Even acknowledging that Tomas Rosicky could be a decent understudy, the trip now feels even more of a tourist excursion for Arsenal fans. Let them eat Apfelkuchen. They will not be tasting further delights in the Champions League. Scarcely 20 hours after the final whistle in the Allianz Arena, Hodgson will sit down at Wembley and read out a list of names, announcing his squad to take on San Marino (easy) and Montenegro (hard) in the imminent World Cup qualifiers.
Hodgson’s voice should have been resonating with buoyancy. Instead a degree of tremulousness inhibits his larynx. Since his first call to international arms three years ago, Wilshere has been included in 10 England parties, featuring in five friendlies, being an unused substitute against Montenegro in 2010, withdrawn injured before facing France the same year and being in the squad for the friendly against Holland that was postponed due to riots.