Jack Wilshere 'panicked' over England
Jack Wilshere feared he was in danger of losing his fitness battle to make the 23-man squad selected by England boss Roy Hodgson for this summer's World Cup finals.
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Arsenal midfielder Wilshere broke his foot playing for England in March, with his race to be fit for Arsenal's final Premier League game of the season and their FA Cup final success against Hull forcing the 22-year-old to urge his manager to allow him to return to action in double-quick time.
"I did speak to Arsene because I came back training and I was panicking a bit about the [England] squad," Wilshere told reporters. "I wanted to be in it. I went to him and said I thought I was ready.
"He said, 'No you are not ready; you need to train if you are to have a good World Cup, you need a good fitness base and you will be right in every aspect.'
"That is where I am now. I knew that I would be fit, it was just down to whether the manager thought I was ready and whether I felt ready myself as well.
"Unfortunately, I have been in that position a lot, wondering how long it takes to come back and get back to the same level but I knew a bone would take six weeks.
"If I'd been left out I would have been devastated because I wasn't fit and wasn't playing but I just wanted to be here. I knew the work I had to do and if I got here I could prove to the manager that I am ready."
While there is a lack of confidence among some of their supporters ahead of England's trip to Brazil, the bullish Wilshere has predicted Hodgson's side can emerge as surprise guys in an opening group that features Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
"We're just going over there wanting to do well, we want to win it," he stated. "The young players are not used to being disappointed coming home from a World Cup so we don't know what to expect. We also have the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have been there three or four times. This is a strong squad."
Wilshere went on to reveal his delight when he heard the news he had been handed the No. 7 shirt in England's World Cup squad, as he takes on the jersey worn by the his former idol and ex-England captain, David Beckham.
"I was lying on a sunbed trying to go to sleep actually and a text came through saying I was No. 7. That was it," added Wilshere.
"There has been Bryan Robson and David Beckham and now I have it. Beckham was my hero growing up as well so it is quite nice to get it."