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Ramsey has chance to shine against Wilshere

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 10:53 UK time, Friday, 25 March 2011

So how do Wales cope against England without the injured Gareth Bale? The answer for former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage is a simple one.

"If I was Wales manager Gary Speed I would ring up Ryan Giggs and get him to play for one game only," he says. "It would give everybody a lift because the whole nation is feeling down at the minute."

It sounds like a sign of desperation but sums up the mood of losing arguably the Premier League's most exciting talent only days before the Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff.

The problem will certainly test Speed in his first qualifying game since taking charge last December.

Where once he might have been thinking of unleashing the pace of Bale and Craig Bellamy down either wing, he now has to come up with a different plan.

Savage says there is no point in holding back, though, given that Speed's side are bottom of Euro 2012 Group G having lost their first three games.

"They've got nothing to lose. They are not going to qualify and it's a game against your nearest rivals so you may as well attack England and go for it," he says.

"Everybody expects you to lose and no one gives you a chance other than the people inside the dressing room so you may as well put on a spectacle.

"Welsh people will not be satisfied with a defensive performance, they want to see Bellamy and they would have loved to have seen Bale, but they have other players like Aaron Ramsey's flair in midfield so I think they want to see a performance."

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In Bale's absence much could fall on young Ramsey's shoulders after he was named as the new Wales captain by Speed on Thursday.

The 20-year-old has not played for his country since the 3-0 victory over Scotland in November 2009 and has had to recover from a bad leg-break suffered while playing for Arsenal against Stoke just over a year ago.

Savage believes the appointment is a good one as Ramsey will be a regular fixture for the Wales team in future years.

And he also thinks there is a player on Saturday who may help focus his mind.

During the past year, while Ramsey has spent periods of his recovery on loan at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff, he has had to watch the emergence of Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere.

A year younger than Ramsey, the England midfielder has enhanced his growing reputation in Champions League ties against Barcelona and has had England boss Fabio Capello raving about his potential.

"Before Ramsey was injured he was probably ahead of Wilshere in the Arsenal team," Savage adds. "But since his injury Wilshere has shown that he is a tremendous talent, probably one of the best talents England has seen for a long, long time.

"It will be a good battle between the two because Ramsey will feel Wilshere has taken over his slot at their club and he will be looking to prove a bit of a point."

For such a hotly contested game on Saturday, there may be a temptation for Capello to side with experience in England's midfield.

But former England captain and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer thinks that England need to go on the attack and that means playing 19-year-old Wilshere from the start.

"Wilshere will be able to handle the atmosphere, no problem," says Shearer. "He's played in the Nou Camp and The Emirates against Barcelona and arguably he was Arsenal's best player on both occasions.

"Frank Lampard is very good player and his scoring record at Chelsea and for England has shown that. It's hard to know who Capello will pick in central midfield but it might be a good combination with those pair."

Last month during England's 2-1 victory over Denmark, Capello paired Wilshere and Frank Lampard in the first half, with Barry alongside Scott Parker in the second and it offered a marked contrast.

While Capello was at pains to stress before the game that Wilshere was picked as a defensive midfielder with Lampard given licence to roam further forward, the Arsenal teenager actually played in a role similar to the one he plays at his club.

 Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard offered a more attacking option against Denmark


Touches from the first half show that Wilshere did a lot of his work in the opposition half and played quite narrowly, whereas Lampard, who was prepared to come deep and pick up the ball, provided more width.

During the second half of the friendly international in February, Barry and Parker offered a more solid approach with neither making too many inroads into the final third of the field.

But did that allow England's forwards, which included the winning goalscorer Ashley Young, the freedom to prosper?

Gareth Barry and Scott Parker gave England a more solid midfield against Denmark


Bale's injury might alter Capello's midfield thinking and he has also a dilemma further forward.

With Wayne Rooney recently restored to a more withdrawn role at Manchester United playing behind striker Javier Hernandez, Capello will choose a partner from Darren Bent, Jermaine Defoe, Andy Carroll and Pete Crouch.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Carroll started with Rooney up front as it has the potential to be a very good partnership," Shearer adds. "Both can work off each other as Andy will obviously win his fair share of balls in the air and Wayne will pick them up and work in and around him because he is world class.

"I have seen signs of Rooney returning to his former self and that has largely been shown by his return to goalscoring form. I'm not sure if he is at his very best yet but he looks to have a spring in his step again."

That should prove enough for England to win, Shearer says.

But assuming that Giggs stays as a spectator, Ramsey has a chance to show a huge audience that Wales' future hopes do not rest solely with Bale.

Robbie Savage will will be appearing Football Focus, live from Cardiff on BBC One at 1215 on Saturday. He will also present 606 on BBC Radio 5 live after the game.

You can also discuss more tactical issues and suggest future ideas on Twitter


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  • Comment number 1.

    The graphics for were each midfielder touched the ball are interesting but would an average position graphic have been more useful?

    Whilst Lampard (on the face of it) may have covered more ground that then others, the graphic doesn't really tell us where a team mate would be likely to find him and therefore what his role in the team is.

    Wilshire v Ramsey would be interesting, if that's how you want to frame this match, and it is tantalizing in as much as we don't yet know the full scope of what they can do. Imagine if they injured each other though. Wenger would almost explode with rage!

  • Comment number 2.

    As an Welsh Arsenal supporter i'm over the moon to have such a talented young midfield duo on show tommorrow. Unfortunately Ramsey has to be the best player out there to get a Welsh win, whilst Wilshere doesnt to get an English win. Ramsey has shown immense character to come back from that tackle but a few warm up games for Cardiff...ummmm. Hope the rest of the Welsh players step up to the mark............

