Hodgson heralds Wilshere return
Published : 12 Aug 2013 20:16:55Rss feed
Roy Hodgson hopes this will be the season where Jack Wilshere finally consigns his injury troubles to history.
With much of the focus surrounding England's get together at St George's Park centring on Wayne Rooney, Wilshere's presence slipped by without much notice.
But make no mistake, the midfielder's return is big news for England, and Hodgson knows it.
The pressure on Wilshere's shoulders has been huge ever since he won his first cap aged 18, but England and Arsenal fans have only been treated to rare glimpses of the star thereafter.
A string of serious injuries have meant Wilshere has only started one game for the Three Lions since 2011. That one performance - a man-of-the-match display against Brazil - was enough to whet Hodgson's desire to see more, though, and he now hopes he will be able to count on the 21-year-old for the rest of England's World Cup qualifying campaign.
"I am really pleased he is back with us because he is a precocious talent," the England manager said. "His game against Brazil, where he got the man-of-the-match award, still lives long in the memory.
"He was fantastic throughout and I am rather hoping we will get some use from him in qualifying. Up to now he has only played the Brazil match and half a match against Sweden in my time as national team manager."
Arsenal are so aware of Wilshere's injury history that the player has not completed a full 90 minutes in pre-season, despite playing five of the club's seven games.
It is something that Hodgson is also conscious of, meaning the player is likely to only a limited part in Wednesday's friendly against Scotland at Wembley.
"Jack has looked good (in training) and he has been playing on quite a regular basis for a period of time now," Hodgson said. "He has been back in full training and playing a regular part in Arsenal's pre-season. We are delighted to have him back, but he is another player we want to protect a little bit."
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