Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Wenger warns of Wilshere burn-out

Jack Wilshere

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned commonsense must prevail over Jack Wilshere's involvement with England - insisting having the 19-year-old play too many games for club and country is an accident waiting to happen.

Wilshere made his first senior England competitive start in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales and was named in Fabio Capello's XI for Tuesday night's friendly with Ghana, where he played 70 minutes. Under-21s coach Stuart Pearce is keen for the combative midfielder to be part of his group in Denmark in June - a month which also sees another Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.

"A lot happened last week that defied commonsense, but I do not want to talk about that," Wenger said. "At the end of the day, what is important is that England has a good player, Arsenal has a good player and the player has the needed rest to produce good performances."

Wilshere himself has spoken of his desire to be involved for England at any level, hoping an amicable agreement can be reached between Arsenal and the Football Association for his release.

Wenger, though, is acutely aware of the risk of player burnout, as Wilshere could have chalked up almost 60 games in total when he finally has a break.

He added: "I do not want to go into these battles any more, and I did it with France. But I have enough experience, and experience helps you only to anticipate problems - you know this car will hit the wall at some stage and you see it a little bit earlier than somebody who has less experience.

"Nobody has brought more young players out than I have and I have a good experience of what kind of stages they go through."

Wenger is also aware of the added pressure the home-grown starlet has to cope with.

"I think the best way to help Wilshere is to leave him alone to play football," said the Arsenal manager. "I don't deny that he is a very promising player. I wouldn't play him in the first team at 19 with the number of midfielders I have if I didn't believe that.

"But let him play and what he will be, he will be. We are all confident that he has a bright future, but it is the first season. Let him play."

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