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Another article about Wilshere and Ramsey .. I bet those two will have no effect what so ever on the game come Saturday. .. Over rated youngsters and as Pep said ' We have many players like Wilshere playing for our B team ' ..

    Give them a break and stop over hyping them .. This is the same thing you do with your Enlgand Team players .. and they always fail to live up to the hype ..

    As for Wales.. just dont try to do what the Enlgish are doing .. Keep it low and try to work you way up ..

  • Comment number 5.

    #4 Futbol_is_Dead

    I agree that some players are talked about waaaaay too much before they have actually achieved anything. But, is this article hype or simply because the author is looking forward to seeing two emerging talents?

  • Comment number 6.

    Im Scottish and i dont agree with No 3. I like the English players as i watch the EPL (the Arsenal) week in and admire many of the talented players, its the media i dont like.

    the bbc and there rivals go on tournament after tournament saying maybe this year? and reminding us of 66, when most host nations won it.

    Also i would only agree of talk of England winning something if they actually made a semi final.

    Anyway, really looking forward to the game as a home nations game has that wee bit of spice to it.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm not sure it's too keen on you either mate!

  • Comment number 8.

    @ #5 MrBlueBurns

    I agree they are talented but with one being the Captain of the National team already and the other being talked about as the Future of English Football and being compared to Xavi I dont think this piece is about 2 'emerging' talents . To the author they are top players already .

  • Comment number 9.

    I think that Ramsey has to be as aggressive as he possibly can. It's true about Wales, they have to go for it all because they have nothing to lose. It will be an interesting clash, Ramsey against Wilshere. Wenger will obviously be watching this match closely to see the two face off. I can't wait to watch the match. I think they should have Bent and Rooney for the strikers. Ashley Young needs to be on the wings and cut in and also give them good crosses. This will be a fantastic match!

  • Comment number 10.

    The future of the two nations? It will be interesting to see how Ramsey copes with the added pressure of captaincy and whether he lets it effect his performance in any way. Wiltshire is still a growing talent but maybe a future England captain and if he continues to develop then Arsenal won't have to worry about Cesc leaving for Barcelona as they will have his replacement ready made. (I'm not suggesting Wiltshire is as good as Cesc but if he continues to improve the way he has this season he could certainly be close).

    @3 nice to see some balanced well thought out opinions backed up with solid arguments. If you don't like England, why are you 'in_the_toon'?

  • Comment number 11.

    I just can't see Ramsey shining in this game. He has only had a couple of games for Arsenal since returning from injury and several Championship performances with Cardiff: no way is he at full match fitness just yet, and the captaincy could weigh him down as well.

    Wilshere does not play in a 4-4-2 for Arsenal, but should thrive anyway as long as he doesn't play on the left wing, which, for some unknown reason, Jamie Redknapp wants him to.

    You can make this about Ramsey vs Wilshere if you like, but there will only be one winner as Ramsey is on the long road to recovery and has been handed too much responsibility. Wilshere, on the other hand, has little pressure on him, and will be playing alongside some top players. Comfortable England victory with Ramsey anonymous I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 12.

    The Gareth Barry v Scott Parker graphic is very interesting and shows just how much better Parker is than Barry. His touches are almost in a perfect arc around the centre circle, showing that he is doing exactly what is needed from a holding mid; providing an outlet to the rest of the team when no other option is on. God knows what Barry's doing, he seems to be playing on the left wing or something, reneging his post as the defensive midfield player. As for Ramsey v. Wilshere, both players are very similar in style and enjoy picking the ball up, bringing it forward and making a pass (what Fabregas does, but slightly less well). As for Pep Guardiola's comment about lots of Wilshere-like players in his B team, I doubt it. Wilshere works much harder than your standard flair pass and move midfielder, hence why he's so highly praised.

    As for the English media, I've given up commenting on it. Of course they'll over-hype England's potential, because then, they can sell papers (etc.) beforehand, due to everyone's excitement and afterwards, due to people's desire to understand 'how it all went wrong'.

  • Comment number 13.

    #10 ManUtdsince1987

    Wiltshire is still a growing talent but maybe a future England captain and if he continues to develop then Arsenal won't have to worry about Cesc leaving for Barcelona as they will have his replacement ready made. (I'm not suggesting Wiltshire is as good as Cesc but if he continues to improve the way he has this season he could certainly be close).
    Could that represent another step backwards, or at least not a step forward, for Arsenal that they then wait for another player to reach maturity? I guess at least he is likely to hang around longer than Fabregas.

  • Comment number 14.

    8. At 12:50pm on 25th Mar 2011, Futbol_is_Dead wrote:
    @ #5 MrBlueBurns

    I agree they are talented but with one being the Captain of the National team already and the other being talked about as the Future of English Football and being compared to Xavi I dont think this piece is about 2 'emerging' talents . To the author they are top players already .


    So we are only not allowed to 'hype' certain players until they are as good as Xavi or until Pep says they are good enough for his first team?

    they are two emerging talents who have already shown a good level of technial ability. i thought Wilshere more than held his own against Barca.

    As for Saturday...the injury to Bale hs pretty much killed it as a contest. shame.

  • Comment number 15.

    12. Nick, too true.

  • Comment number 16.

    and Parker should start. What does he have to do and how bad does Barry have to be?

  • Comment number 17.

