Wilshere set for World Cup squad battle

20 November 2013 01:16

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere admits he faces a fight to secure a place in England's squad for the World Cup.

Just 12 months ago, Wilshere was regarded as the hottest young talent in England and a key member of the national team for years to come.

But the 21-year-old has endured a difficult period of late marred by injury problems and a loss of form.

He has been in and out of the Arsenal team and started on the bench for England's 1-0 friendly defeat against Germany at Wembley on Tuesday.

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley was selected ahead of Wilshere, who made little impact when he eventually came on as a second half substitute.

With England having just a handful of friendlies left before boss Roy Hodgson names his final squad for the World Cup, Wilshere acknowledges he still has to prove he is worth a seat on the plane to Brazil next year.

"I'm definitely not nailed on for the squad," Wilshere said. You have seen over the last couple of months the talent coming through, with the likes of Ravel Morrison and several others in the England Under-21s.

"You are never guaranteed anything and can't rest on your laurels.

"You are only as good as your last games. When the time comes I have to be on top form.

"I've got big games coming up for my club and you have to play well to get in the squad."

A wave of optimism surrounded England after their bid to qualify for the finals came to a successful conclusion with victories over Montenegro and Poland last month.

Wilshere admitted back to back defeats against Chile and Germany -- the first time in 36 years that England have lost successive games at Wembley -- had shattered the feelgood factor.

But he remains confident England are capable of making an impact in Brazil.

"I think they have lowered expectations. When you lose games that is what happens," he said.

"They were two tough games. We had chances to score against Germany but couldn't take them.

"But we had two good results last month so we can't be too hard on ourselves.

"We will go over it again when we meet up for the Denmark game in March and look at the positives. We won't want to lose again at Wembley that's for sure.

"These games will be forgotten about when the World Cup comes around.

"And if you want to win the World Cup you have to play the best teams."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:57