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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2011

Wenger issues Wilshere ultimatum

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Jack Wilshere could have no choice but to miss England's senior matches at the start of next season if he is selected for the European Under-21s Championships in Denmark this summer.

The 19-year-old midfielder is fast closing in on 50 matches for club and country having been handed a first competitive England start by Fabio Capello for the Euro 2012 qualifier victory in Wales last month.

Under-21s coach Stuart Pearce is keen for Wilshere to be part of his group in Denmark in June - a month which also sees another senior qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.

Wenger, however, has warned that at some stage Wilshere must be given a break - which could mean the player having no choice but to rest up and sit out England's friendly against Holland at Wembley on August 10 and the qualifier with Bulgaria in Sofia on September 2, as well as the start of Arsenal's 2011-12 campaign.

"Where I stand on it all is that it would be better for him not to play," said Wenger who offered Cesc Fabregas and striker Robin van Persie given some extra time off after the World Cup final last summer.

"We will accept the decision of the FA - but don't forget that the difference between Spain and England is that they start the championship in September, and in England we start on the 15th of August.

"England have a friendly in August, if the under-21s go to the end of the tournament, I will have to give the player four to six weeks' holiday. That means he might not be available for the friendly, nor for the (Euro 2012) qualifier because he will not be ready and that game is in September. England has to make a choice there.

"I know I have to respect the holiday period for the players and that is more a calculation which the England national team has to make.

"Maybe we will be without the player at the start of the season." Wenger believes Manchester United's evergreen Ryan Giggs is a prime example of what can be achieved with proper player management.

"Ryan Giggs is still playing at 37 years of age, but he has never played in a major international tournament - that means he always had a good rest every summer.

"In the long term I think it has an impact on players who go to big tournaments, come back and play a championship like in England, where every game is a battle. You have to think carefully how to rest the players."

Wilshere will line up for the Gunners this weekend against Liverpool.

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