    Should be a straightforward England win but it won't be because the Welsh will play to their best for local pride. Englands defence has been shaky recently and if Wales score first it could all go wrong as when Northern Ireland beat England.

    can't see Capello apologising for the capataincy fiaso as it isn't his style. Bale against Johnson would have been a really good opportunity for Wales but I think Craig Bellamy will cause him similar problems and if Cashley can be stifled and the Millwall lad get at Terry then an uncomfortable evening could be ensue

  • Comment number 18.

    Seen Ramsey play at Cardiff, and yes he is an immense up and coming star, but he didnt play fantasticly the time he was at the Bluebirds.

    Wilshere has been in good performace for Arsenal but has the advantage of fitness and being adopted into the first team pretty sharpish compared to Ramsey.

    Its a good pair up no doubt, but i dont think either one will out preform the other

  • Comment number 19.

    16. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, snadge wrote:
    and Parker should start. What does he have to do

    sign for Man City or Chelsea as Capello loves them

  • Comment number 20.

    #17 PetShopBoys_Forever

    What has Capello got to apologise for? I think it would only compound the situation and would just provide a sound bite to appease the press.

    Anyway, Bellamy could well cause problems but I think the only way to stifle Ashley Cole is to play with no one on the left of midfield, a la the world cup. Other than that, he generally goes up and down as he pleases, and to good effect.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'd like to see Jack Wilshire play alongside Scott Parker not just for England but with the Arsenal too. Arsene, sign him up, Arsene, Arsene sign him up!

  • Comment number 23.

    It's annoying how Anglo-centric these blog posts are. There is plenty of speculation in the article over who might be playing central midfield or up front for England but other than the tongue-in-cheek suggestion of Giggs it isn't even mentioned who might fill in for Bale. Will Church play right side with Bellamy on the left, will Ledley play as a winger? Does Speed really like Robson-Kanu?

    As for England I think Parker deserves to start on his form for West Ham this season and is definitely the best defensive midfielder in the squad. Wilshere isn't really a holding midfielder in international terms.

  • Comment number 24.

    @13 - true it wouldn't be a step forward for Arsenal but then how do you go forward from Cesc? I can't think of many midfielders that are as good as him or better that would want to play for Arsenal ie they play for big clubs already. I personally think that Wiltshire can become a world class midfielder so I don't think it would be too much of a step back. But for Arsenal fans, you're right, it must be frustrating to be seemingly endlessly waiting for players to mature.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    it would be nice to see FB backing a younger starting 11. we have some really exciting young players (wilshere, young, lennon, smalling) and in my opinion we have almost no hope of winning euro2012 so why not build for the future get these guys some good experience playing together and build up a side that consistantly play together stop all this chopping and changing. the germans are doing it and look how well they did in the WC with such a young inexperienced but talented team.

  • Comment number 27.

    Like many England Fans I have high hopes for the Rooney - Carroll partnership up front, assuming we play a traditional 4-4-2.

    But for now, with Carroll only just getting back to full fitness, I'm not 100% convinced he should start. To get the best from the 'form' players in the squad, I think a 4-2-3-1 might work with Wilshere in his usual deep-lying role, playing alongside Scott Parker, with an attacking three of Jarvis, Gerrard and Lennon, with Rooney up front. Carroll could always come on later if needed.

    I guess the back four picks itself these days. Or does it? There's a strong case for giving Gary Cahill a start given his excellent current form - and I thought Lescott played very well against Chelsea recently. But who do we play at right back given that Glen Johnson isn't playing in that position every week?

  • Comment number 28.

    #4 I'm not English or Welsh, nor am I an Arsenal fan. So I've no bias whatsoever in regards to this discussion.

    Wilshere has very very good potential, he was the best Arsenal player on the pitch in both legs vs Barcelona, arguably man of the match in the Nou Camp.

    Ramsay also did extremely well before his unfortunate injury.

    I agree that both of them are overhyped right now, but thats solely because there are people who are proclaiming them "world class" or "great" already, which is definitely not the case, they both have alot to learn before ever justifying such tags; but I've no doubt that both of them can get there with hard work and alot of luck (mainly in staying injury free).

    As a non-English, non-Welsh, non-Arsenal, pro-Football fan, I wish them both the best; just not when they play against my team.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hope we get beaten by Wales, so that we can say goodbye to Postman Pat.

  • Comment number 30.

    @26 - I totally agree. The likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Crouch etc will no longer be part of the set up for 2014 so bring it the young players and use 2012 as a way of getting them some top level experience. Who cares about the Euros anyway? With both U-21 and U-19 teams doing incredibly well it shows we have some really exciting young talent waiting to break through as well as some on the fringes. Obviously England have to be careful not to expose youngsters to high level football too early but we need to stop relying on old players who don't produce in an England shirt and start giving some of the talent in our youth ranks a chance.

  • Comment number 31.

    At Futbol_is_Dead :

    Ramsay and Wilshere are being talked about for a reason, because they are upcoming stars. They may not be the most influential players on the pitch on Saturday, Wilshere may not even start but because of the fact that they are young, they will be heavily mentioned. I may be biased being an Arsenal fan but im sure most English and other Football supporters who will watch this game would like to see Wilshere play. He is a better Defensive player in my opinion than behind the strikers because i feel his only weakness is goals, but this will come in time. Also, Andy Carroll has to start tomorrow, he is a sheer threat to any defence, and with Rooney back to his best,so it seems, then we should comfortably win.

  • Comment number 32.

    20. At 13:17pm on 25th Mar 2011, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    #17 PetShopBoys_Forever

    What has Capello got to apologise for?


