Wenger backs Shawcross call
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Ryan Shawcross has "cleaned up his act" as the Stoke defender looks to win his first England cap. Shawcross, 25, was included in Roy Hodgson's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, having been an unused substitute for a friendly against Egypt when last called up by Fabio Capello two-and-a-half years ago. Much water has passed under the bridge since a poor challenge from Shawcross left Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a double leg fracture during a Barclays Premier League game in February 2010. Wenger, who was incandescent at the time of the incident, can see why Hodgson included the centre-back in his plans. "You know what happened is what happened and it is down to Roy Hodgson to select the team. I think he has improved as a player and he has cleaned up his act," said Wenger "You cannot convict a player forever because of that. I didn't agree at the time with the tackle. I said that, it was just my opinion again, it doesn't mean that the players has to suffer from that his whole life. "He looks to be nowadays more efficient in his game and more composed." Ramsey, meanwhile, is now fully recovered, and came off the bench to score a late goal as Arsenal beat Olympiacos 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The 21-year-old, however, was this week replaced as Wales captain by new manager Chris Coleman. Wenger feels the move could actually help the midfielder's game for the national side. "I don't think it will affect him. It can help him play with more freedom," said Wenger. "He's at an age where you have to focus first on your game and later on your career on some other things. "At the moment may it's a bit less responsibility for him and will help him play with a bit more freedom and add something to his game. I felt he was a bit young when he was given the armband."
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