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RH: Wilshere must prove himself
Published : 05 Oct 2012 07:32:00
Roy Hodgson says it is "naive" to think that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will waltz straight back into the England team. It has already been suggested the 20-year-old will place a huge question mark over Frank Lampard's international future by claiming one of those prized midfield berths. But Hodgson is not considering that just now. He recognises finding top form after spending so long on the sidelines is not going to be a simple task. "It's great to see Jack back, but it's naive to think he'll walk back into being what he wants," Hodgson said. Instead it is another group of youngsters in the frame for next Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino. Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been chosen for the first time, Stoke's Ryan Shawcross is also in - two years and seven months after his only previous call-up - while Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs will hope to add to the two caps he won in 2010. In addition, Gibbs' team-mate Carl Jenkinson is in line to face Sweden in November's friendly in Gothenburg after almost getting in the squad Hodgson announced on Thursday. "He's on our radar and someone we're keen to explore," the manager said. "On this occasion, we decided to keep Jenkinson up our sleeves but he'll be very much in our thoughts when it comes to the next friendly match. "After speaking to (Arsenal manager) Arsene (Wenger) I am also conscious that his rise has been meteoric. "He's only 20 and it's nice to temper things a little bit, but he wouldn't be out of place in the squad." Evidently Shawcross did not impress then coach Fabio Capello as he neither earned his first cap against Egypt in March 2010, nor was picked by the Italian again. An oft-repeated accusation of being over-physical has continued to dog the former Manchester United trainee, but Hodgson believes such a tag is unwarranted. "He's captain of Stoke," Hodgson said. "When you captain a team, it shows you have certain qualities and the people running Premier League clubs are not stupid. "Like all centre-backs, he'll be accused of overstepping the mark from time to time. But that would be a harsh criticism."