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Young Gunners get England call-ups
Published : 07 Aug 2010 20:11:00
Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs will represent the dawn of a new England era after being named in the 23-man squad to face Hungary next week. Only 10 of the World Cup squad have made it into this friendly line-up, with goalkeepers Robert Green and David James not included and new Liverpool signing Joe Cole also left out. Bobby Zamora heads a revamped forward line, which also includes Carlton Cole and Darren Bent in addition to Wayne Rooney for Wednesday's Wembley date. There are returning faces too, in Manchester City's Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott of Arsenal, who were both axed from Fabio Capello's provisional squad prior to the World Cup. Manchester United's Wes Brown and Phil Jagielka of Everton come in to bolster the defensive ranks. Born on New Year's Day 1992, Wilshere will become the 10th youngest England international of all-time if he plays some part against the once-mighty Magyars. Wilshere has already set a few notable landmarks in his fledgling career, including becoming Arsenal's youngest league debutant two seasons ago and being the fifth 16-year-old to feature in the Champions League. With five under-21 caps to his name, he has already made a favourable impression on Stuart Pearce and his half-season on loan at Bolton last term did not go unnoticed by Capello. Knowing he must now look to the future, the Italian views Wilshere as the ideal age to develop at a more rapid rate, which is why he was included and Jack Rodwell is not. Ashley Cole was one of the few to emerge from the South Africa debacle with their reputation intact, so Gibbs' contribution at left-back will probably be as back-up. However, the Lambeth-born 20-year-old was already on Capello's radar last year and in all probability would have made the World Cup squad ahead of Stephen Warnock had he not suffered a season-ending injury in November. At 29, Zamora is not a youngster. However, Capello was keen to include the Fulham star in his provisional squad, only for injury to rule out that option. With Emile Heskey now retired and neither Peter Crouch nor Jermain Defoe considered, Zamora was an obvious choice. West Ham striker Cole has been around the squad before, as has Bent, although Gabriel Agbonlahor will probably consider himself unlucky. There was better news for another Aston Villa player though as Ashley Young has been recalled, with neither Shaun Wright-Phillips nor Aaron Lennon being retained. Most of Capello's senior men are included, with John Terry keeping his place, even if his partner next week remains something of a mystery. At various stages of the World Cup, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Matthew Upson had the job. All three have now been ditched, which would hint at a straight fight between Jagielka, who won the last of his three caps against Ukraine at Wembley last year before a serious knee injury put a halt to his blossoming career, and Michael Dawson, who was called into the World Cup squad as a replacement for injured skipper Rio Ferdinand but did not play a game. Squad: Ben Foster (Birmingham), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers); Wes Brown (Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), John Terry (Chelsea); Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal); Darren Bent (Sunderland), Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Bobby Zamora (Fulham).