Wil­shere is ruled out again as dream fades

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Sam Wal­lace

Jack Wil­shere is out of Eng­land’s Wem­b­ley friendly against Italy on Tues­day and must be con­cerned that his chances of go­ing to the World Cup fi­nals this sum­mer are slip­ping badly.

The Arse­nal mid­fielder did not travel to Am­s­ter­dam for Fri­day’s friendly against Hol­land, hav­ing picked up a knee ten­don in­jury on the eve of the game. There was some hope he could re­cover in time but the 26-year-old, who has not played for Eng­land since Euro 2016, will re­main with Arse­nal. Joe Gomez, who was sub­sti­tuted with an in­jury af­ter 10 min­utes on Fri­day, is stay­ing with Eng­land for now.

Gareth South­gate says the door is still open for Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek to win a place in the World Cup squad now that the Chelsea play­maker, on loan at Crys­tal Palace, is back from in­jury, hav­ing been given his Eng­land de­but against Ger­many in Novem­ber.

South­gate has told his play­ers that they need to be able to keep the ball in pres­surised sit­u­a­tions and said that he would con­tinue to look at those ca­pa­ble of do­ing it. He also hinted that there might be a chance for Adam Lal­lana to play against Italy.

Af­ter Eng­land’s win over Hol­land, South­gate said he was open-minded about pick­ing 22-year-old Lof­tusCheek. He added: “When I named the squad I said that Ruben was one that re­ally im­pressed us in Novem­ber, has dif­fer­ent sorts of at­tributes and re­ally is a No8 or No10 rather than a deeper player.”

South­gate said that his Eng­land team would con­tinue to build from the back with com­po­sure and that the new gen­er­a­tion of de­fend­ers had a “dif­fer­ent skillset” that made them ca­pa­ble of do­ing so. “It re­ally al­lows us to adopt a dif­fer­ent men­tal­ity. I was re­ally pleased with the com­po­sure they showed.

“We picked spe­cific play­ers in the squad to do that, from the goal­keeper right the way through the team – they played with a real con­fi­dence and en­joyed the ball.”

Prais­ing goal­keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford (right) for his part in Jesse Lin­gard’s goal, he said: “If you can play with com­po­sure and play through and out of pres­sure, it af­fects the op­po­si­tion in terms of their pres­sure. Even­tu­ally they stop run­ning and you have more time in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the field. The pro­file of goal­keeper and de­fence al­lowed us to do that.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.