Arsenal leftback Kieran Gibbs watched by England manager Fabio Capello

29 October 2009 01:55
Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge are Capello's first and second choice in that position but injury to either of them for the tournament in South Africa will see England short of genuine contenders.

Capello watched Gibbs in the Carling Cup win over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisting his player is ready to make the jump from the U21s to England's senior team.

European U21 Championship: Fernando Hierro leads the Spanish revolution"Gibbs will get games and has already this season," said Wenger. "If Capello asks my opinion, I'll give a positive one. He's ready to step up."

Joleon Lescott or Matthew Upson could fill in at left-back but would not provide the pace of Chelsea defender Cole or his deputy in Bridge. Other options include Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock or Everton's Leighton Baines.

Arsenal veteran Mikael Silvestre, captain for the win over Liverpool, believes youngsters such as Gibbs have matured and give Wenger the chance of his first trophy since 2005.

"We did quite well last season but know we have to step up a little bit and be more mature in our game," Silvestre said.

"I think all the lads learnt from last season and hopefully in March and April we'll be there to prove it.

"There are moments in the game when you have to hold your position or keep shape or make decisions.

"You only learn with experience and even young players like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have shown they have matured their games from last season.

"The potential is high, we have everything to win titles here and it's up to us and the manager to prove it. We want to finish as winners not losers. We hope for a better future for us."

Source: Telegraph