The Under 21′s are incredible…

Go back a few years and the summer was a dark time for us football fans, not a hint of football from around mid-May to mid-July. Oh how times have changed over the past 10 years. The season is barely finish by the end of May, pre-season training begins at the start of July, with commercial friendly matches being played by the second week. This summer we have the Under 21 European Championship in Denmark that will be running from June 11th to near enough the end of June.

Now, I know what you’re thinking … YESSSSSSS more football to watch, then the reality kicks in that you might need to tell the Mrs there will be no break for football widows. Then your attentions probably turn to if you have booked a holiday in June; check the time difference, check your hotel has sports channels. Hopefully you are good to go, the only real concern is breaking the news to the Mrs. But it has to be the players you feel sorry for … not because they don’t get a break, but because they have to deal with the Mrs and also their club manager.

The club v country debate has been rumbling for a while regarding the potential inclusion of Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll in the Under 21 squad. Godders wrote an article on Wilshere’s inclusion a few weeks ago and this is now a reality as both players have been included in Stuart Pearce’s initial 40 man squad.  Everyone has an opinion on this, Pearce has come out and said he and Jack had a conversation about this and Wilshere wants to play. But his club manager wants him to rest, so what do you do?

If they want to play, I say you take them out there to have one of the best experiences of their lives and also to give England every chance of winning this tough tournament. Here is the potential team we can field:


This is a great team that would perform well in the Premier League even, but it would not be as strong without Carroll and Wilshere. Why wouldn’t we send them if we want to win this tournament and send out a message to the rest of Europe that English football is shaping up well for the future.

Too long we have gone without any success at any level. I am an England fan, but hate watching the full side. I actually have more interest in the under 21’s – they play with more guile and freedom. Why isn’t this under 21 European championship tournament as important as any other for England fans. Hype it up, get the public interested, bring back some focus on the importance of international football, be positive. Instead everyone is negative – classic English mentality.

Having these debates about whether these players should be included or not is rubbish. The players will be representing England in a major tournament, by not selecting them this means the under 21’s lose credibility.

The main point most people seem to be making is that this is too much football for these young players when they are already established first teamers in the Premiership. Yeah right, if the powers that be are so bothered they wouldn’t schedule a full England friendly on the 4th June or needless friendly matches to raise commercial awareness twice a week, with a mini tournament thrown in, throughout July and the start of August. It is quite amusing that the FA are advertising the England friendly with a group of players headed up by Andy Carroll when they know he could be with the Under 21’s.

Who can blame Wilshere for wanting to go, he is a young man who should be given the opportunity to enjoy these experiences. Surely if Wilshere, Carroll, et al cut their teeth at this tournament, they will be well prepared for tournaments for the full England squad and that can only be a good thing. When you are young you can play a lot of football, it is part of your development. No doubt if they do play a part for England U21’s this summer and their performances next year at club level are lacklustre or they pick up an injury, it will be the fault of the under 21’s which is sad. Not selecting players because of fear of future injury is like not driving your car because you COULD crash it.

It is almost as though Stuart Pearce does not have an important role in the development of our youth. Are Pearce and his backroom staff not trusted to look after these players? He is being undermined by club managers like Wenger. But the bottom line for me is that if this was a full England tournament then we wouldn’t even be having this debate. This is a sad situation that once again highlights the politics within football which are slowly devaluing the worth of having International football at any level. I say stop moaning and let them play, give England a chance of winning. COME ON ENGLAND, you can do itttttt!

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  1. England faithful says:

    Sod Whinger/Wenger the guy has to play too many players and fans are now not bothered about playing for our great country at any level and they should be. Your right you can’t live your life on ‘what if’s', with Wilshere and Carroll we can win this tournament, everyone needs to get behind the boys!

  2. George Smith says:

    As an Arsenal fan to be honest I don’t want him to play. He will be so tired by the time next season comes around and we need him. I don’t care about England anymore, what pleasure do they give me nowadays? I will tell you…nothing. Jack please don’t play

  3. Godders says:

    If that’s the case why arent we taking Walcott to the U21′s he still qualifies, why didnt Rooney play for the U21′s when he was still eligible?

    But let’s get to the real point that Wenger makes, Walcott went to the U21′s last year, got injured and then didnt make the world cup. If this happens again with Wilshere there will be uproar, mainly because we will be back to Gerrard and Lampard misfunctioning and England playing the same style of football. Yes Arsenal need him next season, but so do England.

    Here’s another point, you say great experience for Wilshere and Carroll, are you telling me England dont have two other players under 21 who need the experience of big games more than these two. Why not take Lansbury from Arsenal and play him? Or Delfonsou from Villa, surely the point of U21s is to develop players ready for the senior team.

    Carroll and Wilshere are ready for the senior team, because they’re established in it – give big game experience to players who dont already have it.

  4. Claus says:

    Walcott would qualify if he had played a qualifier, rules are as long as you are 21 when the qualifying rounds begin and you play, you are eligible for the finals. Unfortunatly Joe Hart is a year too old, pity as GK probably the weakest link in the team.

    All the players could do with the experience, international football is a different kettle of fish to Prem or European football. Carroll needs it 100%. We should have taken Rooney if he was elligable, may have helped him cope a bit a better at the big tournaments like in the World Cup 2006 when he got red carded against Portugal or when he slagged of the England fans in the last World Cup. Plus Rooney was injured in the April before the 2006 World Cup and probably wasn’t burnt out.

    Point is to develop players that will be big feature players for England in future, Delfonso and Lansbury won’t be those players, in that squad there aren’t many others who will make the step up.

    I will finish with Pearce’s quote

  5. Claus says:

    “By the time I was 21, I had played 250 non-League games. I then played until I was 40. I played a full set of internationals. I probably played 1,000 matches in my career.”

  6. Tom Wood says:

    All I would say is that Carroll and Wilshere are not established England players and barely established in the Premier League – Wilshere has played 4 times for the senior side and only 7 times for the under 21′s and Carroll has only played twice for the senior side and 5 for the under 21′s. They could do with learning the ropes before being put on them in future!

    If Wilshere does burn out it will be in his mid-20′s rather than now!

  7. El Tel says:

    Great team in the article, but they could go 4-4-2 with Sturridge and Carroll up front, that would be powerful. move Albrighton back=winners

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