Interlull: Quiet Monday but Wilshere row looms

Hello there and welcome to Arseblog from a brand new location.

I have to doff my cap this morning to Tom who spent most of yesterday migrating databases, emails, blogging software, the store and everything else, and he did it in an entirely ginless fashion. Such commitment to the cause. Anyway, we’re 99% of the way there, although there are a few small issues. Anyone waiting on email from me, please be patient, we have that to sort out, but everything else should look and function the same way it did before.

Just better, faster, more reliably and the like. If you do notice anything just get in touch. And remember I said be patient if you’re waiting for a reply.

As the international teams prepare for tomorrow night’s games there’s a row brewing over Jack Wilshere and England. Speaking about the U21 Championships this summer Jack expressed his desire to play, saying:

It is international football and I want to play in any international football. It’s up to Stuart Pearce and Fabio Capello. They will talk and see what’s best for me. I always speak to the manager at Arsenal, too, and I will again. I am sure Stuart Pearce and Fabio Capello will talk to him as well.

Now, I totally understand it from Jack’s point of view. He’s a young player who lives for football and wants to play in every game going. His enthusiasm for the game is obvious but Arsene Wenger will not want him to go Denmark for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, he’ll point to the fact that Wilshere is establishing himself as a senior England international and playing U21s football is, like it or not, a step down. There’s nothing to be gained from it in terms of his development as a player. And in this area I think Arsene is absolutely right. It benefits England’s U21s but not Wilshere. Those who say it gives him experience of a big tournament miss the point. It’s not a big tournament and frankly, nobody cares who the U21 European Champions are.

Secondly, after a busy first season he’ll want Wilshere to rest and recharge his batteries. If England qualify for the senior European Championships, which seems likely, he’ll be spending next summer in Poland and the Ukraine. And if Jack wants to see the effect that a lack of proper rest in the summer has he need only look at his club captain, Cesc Fabregas.

Summer 2008 he played in the European Championships. Summer 2009 he was away with the stupid Confederations Cup. Summer 2010, the World Cup, where he was on the way back after breaking a bone in his leg. And this season he’s been plagued with injuries, hamstring pulls etc, which I believe are a direct consequence of not having a proper rest and then a proper, well planned pre-season.

As much as any player wants to play he also hates to be out injured. A few games this summer might mean he misses more than that during the season because he’s physically burned out. Would a fairly meaningless tournament be worth that?

Ultimately it’s up to Stuart Pearce and if that’s the case I suspect Wilshere will be selected. He’s shown before that he only has the interests of his team at heart and not those of his players. Which doesn’t really make him any different to any other manager, I suppose, but we’ll still use it as a stick to beat him with. There was the Theo Walcott controversy a few seasons ago. Despite the ‘advice’ of Arsene Wenger he was selected, got injured, and missed a big chunk of Arsenal’s season. It stunted his development as a player and that’s something Jack ought to be mindful of as well.

And it’s not as if there isn’t precedent. I don’t remember Wayne Rooney being selected for England U21s once he’d become established in the senior side. Let’s hope that for once Pearce does what’s right for the player, which means it’ll be right for England and right for Arsenal. Capello must know he’s got a real gem on his hands, if he has any authoritaaah at all he’ll put his foot down and ensure Jack gets the rest he should this summer. I wouldn’t put any money on it though and I expect this to kick off more as we get closer to the tournament.

In the meantime England have released five players ahead of their friendly with Ghana tomorrow night. Some of the older heads are being excused because of their busy schedules, Champions League games and all that. A 19 year old set to play a big part in the title run-in wasn’t one of them though. Fingers crossed he, and everyone else involved tomorrow night, comes through without any fuss.

In other news Gael Clichy is unhappy at losing his French place to Patrice Evra. Which I can understand but if you ask me to give a shit, well that’s another thing entirely.

And apart from that there’s little to tell you from an Arsenal point of view. Just a reminder about the Arseblog Online Store, and how every purchase made before April 14th will go into a draw for a signed Arsenal shirt.

Seriously. This shirt, which is in my office, awaiting the lucky winner to be selected by the Random Number Generator. This obviously includes anyone who has already bought something. So have at it.

Anyway, we’re into the final stretches of this Interlull now. As the week progresses we’ll get more and more Arsenal and less and less Interlull until eventually it’s time for Blackburn.

Till tomorrow.

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