Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Fabio Capello that Jack Wilshere will not be allowed to play in England’s friendly against Holland on Wednesday.
The squad inclusion of the midfielder – already the subject of a club-versus-country row at Under 21 level this summer – came despite him missing the Gunners’ pre-season defeat to Benfica on Saturday night with an ankle problem.
But Wenger insisted Capello was wasting his time by including the 19-year-old.
“They can include him as much as they want, he will not play (because of injury),” Wenger said onArsenal’s official website.
Theo Walcott also missed the 2-1 loss to Benfica, but had not been selected by Capello.
Should Wilshere be withdrawn, he will join Aston Villa’s Darren Bent in pulling out of the game, with more absentees expected.
Capello took the precaution of selecting an extra couple of players but, given 11 took part in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley, plus two more – Rob Green and Scott Parker – arrived fresh from West Ham’s Championship defeat to Cardiff, knocks are inevitable.
Indeed, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson alluded to an ankle problem for Danny Welbeck, who was only elevated to the senior ranks after Bent withdrew with a shoulder problem.
And even though Capello has vowed not to take any risks with the players at his disposal, the Italian accepts players can sometimes mask the truth about their fitness in an effort to make their presence felt on the international stage.
“Possibly some players will not be completely fit,” Capello said.
“They might have a little pain. The manager says, ‘why are you playing in a friendly game? We need you for an important game on Saturday in the Premier League’.
“I know how they think. I remember this problem.
“But if the player decides he wants to go to the national team, it is impossible to stop him.
“He might say he thinks he is okay or the pain is not so strong.
“This is what some players have done during my career as a club manager. They just said they wanted to go.”