    His incompetence and lack of manners. How hard would it be for him to phone Rio prior to that lunch with journos and warn him. If it was a one off you might shrug it off but its indicative of the man following on from teh way he told David Beckham his England career was over vis a television interview without talking to the player himself, the fact that when he wanted Scholes to come to teh World Cup he couldn't be bothered to pick the phone up himself. His man-management skills are rubbish and as he humiliated Rio Ferdinand in public he should have to apologise publicly

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm made up for aaron. A quality young lad and hopefully his injury does not affect his arsenal career like it did to eduardo. I think aaron is more similar to fabregas than he is to wilshere to be honest and do not think wilshere has taken ramseys place in the team at all. Also there are legitimate reasons as to why ramsey was in the team ahead of wilshere last season but why he hasn't been this season or since he's been back. One was that he was more developed at that stage and a year older whilst wilshere still needed some premiership games which bolton provided for him to their and owen coyles credit. But since his comeback he needed some games to get back up to speed and so nottingham forest and cardiff thankfully provided them to him.

    But i don't think a ramsey, song, fabregas midfield would work that well imo. Wilshere connects the defense to attack like diaby and denilson do. He is more versatile and more defensive. I think ramsey is fabregas's deputy as has been proven by him playing in that postion against west brom and last season as either fabregas sub or when fabregas was injured.

    He wouldve played more games no doubt had his horror injury not occurred but i don't think it would've been at the expense of wilsheres progress or place in the team. For me these two will be the future of the arsenal midfield, particulary when cesc leaves.

    So i disagree with the comments regarding to ramsey feeling wilshere has taken his place in the arsenal team. Infact had diaby been fit this season it is likely that from the start he'd be playing but he's been injured and wilshere has stepped up to the plate, when back in august there was talk of him going out on loan again, and that was when ramsey was still recovering.

    As for england i'd like to see fabio play a five man midfield with wilshere and parker as the back 2 and rooney as a focal point. The wide men i would choose would be lennon and young.

  • Comment number 34.

    Wilshere won't even start. Capello seems to only want to play him for bit parts in friendlies when he's already handled the pressue at CL level against the likes of Barcelona.

    I agree with post 26. I'd hoped that Capello would have started building the side around our younger players given we have no hope of winning Euro 2012. Rather than planning the development of the game, like Germany did a few years back, the only thing I've heard lately is a farcical soap opera surroundig who'll be captain. Facts are, if the team isn't good enough, then it doesn't matter a monkeys who's captain.

  • Comment number 35.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 36.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 37.

    @ Mr C, Awesome, just awesome...

    Bloody good opinionated drivel from someone who doesn't matter in this world.

    Bloody Idiot

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    #31 and some others seem to be suggesting Wilshere is actually a natural holding mid-field player than attacking midfield player? He has played the holding role about once in his life, for England against Denmark, where he was great in attacking movements and less good in positional organisation that say Parker. Wilshere may not get many goals, but that does not mean he isn't a great attacking midfielder. He is agressive with the ball and always progressive and quick. Parker is all these things too, but perhaps more strict when he's asked to be a holding player, for this reason I think they are the best midfield paier right now.

    Lampard and Barry have both seen better days and it is not in the best interests of future England teams to keep including people who rarely stand out for their country, even if they are great at club level. Argentina and Germany don't always feel the need to play someone who's expensive, or plays for a big club, they play the best team. They have Podolski and other players who aren;t always massive on the european scene, but come to life for their country for whatever reason. Crouch is the same for England, Rooney is utterly pants every time for England, how long are we going to play the guy in the hope he'll perform his all-time club best level only in an England top, when clearly he never really has done.

    Spain didn't play Torres much in the world cup, despite huge pressure to play their now ocasional wonder kid, because he wasn't fit/on form. Argentina don't play Tevez as a rule either. I say get some fresh blood on the pitch, like the Wilshere's, Youngs etc, keep Lampard and Barry (clearly the slowest player on the pitch against Germany in the WC) and all the guys who have years of stigma attached to their names on the bench in case the young guys need help. We can't progress with old guys who never brought it in their heyday. Appologis for long post.

  • Comment number 41.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 42.

    Didnt realise you were Ramsey's girlfriend either Mr C. You gonna get your homework done, or just pretend your not a little boy and slate everything apart from Ramsey??

    Be gone now boy!

  • Comment number 43.

    "Over rated youngsters and as Pep said ' We have many players like Wilshere playing for our B team ' .."

    Rubbish. If they have so many stunning midfield maestros why are players like Jeffren in the first team squad? Answer: They dont and hes lying

  • Comment number 44.

    @ Reccy - I fit into a bra comfortably

    Hmm... Not sure someone whose username seemingly confesses to wearing women's underwear is really in a position to be accusing someone of being someone else's 'girlfriend'.

    Mind you, you then go on to call the same person 'a little boy', so it seems you're pretty confused all round.

    Did you go to some nutty Christian school where they think 5ex-ed is immoral, and it's left you all messed up?

  • Comment number 45.

    "Wilshere connects the defense to attack like diaby and denilson do"

    The only two things that Denilson connects are the words 'rubbish' to 'Brazilian'

  • Comment number 46.


    Rubbish ? .... you call wilshere a 'stunning midfield maestro' ? ... jheeez .. the point he was trying to make is wilshere is nuthin special and there were many players like him playing for Barca B .

    Jeffren might not seem outstanding because he plays in a barca team full of legends ..

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm afraid Barry, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard and others are past their "Best before" date.

    The stench of the england side is a stale one. The transition we were promised by Capello after the world cup has not happened and for these reasons he needs to be fired.

    To re-appoint Terry as captain is a very poor move, and takes us back to the McLaren era in terms of hope and direction.

    Thgis England side needs to be re-invented. Our dressing room consists of the lads mag culture. WAGS. Bling. etc

    Where are your professionals? Your Gary Lineker, Terry Butcher or Gareth Southgate. These characters are lacking.

    France had a very similar problem after failing to qualify for Italia 90 and USA 94. They had what appeared to be a very good crop of players, but this crop had failed, they were poor and fell short of expectation.

    It took a complete overhaul. Aime Jacquet was given that job. Out went players who were by no means past their peak. Papin, Cantona, Ginola, Angloma and others.

    The younger players were then promoted early. Zidane was the jewell and the likes of Deschamps, Djorkaeff, Blanc, Petit who had been around the squad pre-1994 were to become the heartbeat of the side. Euro 96 was a major success, this seemingly young side had done brilliantly. Thuram, Lizarazu, Henry, Trezeguet, Vieira, Pires were then intorduced as young promising internationals. They would go on to form the bulk of the squad that conquered the World in 1998 and Europe in 2000.

    What do we have, the players? Maybe. The opportunity? Definately. The man to make this happen? No.

  • Comment number 48.

    "Rubbish ? .... you call wilshere a 'stunning midfield maestro' ? ... jheeez .. the point he was trying to make is wilshere is nuthin special and there were many players like him playing for Barca B .

    Jeffren might not seem outstanding because he plays in a barca team full of legends .. "

    Wilshere is special. He is more advanced than either Iniesta or Xavi were at his age. There were a fair few times over two legs where he made the pair of them look quite silly. Obviously they gave him the run around at times too but thats to be expected of two peak world class players. Im not saying hes a better player because hes not, but he has the ability to be at least on par.

    My point is that Pep would love to have Wilshere in his setup. He wouldnt make the first team, but hed certainly push out garbage like Jeffren. It has nothing to do with him looking bad compared to world class players, its just he and many like him are just not very good. Why buy Keita, Mascherano and Affellay if they have youngsters who can step up and do the job?

  • Comment number 49.

    @ fubtol_isd_ead

    In all honesty you strike me as a person who has the 'foreign is better mentality'. If Jack was playing for Villarreal and his name was Jacko Wilsherio i think youd have a different viewpoint

  • Comment number 50.


    You make a very good point, and something I agree completely with, it wont happen though and not (just) because of the management.

    Can you imagine the red top football fans, we all know the ones who buy the sun and once every 2 years start putting flags on their cars and declaring themselves to be the worlds mosts dedicated England supporter because they paid 2.99 for a blow up finder.

    Can you imagine what their reaction and the red tops would be like if we fielded a younger side for 2012 and they got knocked out in the group (if they made it)?

    The reaction should be to give the kids a pat on the back, say its all experience and you will do better next time, but you can be damn sure the reaction would be a complete over the top on with headlines like "What a bunch of losers", "Where was Gerrard / Lampard" etc etc...

    Its a no win situation for the manager whomever he is because as we have seen time and time again the FA are useless, if they came onboard and said that as long as its youngsters being bedded in etc no matter what is printed the manager will stay in charge... oh no hold on that wouldnt work either because all they care about is filling Wembley and without the fair-weather fans they would no doubt see it as potentially loss making.

  • Comment number 51.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 52.

    ' Why buy Keita, Mascherano and Affellay if they have youngsters who can step up and do the job? '

    Because they need the experience of mascherano and keita. Afellay is an outstanding talent and buy for 3 million and jeffren is not garbage because hes part of the best team in the world and NO rubbish player can be part of that set up ..

    Wilshere is a good young player just like rodwell, albrighton and martin kelly .. I can name at least 10 players in the premier league just like him .. Hes nothing special so cool down all the hype. If after 3 years hes developed into a world class footballer then he'll deserve the hype.

  • Comment number 53.

    who is gareth bale?

  • Comment number 54.


    finder = finger.

    BEHOLD The typo king.

  • Comment number 55.

    Wales were up against it anyway and the loss of Bale will have knocked the wind out of their sales.

    Ramsey has shown promise but he can't be expected to work miracles. This may be THAT game for him, but only if Wales show real daring do and the entire team puts in the performance of their lives.

    We'll fill the stadium with bodies and noise hoping the team will attack and we'll have a goal to cheer. I don't think I, or any other Welsh fan, could ask for more than that.

  • Comment number 56.

    If Jack was playing for Villarreal he will be one of a 100 young talents in Spain with no hype nor pressure on him .

  • Comment number 57.

    53. At 14:49pm on 25th Mar 2011, ARSENAL wrote:
    who is gareth bale?


    He's this guy who's gonna be appearing in the CL quarter-finals.

    ...who's Jack Wilshere?

  • Comment number 58.

    "...who's Jack Wilshere?"


    :D :D

  • Comment number 59.

    @ 44. You are correct. Well done you

  • Comment number 60.

    @ Jesus the Teddy Bear

    *Borat voice*

    hhhigh fiive!

  • Comment number 61.


    That is the frustration my friend.

    Hopefully there would be a character out there who could do this without the fear of the public if things did not pan out immediately. In Capello i feel some of us believed we had this, but the Terry re-appointment shows that he so far away from what we need it is untrue. To be honest, I always believed that Capello was a much stronger and innovative in his decisions than he has proved to be.

