BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bendtner calls for England caution over Wilshere

Venue: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen Date: Wednesday, 9 February Kick-off: 1915 GMT Coverage details: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary and full reports on BBC Sport website & mobiles; live on ITV1


Preview - Denmark v England

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner has said that England should learn from Theo Walcott's England career when handling the progress of Jack Wilshere.

Midfielder Wilshere, 19, will make his full England debut in the friendly against Denmark on Wednesday.

And Arsenal team-mate Bendtner has called for caution after Walcott was unused as a 17-year-old in the 2006 World Cup and not picked in 2010.

"Theo can be a lesson for the way you treat Jack," said Bendtner.

"It's important to take it easy and realise he is a kid. He's still young, even though he seems very mature and seems like he has played a long time."

England manager Fabio Capello said recently it was a mistake not to take Walcott to the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

But the 21-year-old Arsenal winger has had the most prolific season of his career so far, scoring 11 goals.

Let's give Wilshere a few games instead of building him up into such a player before he's completed one game

Former England boss Graham Taylor

"I have my own theories on how Theo Walcott was treated by England," Bendtner added. "I don't want to get too much into that because it will probably just get me in trouble.

"Young players are always put under a lot of pressure very early in England. You always throw players around really quickly."

Capello said on Tuesday that Wilshere would play in a defensive midfield role alongside new England captain Frank Lampard.

And the Italian heaped praise on the teenager, who has only made one international substitute appearance - against Hungary in August.

"I know Wilshere is 19 but I remember the best players I managed; Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Raul. They all started really young.

"It is the same talent but people have to wait. He is young and needs experience in big games, like the Champions League and matches between the big teams in England."

But former England boss Graham Taylor told BBC Radio 5 live: "The big surprise to me is how much Wilshere has been praised by Fabio Capello, how flowing in praise he's been of one player before he's actually played one full game.

"He's a good player, there's no doubt about that, from all accounts he handles all situations very well. But at international level, we have a record of players who don't produce it at international level, that's been one of our problems.

"Let's give him a few games and then let's get talking about him instead of building him up into such a player before he's completed one international game."

Bendtner is one of several Danish players based in the Premier League who are set to play in the match in Copenhagen.

The Arsenal striker has not played for his national team since their World Cup exit in June.


Others include Liverpool defender Daniel Agger and midfielder Christian Poulsen, as well as Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, right-back Lars Jacobsen of West Ham and Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard.

Meanwhile, coach Morten Olsen has commented that England's recent failings can be attributed to the demands placed on their players.

Olsen, 61, is in charge of his final major qualifying campaign after spending an impressive 11 years in the job.

And he has reached the conclusion that England will never perform at major tournaments until the game's powerbrokers factor in a winter break.

"To say it is killing you is a big word, but it is a right one," Olsen stated. "England has tried everything.

"They have had two coaches from abroad. Their players don't play kick and rush anymore. They play modern football. They are flexible tactically.

"What else is there? They must rest. If I eat the same food every day, I get tired of it. It is the same with football.

"You have to be hungry. If you are a professional and you are always looking at the clock it is no good. You have to play with the attitude of an amateur, with a smile on your face."

Print Sponsor

see also
Denmark 1-2 England
09 Feb 11 |  Football
Nasri expects Wilshere to shine
08 Feb 11 |  Arsenal

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites