Alan Shearer Sums Up The Problem With Taking Jack Wilshere To Russia
Jack Wilshere certainly splits opinion, he's either the greatest midfielder the world has ever seen but unlucky with injury or a fraud who hides behind his injuries. But which camp will Gareth Southgate find himself on in the summer?
Gareth Southgate has many issues to decide on when it comes to his World Cup squad. If his goalkeeper issue is becoming a little clearer and he's very few options to choose between upfront then defence and midfield is a myriad of players wanting to get on board the plane.
During the recent international friendlies Southgate was even able to omit Dele Alli from the starting line up with the Spurs midfielder usually a sure thing to start in Russia now struggling to get past Jesse Lingard and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Could the England squad look like this in 2020?
Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier also seem sure of taking their seats on the way to the summer's tournament but who else will be joining those five, with England looking likely to play three in midfield?
One player who could miss out is Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal midfielder was due to play against Netherlands but had to pull out of the squad with an injury and Alan Shearer, speaking to Coral, summed up the problem with taking Wilshere to the World Cup perfectly:
"I'm sure Gareth Southgate will look at what happened two years ago, prior to England going to the European Championships in France. Roy Hodgson decided to gamble and take Wilshere along, although he wasn't fit, and that backfired. I'm certain Southgate wont make the same mistake by taking any injured players.
"It would be a gamble because certainly over the years because he's been with regards to fitness unreliable.
"I'm sure the manager will look at that because you play a number of games in a short amount of time and you need players that you can rely on for form and fitness. That's the one thing that Jack has struggled with over his career.
"He's a good player, there's no doubt about that, but you have to rely on players when it matters. You have to be able to rely on someone to play the first game, and then four or five days later play in the second game, and then go again.
"Because of recent history you can't do that with Jack. At the minute I think it would be too much of a risk to take him along."
There's no doubt that Wilshere has been really unlucky with injuries and for the most part that can't be blamed on him but Shearer does raise valuable points, he was extremely short of his best for England in France two years ago.
Fabio Capello took both internationally retired centre back Jamie Carragher and perpetually injured centre back Ledley King to the World Cup in 2010 with King immediately suffering injury and got banned for yellow cards two games later.
Sven Goran Eriksson also gambled in 2006 when he chose Theo Walcott for his squad despite the fact the then Arsenal forward had yet to play in the Premier League and he didn't appear once for England at the tournament.
Managers for as long as we can remember have also gambled on the fitness on the likes of Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and even Gareth Barry with poor results, stop doing it lads!