    Aime Jacquet was that man for France,

    If certain players have not been good enough in World Cup 2002, 2006 and 2010 then why should we insist on sticking with them? This group of players could not qualify for Euro 2008.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ 51

    Didn't realise you were my shoulder to cry on wee champ.

  • Comment number 63.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 64.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 65.


    You appear to be quite an angry person.

  • Comment number 66.

    @52 - most of the reason for the hype is that Wilshire was pretty much an unknown last year where as this year he has really come of age, especially in the match against Barcelona where he played very well against one of the greatest midfields ever assembled. Right now he would either be starting or on the bench for most clubs in the world and he is rightly seen as a key part of England's future. As an England fan I hope he lives up to the hype. But I do agree with your point that the media tend to hype people too soon and too much.

  • Comment number 67.

    Central midfielders of their kind need a outlet to combine with and without Bale, will be a bit difficult to say the least for Ramsey to stamp his authority on the game, though still has Bellamy of course

  • Comment number 68.


    I am angry .. at all the articles flooding the bbc website over-rating english players .. but then again the bbc is english/ british ..


  • Comment number 69.

    @ Mr C..

    You have this huge hatred towards Jack, did he spit at you or something? Or are you the taxi drivers son??

    Very Strange :)

  • Comment number 70.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 61 "If certain players have not been good enough in World Cup 2002, 2006 and 2010 then why should we insist on sticking with them?"

    I'll tell you why, because they are still the best you have!!!! Gerrard is still the most important player, Rooney is still the most likely to threaten defences, Terry is still the best CB and Cole is still the best LB. Crikey, theres nothing more infuriating in football than hearing people harp on about 'getting the youngsters in'. If they're no better than what you already have, then you dont do that!!!!!! Jesus!!!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 71

    How do you know if they are not given the chance?
    Terry and the golden generation have been tried and have failed. numerously and embarassingly.
    Theres nothing more infurating than watching overpaid overhyped players fail time and time again and then nothing changes!

  • Comment number 73.


    Hang on. The Germany defeat was embarrassing (not helped by the lino etc etc). And of course the failure to qualify to the Euros even more so.

    But other than that:

    2002: Single-goal defeat (inc flukey freekick) to eventual champions
    2004: Penalty shootout defeat to narrowly-beaten finalists
    2006: Another shootout defeat

    Frustrating? Yes.

    'Embarrassing'? Not really.

  • Comment number 74.

    @71 - I disagree. Firstly Gerrard is no where near being 'the most important player'. He doesn't stamp his authority on games enough and for some mental reason can't reproduce his Liverpool form for England. He won't be around for much longer, the Euros will probably be his final tournament, so why stick with him? Rooney is still young so I don't know why you have included him and one bad WC when England as a team were bad followed by an indifferent two-thirds of a season doesn't make a bad player. He is getting back to form at the right time and will show by the end of the year why he is an important player for both club and country. Terry is a good CB but he has faded over recent years and when there are CBs like Cahill, Smalling and Dawson who could do just as good job then there is a case for dropping him from the team, though now he is captain this won't happen under Fabio goes. Cole is still the best LB I'll give you that but I still think that there are a number of youngsters you should be part of the England squad and a number of fringe players who should be played. The current crop isn't the best we have got, that is why people are getting frustrated with Fabio and his selection policy of sticking with who he knows. Parker, for example, is a much better player than Barry in the DM role. He is a tougher tackler, good passer, a natural leader and he plays with passion and pride. But Fabio won't pick him because he likes Barry too much.

    This England team has been relying on players who haven't put the shift in for their country and we have been relying on them for far too long. The youngsters and fringe players should be given a chance. On paper Gerrard maybe better than Wiltshire but when the whistle blows and they are wearing the white of England I wouldn't be so sure.

  • Comment number 75.

    @73 - I get what you are saying but I would rather not qualify for the Euros and have a good, solid squad together for 2014 than get to the Euros, get to the QFs and then have to start building a new squad for the WC in only two years, when the team only plays together four or five times a year.

  • Comment number 76.

    26/47/50 etc.

    Couldn't agree more. I've grown weary of watching the likes of Barry, Lampard, Terry et al in an England shirt. Time to move over and give the youngsters a chance. After the last WC the FA had a real opportunity to make a statement of intent and say 'We're going to rebuid and arrive at 2014 with an exciting young team with a bit of experience behind them.' and write off 2012... who knows the youngsters good do well there anyway!

    I'm not sure why everybody us getting on Wilshere's back, I'm not an Arsenal fan, but in all the recent games I've seen him in he has been excellent. Not the finished article, but a real talent. Anyone who's buying into PG's rhetoric are foolish, blatant gamesmanship, I'm sure he'd love to have him in his set up the way he played in a side that was performing poorly in the Nou Camp. England need more big game players like JW!

  • Comment number 77.

    63. At 15:02pm on 25th Mar 2011, Mr C wrote:

    Mr C. ........ you have so much wit - NOT!

  • Comment number 78.

    Agree with snadge @72 - Gerrard, Terry & Co have had long enough. I agree for their clubs they have been exemplary, but internationally speaking, what exactly are they waiting for?

    Some of these guys have had 3 or 4 big international tournos - have they just been biding their time, waiting to turn it on for us in 2012??

    Making mistakes happens. But to continue making the same ones, time and again? That is less easy to stomach. Get the oldies gone - they've had a go.

    Get people with a real hunger and desire to achieve for their country, rather than the complacent fat-cats that make up a large proportion of our squad. They are tainted by repeated failure and disproportionate adulation by a public that has been hoodwinked for far too long.

  • Comment number 79.


