England U21s v clubs clash brewing
Not only is Jack Wilshere willing to risk the wrath of Arsenal by playing in the European Under-21 Championships this summer, he is now encouraging Liverpool's £35million signing Andy Carroll to join him.
Wilshere has already stated his desire to take part in the tournament in Denmark in June despite reservations being expressed by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger believes young players should be excluded from national youth teams once they are established in the senior set-up, and Liverpool could be forgiven for hoping their British record signing is not required to take part in the under-21 Euros, particularly after his breakthrough goal against Ghana this week would have pushed his claims for a regular role in Fabio Capello's team.
But Wilshere, 19, feels 22-year-old Carroll would reap the benefits of participating in Denmark and has told the former Newcastle man that if he agrees, he should make himself available to play.
When asked if playing for the under-21s would aid Carroll, Wilshere said: "Definitely. Andy has got himself a good move this year (to Liverpool) and he is progressing all the time. That goal against Ghana will be massive for his confidence. To be honest with you, it's up to him. But, if he wants to go in the summer, he should go. The German Under-21 players (in 2009) played in the World Cup 12 months later and that is part of football. You develop a lot and, if you play with players you know, you are going to play well.''
Wilshere rubbishes the theory that Wenger will be upset that he has played in two successive games in four days for his country against Wales and Ghana.
He said: "I've been playing Saturday and Tuesday or Wednesday when we were in the Champions League. Now we are out of the Champions League, to be honest I could have played the full 90 minutes against Ghana. I just think the manager will be delighted I've been picked for my national team. I feel better than I ever have. I've never played a full season but I feel fitter than I ever have.''
Wilshere believes England can look back with satisfaction at their efforts over the past few days with the Euro 2012 qualifying win over Wales and a much-changed side impressing against Ghana.
He said: "The mood is good. The main thing is on Saturday we got three points and then we've tried new players against Ghana. The new players have done well. Stewart Downing did great, Ashley Young again, James Milner. There is more competition than ever and that can only be healthy.''
He said: "I think the 4-3-3 system works best for the team and me personally. I prefer that system and now the manager (Fabio Capello) prefers it. It is similar to the one at Arsenal. It means you can move the ball around and get more time on the ball and pass it around.''