No Wilshere and Welbeck for Under-21s
England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has confirmed he will not be taking Jack Wilshere or Danny Welbeck to this summer's European Under-21 Championships.
Pearce and his Three Lions side travel to Israel for the tournament in June, and he was quietly confident that he may be able to call on the experience of some of the senior England players still eligible for the Under-21 side.
Much to the dissatisfaction of Arsenal and Manchester United managers Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester City boss was particularly hopeful of calling up Wilshere and Welbeck. However, Pearce has revealed that it was senior England manager Roy Hodgson who had the final say on the matter.
"I sat and watched the Brazil game and saw he is key to the seniors. We had a brief chat and Jack and Danny won't be considered as they are gaining their experience through the seniors," Pearce said. "I think we always want to go to major tournaments with the best players."
Despite the setback for Pearce, he is still expected to call up the likes of Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha, who are not yet considered first-team regulars in the England senior side.
"The likes of Wilshere and maybe Welbeck, they maybe won't be considered because they are so key for the senior team but I think anyone who is not an initial first starter with the seniors they must come into the category because if not you cannot win anything at these tournaments," Pearce said. "I know the magnitude of what the opposition come with and their better players but I have been barking on about that for the last six years and I will continue to do that and hopefully someone will listen to me somewhere down the line.
"If you look at all the teams who have won major tournaments, the French and the Spanish, you only have to track that back to probably having a good experience. You talk about kids having good experience and good education and we have to make sure when we get up to Under-21s, 19s, 17s that that continues because the Spanish do it and they go with their best players."
Meanwhile, Pearce has said that he will not enter into contract negotiations with the Football Association until after the tournament in Israel, despite his current deal set to expire in the summer.
"I think we are speaking in the summer after the tournament that is how it is has been left," he said. "If you ask me if I enjoy this job - yes I do. It is a fantastic job and I enjoy representing my country, and we will speak in the summer after the tournament - that is how it is going."