Jack Wilshire’s inclusion in England’s Euro 2016 squad was a shock when it was announced last week and it is a shock now. Whilst England manager Roy Hodgson has been usually fair in selecting his England team, especially in the qualifying stages, the mind boggles as to some of his choices for the major tournament.
This isn’t of course an attack on the Arsenal player, who when on form and when fit is certainly a natural footballer who can cause many problems for the opposition. However the problem for the 24 year old has been lack of games. This season the midfielder played just 3 games. The season before he put together just 14 in the Premier League. Indeed counting league matches only Wilshire has played just 103 times in a career that has so far lasted 8 seasons. Even if we were to take out some games for normal injury we could expect such an important player to make 30 appearances on average per season. So that initial figure of 103 is dwarfed when we think that he could have played almost 250 times.
Injury means Wilshire is missing out on competitive play at the highest level and his experience one would think would be missing. So it is a head scratcher given that Leicester City’s champion winning Danny Drinkwater was omitted in place of Wilshire. It makes no sense other than Hodgson still has preference for players that play for the bigger clubs.
A quick look at the current midfield set up has 3 Liverpool players in contention, whilst Jordan Henderson has become a better player under manager Jurgen Klopp, does the inclusions of Adam Lallana and James Milner seem justified over the Reds season?
Manchester United and Manchester City are represented by four players but it is Tottenham who have the most selections. The North London club who apart from imploding in the final two games of the season had been superb have 5 players.
Despite Leicester winning the league only one player from their team made it in the end and if Jamie Vardy had been overlooked there may have been a riot in middle England. Vardy is still the stunning story- a player that was plying his trade in non-league football just three seasons ago. Vardy had a superb season and will now round this up with representing England in a major tournament. Vardy has also been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, though the player has confirmed he will come to a decision after the Euro’s.