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Wenger Annoyed at Wilshere England Call-Up

  • Guardian, Friday, November 9, 2012 12:50 PM

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is not happy that Jack Wilshere, who has played three matches with the Arsenal first team since returning from a 17-month injury lay-off, has already been called-up to represent England for the Nov. 14 friendly away to Sweden. After Wenger brokered a compromise with England coach Roy Hodgson, Wilshere is only expected to play 45 minutes in Stockholm. Nevertheless, the Frenchman made it clear that he would prefer that the 20-year-old not play at all.

"The ideal solution would be yes [that he would not be involved with England],” Wenger said. “He is not completely through the big test of durability. The fact is that he has come out in a positive way of the first three games, which were quite intense physically. The first response is positive … the next 10 games, of course, will tell you a lot more.”

Wenger said he was not surprised that Wilshere was called-up, particularly because he is suspended for this weekend’s game at home to Fulham after being sent off against Manchester United last weekend.  "Anyway, I have no choice. I have good relations with Roy Hodgson. We spoke about the situation, he knows my feeling and I know his feeling. You know that I think it is early for Jack. We found a good understanding and a good compromise. Roy wants him in the group to connect with the players."

Wenger also went on to attack the purpose of the November friendlies: “You don't know how the November friendlies can prepare you for a game in February," he said. "There are a lot of politics behind these games. When you see some teams traveling [long distances], you think: 'Is it more to pay back some corporation than prepare a team for the next official game?’” 

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