Thursday, June 8, 2023

England’s new beginning?

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 10 Feb 2011


Wilshire - England's future

England went into last night’s game against Denmark with many question marks hanging over them.

It was great to see Jack Wilshire in the squad because he is a highly promising player, and at nineteen, he is ready to be bloodied in the full side. He will be twenty-two by the time of the next World Cup and wouldn’t it be great to see him get three years of international experience before then.


There was a great quote I saw after England were humiliated 4-1 by Germany at the World Cup in the Summer. It said, ‘It was men against boys and the boys won’.

That was true. The England side was old and experienced and the German side was young and experienced. There could only be one winner. That is what England need. A young and experienced side. Last night was the first chance to start that process.


Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner felt that it may be too early to throw Wilshire into the side, making comparisons with Theo Walcott. Of course, Walcott was only seventeen and had not appeared in the first team, whereas Wilshire is nineteen and has played several first team games. Anyway, let’s see what Bendtner said,

“Theo can be a lesson for the way you treat Jack. It’s important to take it easy and realise he is a kid. He’s still young, even though he seems very mature and seems like he has played a long time. I have my own theories on how Theo Walcott was treated by England. I don’t want to get too much into that because it will probably just get me in trouble. Young players are always put under a lot of pressure very early in England. You always throw players around really quickly.”


I started to analyse what Bendtner said and tried to think of the hoards of young players thrust into the England side and why Wilshire’s case is anything like Walcott’s. Then I remembered that Bendtner is quoted as saying he is the best striker in the world and that he feels he fully earns his 52,000 per week and realised that it really wasn’t worth thinking about anything he says!

I looked at how weak the England squad was the other day but there was a chance to put out an exciting young side. We could have played:

Walker, Cahill, Dawson, Baines
Walcott, Wilshire, Milner, Young
Bent, Rooney

I’m not for a second saying that team is one capable of taking on the best in the world, but it would be a whole new look and a whole new chapter in English football without the likes of Terry, Cole, and Lampard, who have tried and failed.


What we actually got was a mixture of the two. Terry, Cole and Lampard all started at the expense of Cahill, Baines and Young. Glen Johnson also got the nod ahead of Kyle Walker.

Overall, I guess that the side that Capello put out had the required mix of youth and experience, but I really don’t see the need to play Lampard and Terry. Ashley Cole is still in fine form and Glen Johnson is still relatively young, so I can see why they would get picked, but Lampard and Terry surely can’t be part of England’s future.


The game was a fairly typical international friendly, played at a relatively sedate pace and with not a great deal to get excited about. Having said that, Hart, Dawson, Wilshire, Walcott, Milner, Bent and Rooney all did themselves no harm and that has to be good news for the future.

In the second half Ashley Young, Gary Cahill, Stewart Downing and Leighton Baines all got a run out and England actually improved. Two other players also came on for England. Both of them are thirty years old and both of them are midfielders. Gareth Barry and Scott Parker have forty-seven international caps between them. Unfortunately, Barry has forty-three of them. Please, please, please Fabio, if you want to play one of them make it Scott Parker!


It was a decent performance from England and one that showed glimpses of promise for the future. It was important to win the game and the whole exercise was just about worthwhile.

The only concern is that when the serious stuff begins again, I wonder if Capello will be brave enough to give some of these players another chance. I would be surprised if we don’t see the likes of Terry, Ferdinand, Cole, Lampard, Gerrard and Barry in the starting eleven.

I hope I’m wrong and that the younger players did enough last night to show Capello that now is the time for change. We’ll have to wait and see.


Graham Fisher



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12 years ago

Barry would struggle for a place in B City’s starting 11 much less england’s and man city’s

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