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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Thursday, 5 August 2010 12:16 UK

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere left out of England U21 squad

Arsenal teenager Jack Wilshere
Stevenage-born Wilshere is a notable product of the Arsenal Academy

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been left out of the England Under-21 squad, fuelling speculation he could earn a call-up to the full squad.

Micah Richards, Lee Cattermole and Theo Walcott have also been omitted for the U21 friendly against Uzbekistan at Bristol City on Tuesday.

All four could feature against Hungary on Wednesday in England's first match since the 2010 World Cup finals.

Marc Albrighton and Jordan Henderson are among the newcomers to the U21s.

Arsenal academy product Wilshere gained valuable experience in 14 appearances on loan at Bolton during the 2009-10 campaign.

Now back at Arsenal, he produced a man-of-the-match performance in the Emirates Cup against Celtic last Sunday and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger highlighted the 18-year-old's claims for international recognition.

England manager Fabio Capello vowed to make changes to his squad following the World Cup debacle when they were thrashed 4-1 by Germany in the second round after stumbling through the group stages. The Football Association suggested an injection of younger talent was on the cards after a desperately disappointing tournament in South Africa.

I was obviously very disappointed not to have made it, but now for the first time in a long time, I have been able to have a rest and a proper pre-season

Theo Walcott

Meanwhile, Walcott has admitted he cried when told he would not be part of England's World Cup squad.

The 21-year-old, who played a major part in England's successful World Cup qualification campaign, was on the golf course when Capello phoned to tell him the bad news.

"He just said, 'I'm sorry. I'm not going to bring you to South Africa, but I'll see you in 2012 for the Euros'," revealed Walcott, who started only 12 Premier League games for Arsenal last term.

"I didn't know what to say at all. He said, 'have a good break and good luck. I'll see you soon.' I wished him all the best.

"There are always disappointments in football, this was my biggest one yet. Actually, I did have a tear to be fair with my cousin and my mate. Then I played the best golf ever.

"I was obviously very disappointed not to have made it, but now for the first time in a long time, I have been able to have a rest and a proper pre-season."


The match against Uzbekistan is the only warm-up game for the England Under-21s ahead of their European Championship qualifiers against Portugal and Lithuania in September.

After losing to Greece in March, England must win both of those games to qualify for the play-offs.

In addition to midfielders Albrighton of Aston Villa and Sunderland's Henderson, Liverpool defender Martin Kelly and Blackburn centre-half Phil Jones have also been called into the squad for the first time.

Highly-rated Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell, who has been tipped for senior honours in the near future, has been retained in a 19-man squad.

"Henderson would have been with us in March but he picked up an injury which ruled him out," England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce explained.

"We're looking forward to playing again after sitting on a defeat for five months. The defeat to Greece put us in a difficult position in the group so we need to be ready.

"It's given us a lot of planning time, so to have a friendly next week is great for us. It's not just good for fitness, but to have a look at some new players and tactics."

England Under-21 squad to face Uzbekistan on August 10:

Goalkeepers: Frankie Fielding (Blackburn Rovers), Alex McCarthy (Reading).

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Sunderland), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton Wanderers), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Andy Carroll (Newcastle United), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

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see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football
England under 21s in Bristol
21 Aug 07 |  England
England U21 1-2 Greece U21
03 Mar 10 |  Football
England 3-1 Egypt
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Bolton secure Wilshere loan deal
29 Jan 10 |  Bolton
Wilshere criticised over conduct
23 Sep 09 |  Arsenal
Pearce signs new England contract
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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