    Yeh, I see where you're coming from. Though that's more of an internal issue to do with 'team England' and how to breed a more 'club-like' mentality in them. I don't think we should rely on failure to qualify for majoy tournaments as the only opportunity to do that.

    I was defending the England team of the last decade from the hackneyed accusations of serial embarrassment. The fact is, in the years I mentioned, we were narrowly beaten by the eventual winners, and twice lost out on penalties. Nothing embarrassing about that in my opinion.

  • Comment number 80.

    @ 72 Snadge, we know because we see them every week and these younger players people go on about still aren't as good as whats there already. Why they should magically become worldbeaters as soon as they pull on the national jersey i dont know why!!

    @ 74, the reason i put rooney in that group is because he has been roundly critised just as much as the other experienced players, and being in his mid-20s now and having the best part of a decade of experience behind him, he should be put in that bracket. Also, please try to let your club loyalties aside. Gerrard is still clearly englands most inspirational and important player. He was englands best player in the world cup and all the posturing from fans of other clubs is meaningless when you see how limp the team is without him...something you will probably discover again tomorrow. It's become en vogue to criticise him recently, simply because the press has turned against capello and the experienced guys, but gerrard is still the one who will drag the team through when needed if at all possible. It would be a huge folly to dismiss him now, even if he doesnt have much longer left at the top. England will feel his absence hugely when he retires.

  • Comment number 81.

    And is 'Wilshere' so very difficult to spell? Seen all sorts on here..

  • Comment number 82.

    @79 - Good point about the mentality of the players, but I think young players would play with real passion and pride in the England shirt before club football makes them passionless.

    It is true the England team have a good record in tournaments. Not embarassing true, but the last two major tournaments we haven't qualified for (Euro 2008) or played appalling bad (WC 2010) so I think fans are starting to see that the ageing squad needs freshening up with new faces and new blood. Lampard et al are just too old now to be playing 50 games a season for club and country.

  • Comment number 83.

    80. At 15:58pm on 25th Mar 2011, redman_inc wrote:
    @ 72 Snadge, we know because we see them every week and these younger players people go on about still aren't as good as whats there already. Why they should magically become worldbeaters as soon as they pull on the national jersey i dont know why!!


    Fair enough. im not saying they will magically become world beaters but we havent exactly got world beaters now have we. did you see the last world cup??

    If it aint broke dont fix it. But were as shiwn in the last world cup, we are broken and in need of something new. its my opinion, that like France have done & germany, we need to have a fresh start with younger players.

  • Comment number 84.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 85.

    73. At 15:47pm on 25th Mar 2011, kanchelskis_legend wrote:

    Hang on. The Germany defeat was embarrassing (not helped by the lino etc etc). And of course the failure to qualify to the Euros even more so.

    But other than that:

    2002: Single-goal defeat (inc flukey freekick) to eventual champions
    2004: Penalty shootout defeat to narrowly-beaten finalists
    2006: Another shootout defeat

    Frustrating? Yes.

    'Embarrassing'? Not really.


    Fair point maybe it was not as 'embarassing as the media would lead us to believe.
    However, those tournaments you mentioned were in the past. quite distant past.
    Those players are coming to an end. time to move on!

  • Comment number 86.

    @ 83, i know people like to use germany as the template, but they didnt just chuck in a bunch of young guys and assumed they would automatically be better because they're younger. They out these guys in because they knew they were good...they had already shown that so the coach was confident they would succeed in a major tournament. Alas, england dont seem to have a muller, or an ozil, or a least not yet anyway. So until they do, if ever, then why should the current guys be shipped out if what replaces them is still not as good?? It just seems that the experienced guys have become public enemy number 1 (or maybe number 2 behind capello) because they had the sheer temerity to not be good enough. That's not really their fault, they are what they are, and you still have a better chance of winning matches with terry, gerrard, lampard, rooney etc. than with younger guys who as yet are not upto their level.

  • Comment number 87.

    @10 what makes you think 'the toon' is newcastle? we call glasgow the toon. most people from the river tee and up call 'town' 'toon'. get a grip

  • Comment number 88.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 89.

    Please don't play Andy Carrol, its just a recipe for smashing long balls at his head which is what we do with our inferior players.

    I saw Liverpool versus Braga and i thought i was watching Stoke.

    Bent and Defoe and much more dangerous on the last mans shoulder and far quicker.

    Carrol will be sold in less then 5 season for less than £10m, why because he's just a big man who can head and you can find those players everywhere. He's the new Emile Heskey just stupidly expensive.

    Oh and Scott Parker must play, he is so much better than Barry who is just plain rubbish.

  • Comment number 90.

    I hate myself for being shocked at how bad we were in the 2010 World Cup, because the signs have been there for so long that these players were not good enough.

    We have waited for 10 years for Lampard, Gerrard, Terry and others to step up to the plate internationally. Sadly they have never done so, so they need to stop being selected. Club form, World Class. International form, Poor - Average.

    I'm in total shock that SWP has been left out at long last, the guy has robbed us of plenty of caps already. But then, he was a chelsea player so was automatically good enough for a squad place.

    This Club bias has gone on for too long also. This never existed years ago, Steve Bruce never even won a single international cap!

    Yet Smalling plays a few games for Man Utd and all of a sudden he's on par with someone like Gary Cahill has played consistently well for a number of seasons at the highest level.

    I think ten games and no more than one tournament fully fit is enough to judge if a player has what it takes on the international scene.

