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By ESPN Staff

Gunners youth in England surprise

Arsenal youngster Matthew Connolly, 19, made a surprise appearance at England's training session on Monday afternoon, where a somewhat depleted squad were put through their paces at London Colney.

The former England Under-19 international joined in with the 16 senior players who were not in action for their clubs on Sunday - with the exception of Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson and striker Jermain Defoe, who had started on the bench at Reading.

Steve McClaren's original 28-man strong party for the friendly with Holland in Amsterdam had been whittled down by a spate of withdrawals, winger Aaron Lennon the latest to pull out earlier on Monday afternoon.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was, as usual, the first player on to the training pitch at Arsenal's Hertfordshire complex - and wasted little time in starting shooting practice before taking his now customary turn in goal.

Following a group jog for a warm-up, Robinson and Watford's on-loan United keeper Ben Foster broke off to start their specialist practice session.

The remainder - now including Connolly, who clearly knew Micah Richards from their time in the England youth set-up - began a light-hearted game of one-touch, which head coach McClaren also took an active part in.

McClaren must now decide how best to deal with the absence of Spurs winger Lennon in Holland, who had been earmarked for his first start in Amsterdam but was forced out this morning with a knee injury.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who like Peter Crouch and Jamie Carragher were in action at Arsenal yesterday, could be asked to play wide on the right, as he did in the 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Earlier on Monday, Jermaine Jenas also withdrew from the squad, the Spurs midfielder sent back to his club for treatment on a calf problem.

So far only Manchester United's Kieran Richardson has been called up to the squad as a replacement by McClaren.