Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Wenger reaches compromise with Hodgson

Arsene Wenger, pictured, would rather not see Jack Wilshere play for England next week

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reached a compromise with England over Jack Wilshere's involvement in next week's friendly against Sweden - but admits he would have preferred if the midfielder was not involved at all.

England boss Roy Hodgson has wasted no time in bringing Wilshere back into the senior squad, despite the 20-year-old only just returning to action with the Gunners after more than a year on the sidelines. Wilshere has experienced niggling injury problems which stem back to an ankle problem initially suffered when winning his fifth cap against Switzerland at Wembley in June 2011.

"You know what I think with Jack, that it is early for him. I had Roy Hodgson on the phone, we found a good understanding and a good compromise," said Wenger, who was at Great Ormond Street Hospital on Thursday afternoon along with Wilshere to help open the Arsenal Lung Function Unit.

"What helps is that he is not playing over the weekend because he is suspended, of course. He will have a little breather. Roy wants him in the group to connect the game with the players."

Wenger continued: "The ideal solution would be yes [he wouldn't be involved]. But it is as it is.

"Jack has played three games now, and of the three games only one [has been a] full game. He has been out for 17 months.

"It is good to have a little break after three games. What we like of him is he won't play over the weekend, so will recover. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery."

Wenger will see most of his squad away during next week in what the Arsenal manager sees as somewhat unnecessary fixtures.

He said: "The friendlies in November, you don't know how they can prepare you for a game in February.

"Basically there are a lot of politics behind these games as well because when you see some teams travelling during that period, you think it is more to pay back some corporation rather than preparing a team for the next official game."