    In Italia '90, Gascoigne and Platt had very little international experience between them, yet in that tournament, they took to it brilliantly. Much more so than say Ray Wilkins and Glenn Hoddle before them. Both Platt and Gascoigne would prove to be excellent in competetive internationals.

    Michael Owen was exactly the same, and it wasn't until Shearer starred at Euro 96 that we really knew we had a star player on the World scene

    Then there is the flip side, thos who cannot perform in a tournament situation for their country, despite how good they are domestically. Barnes, aforementioned Hoddle, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, Crouch.

  • Comment number 91.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 92.

    Been out for a while, but here goes:-

    #88 Mr C

    The young players, for want of a better description, have not proved to be any better domestically or internationally since last summers 'failure'. Domestically, the 'old guard' still out perform the young players and since there are many people that try to insist that Capello sticks to his supposed word of playing players in form, then the team that is likely to be picked will include the players you don't want to play.

    #89 nicknack1

    You may be right about Carroll. I suspect you're wrong. Either way, he has done nothing wrong yet, has probably outscored the likes of Heskey and to write him off before he has been given a proper chance to succeed or fail is quite ridiculous.

    Look beyond the transfer fee and try to judge him on substance, not just your opinion.

  • Comment number 93.

    I thought football was a team game.
    Having to depend so heavily on one player and a defender at that for goals is not a good sign.
    Confidence with him in the team is low, without him non existent it appears.

  • Comment number 94.

    Players will battle in the hot stockpot that is the Willenium Stadium. Will Smith will marvel at the spectacle of British limbs flying at each other. In the end, football will win the day, all fans will go home content in the knowledge that they witnessed legendary activites on expertly groomed lawns.

  • Comment number 95.

    92. At 16:34pm on 25th Mar 2011, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    I agree that he deserves a chance but if we end up hitting long balls then i'll feel the whole world is laughing at our "kick and rush" tactics.

    Also it has to be said how many players can win a header, the answer is lots. How many have a great touch, vision and awareness to score, the answer is very few.

    He's walking in Shearer's shoes except his technique and ability to score from anywhere are no where near the man, he is bound to fail because he doesn't possess the attributes of other "top" strikers like Drogba, Shearer, Henry and before his recent awful form, Torres.

    However they paid top money for him and its destined to be a waste, at least a large part of it.

    When he's in our lineup against "top" teams with "top" strikers he'll get flak, as ineveitable as the sun rising tomorrow.

    We're not technically as good as Spain, Brazil etc and if we keep faith with muscle men then we're just going round in circles until our next WC or European failure.

  • Comment number 96.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 97.

    4. At 12:34pm on 25th Mar 2011, Futbol_is_Dead wrote:
    Another article about Wilshere and Ramsey .. I bet those two will have no effect what so ever on the game come Saturday. .. Over rated youngsters and as Pep said ' We have many players like Wilshere playing for our B team ' ..

    Give them a break and stop over hyping them .. This is the same thing you do with your Enlgand Team players .. and they always fail to live up to the hype ..

    As for Wales.. just dont try to do what the Enlgish are doing .. Keep it low and try to work you way up ..

    There is no way Guardiola has players like Wilshere in the Barca B team. Wilshere was probably the best player on the park in the first Champions League leg, and has outshone fabregas for the best part of this season. He is probably England's most gifted footballer, and will be influential in England's side for the next few years. Ramsey is good but hasn't got the impact Wilshere has, although it is pointless saying this is a wilshere ramsey grudgematch. Play Carroll with Rooney off him and the game should be pretty comfortable.

  • Comment number 98.

    What is wrong with having a big centre forward, the classic number 9 if you will?

    Having a person of those attributes should not be allowed to dictate the style of play but to have someone who can pass a ball and, if needs be, win the ball in the air is surely a good thing?

    It is up to Capello to ensure that if the team start playing long and it is not getting us anywhere, to get off his behind and tell them what is wrong. (Getting off his behind and telling the team what is wrongly is something he failed to do against Germany last summer, but let's hope HE has learned as well.)

    Use Carroll's attribute's, harness them and exploit them but don't let any one players attributes dictate what the other ten should do.

  • Comment number 99.

    96. At 16:44pm on 25th Mar 2011, Mr C wrote:

    The last 4 or 5 world cup winners certainly didn't! It's medieval.

    It's like a knight with a sword fighting a Supersonic Jet Plane full of smart bombs.

    How close would Carroll get to Spains, Brazils or Frances first team??

  • Comment number 100.

    England has struggled since just before the world cup. Though they've had a couple of decent efforts since, they struggled again against Montenegro. I think the biggest problems are

    1. Rooney. The team is built around him, and not only has he failed to produce (after an excellent start with Capello), he's one of those players who spreads bile and bad feeling when he's not playing well--as opposed, say, to the much less talented Crouch, who continues to work hard and seem encouraging when he's not effective. Rooney should have been benched long ago, I think, especially after the Algeria game, where he seemed to be clearly not trying at times, in the hope it might shock him into form. It sets a terrible example to the team to keep a player as the fulcrum of the attack who not only is playing badly, but seems a negative influence as well? So bench him now, I would say for a while, and hope he'll play well next year. If not, the team is better off without him.

    2. Nerves/tightness/fear. Everyone is much better at anything if they are relaxed and confident, but of course it's hard to be either when things aren't going well. It's not an easy problem to overcome. That's why there are slumps. But making major changes is one way to try to do it, and it's probably the best option here. Trying to build a team for 2014 seems like an excellent idea, especially as, unfortunate though it may be, this generation of stars looks very strongly like it never will accomplish much internationally.


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