December 12 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 18, 2013
Arsene Wenger would love to boast five Arsenal players in the England squad for next summer’s World Cup – something he thinks would be the pride of the Premier League.
Most of the Frenchman’s squad have been on international duty over the last fortnight and though usual Three Lions regulars Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed out through injury he sees no reason why the Gunners won’t have a strong contingent in the national set-up for the Brazil tournament.
Right-back Carl Jenkinson played for the under-21s while left-back Kieran Gibbs was called up as injury cover into a senior side that contained club-mate Jack Wilshere.
And after extolling the virtues of Arsenal’s homegrown system during yesterday’s annual general meeting, Wenger believes the selection of all five young Guns would prove his policy one of the best in the land.
“Potentially you could have five [in the England World Cup squad]”, he said.
“It would be fantastic for us because I don’t think that anybody can compete on that level with us.”
He added: “I just think that the core of our club and our strength has to be what we produce internally with the players that come out of our education.
“We have a specific style of play and that demands a special education inside the club.
“After that, we complete it with good scouting. Good scouts sometimes develop players with our coaching skill into world-class players, who are not necessarily known before they arrive here.
“Afterwards they can compete with recognised world-class players like [Mesut] Ozil, but you don’t need special scouting to identify Ozil. Everybody knows him.”
Yet Wenger urged against the usual wave of patriotism that regularly casts England as world champions elect every four years.
“They [England] have the basis of a very good team who can be ambitious at the World Cup,” he said.
“Let’s be cautious as well, not like we are usually here and think that England will win the World Cup, but they will have a team that will create a positive surprise.”
The international break saw the spotlight fall on Wilshere for his comments on the eligibility of players for the national side, while he was dropped to the bench for both qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.
But Wenger is confident that all the attention will be like water off a duck’s back for the 21-year-old.
He said: “Jack is a fighter, he’s very strong and he has his feet on the ground. He has a very objective assessment of his performances after games and I don’t think he’d get carried away or put down by the media.”