Hodgson likely to gamble on Wilshere fitness
Jack Wilshere is likely to test Roy Hodgson’s resolve if, as planned, he makes a return to the Arsenal first team over the weekend, just 24 hours before the Three Lions coach names his initial squad of 30 players.
With a history Rooney’s metatarsal and similar scenarios dogging England campaigns of the past, when risks were taken on semi-fit players, Hodgson has declared an intention not to fall into the same trap again, and only include players who have proven their fitness. Whether a single 90 minutes in the last game of the season constitutes such an assurance is a moot point indeed. Two months out with a broken foot – ironically sustained playing in a friendly for England – is a long time away from first team action and with time, and games, rapidly running out, the chances of Wilshere getting a level of match fitness must be in question.
Wilshere has been an integral part of the England coach’s plans over the past couple of years, but it could be folly to take a risk on a player who has been out for so long. If Wilshere is included, as seems likely despite Hodgson’s pervious stance, it may mean the death knell to the hopes of Everton’s Ross Barkley.
Hodgson may well decide to include both in his 30,and then assess the fitness of Wilshere as the days progress until the final 23 is selected. It’s thought though that if there is a chance to play the young Gunners midfielder, Hodgson will go for that option, leaving an extremely unlucky Barkley high and dry.
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