling, who has played just two minutes of football for Manchester United this season:

“We don’t have a lot of options. The area of central defenders is a little bit more limited for me.

On why Phil Jones has an England future:

“I would hope so, but Phil’s had a long list of injuries which has been a particular problem to his development.

“Which is a great shame for him and a great shame for me, having watched him and nursed him through in the younger years and early years.

“Making such an impact on the Premier League in that time, then his career not to go on for the number one centre-half for Man United and a big pick for England.

“But he’ll have to try and break and fight his way in as will Chris Smalling at Manchester United. And that will determine your outlook when you come to pick the next squad.”

On learning from the Team GB Olympians:

“The Olympians have got great credit for what they’ve done and achieved again. Winning medals away from home more than ever before.

“So what do we take from that to make our identity? It is probably different sports, we live in a different environment, a pressure environment.

What can England learn from Team GB? 

“For me it about going out and the players showing not just how passionate they are, but how skilful they are at international level.

“We are, and were, the youngest squad at the Euros and I think the experience they have gained in that tournament, and some of them for the first time, will give them a better determination and next time round they will be much better.”

On exploring the possibility of selecting Frenchman Steven N’Zonzi and other non-English players to play for England:

“The balance is quite difficult. Do you pick the best squad to win the World Cup, and if one or two of those are like N'Zonzi do you do it? Or don't you?

“And then you suffer the consequences of not winning it or not getting to the quarter final and failure.

“So if that player's top quality....cricket do it don't they? Rugby do it, athletics do it.

“We have a department to look at the whole situation at all areas for every international team.

“It happens in all the other countries, though. And there is the shortage of English players in the Premier League.

“I think it is only 31 percent now. And if those don't play on a regular basis, surely if you are going to win something and that player is of the calibre to force his way into that side then you give him an opportunity.

“But it's a very delicate subject I agree. If he goes out and scores the winner, will it be quite that bad?”

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