Jack Wilshere Has Arrived – Fabio Capello


    England boss Fabio Capello admits Jack Wilshere is now one of his first-choice midfielders after just two appearances for his country.

    Capello claims Wilshere demonstrated he has “arrived” as one of the best young players in the world after his performances for Arsenal against Barcelona in the Champions League.

    On that basis, the 19-year-old looks a prime candidate for next Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales in the Millennium Stadium and the friendly with Ghana on March 29 at Wembley.

    Wilshere made his debut for his country as a late substitute against Hungary at Wembley in August.

    He was handed his first start in last month’s 2-1 win over Denmark in Copenhagen.

    Capello said: “Wilshere, after the game against Barcelona, he has arrived.

    “He has arrived. You can understand the value of that sort of performance.

    “As a young player, I think he is at the top, not only in England but Europe and the world.”

    When asked if Wilshere was now a first-choice midfielder, Capello said: “Yes, yes, because he is good, because he plays without fear, and with confidence.

    “Also for someone so young, he is a leader. It is incredible.

    “I never saw someone so young be a leader on the pitch. It is incredible.”

    But Capello believes it will be his successor and not him who will decide whether he is a future England captain.

    He said: “He is a leader but it (being England captain) will be probably the choice of another manager.”

    Capello watched Liverpool’s £35 million striker Andy Carroll in mid-week Europa League action against Braga now his injury problems are behind him.

    Carroll was one of the few England players to impress on his debut against France at Wembley in November.

    But Capello will monitor the weekend Barclays Premier League matches before deciding if Carroll and, possibly Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, will be selected.

    He said: “We will have no Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard or Theo Walcott through injury and I hope that only those three players will not be fit.

    “I just read that Adam Johnson played 10 to 20 minutes on Thursday (against Dinamo Kiev). I don’t know if it is too soon for him (to be selected). We will see how he goes on Sunday.

    “I went to Liverpool to monitor Andy Carroll. He has played just one game (since being fit).

    “Will Carroll be okay for Wales? We need to wait until after the weekend games.

    “He is fit but he needs to play games because, everytime, the big players need more games to find the good form.

    “The squad will be 25 players for these two games. Two players more than normal.”

    Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has also impressed Capello and could come into the equation, certainly for the Ghana clash.

    He said: “Smalling is a very interesting player. I am monitoring him.

    “I spoke with Sir Alex (Ferguson) and he told me he needs more games, more experience.

    “But I think, when you play Champions League games, it is really important.”

    Capello is aware of the burning desire of the Welsh to put one over on England and knows the importance of balancing the desire to win with having cool heads.

    He said: “Look, I remember when I started to be England manager, the first game they proposed to play was against Scotland.

    “I understand about the pressure up to and during this coming game. It will be really important the result.

    “I remember everytime England-Scotland games at Wembley. It is like a derby and it is different. A derby is not like a normal game.

    “I played in them as a player – with Milan, Roma, and it is different. Not always the best team wins.

    “For some players, this game, it is fantastic, for the spirit and they play more than 100 per cent. It is incredible.

    “As a manager, you need to prepare for this game really well because some players go over-training the mind.

    “They burn a lot of energy before the game because of the mentality.

    “It is dangerous for this. You need to arrive focused but with a good balance between body and mind.”

    Capello is aware of the need to stop the power and pace down the flank of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.

    He said: “We will see the game that he plays. I watched the DVD and in one game he played like a second forward for Wales, not on the left.

    “Do I wish he was English? He is Welsh as was Ryan Giggs who was one of the best players in the world history of football.”

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    Jack Wilshere Has Arrived – Fabio Capello