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Pearce stands defiant on Walcott

Theo Walcott and Stuart Pearce
Walcott (left) was unavailable for last year's European U21 tournament

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce has rejected fears Arsenal's Theo Walcott may burn out as a result of playing for the U21 and senior England teams.

He spoke after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said Walcott, who missed four months with a dislocated shoulder, should only play for one or other team.

"If I was giving advice I'd say if you're picked for the national team play all the games you can," he said.

"I did. I speak from experience, not as someone who picked and chose my games."

Walcott, who suffered his shoulder injury on senior England duty last year, is in Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup qualifier against Andorra.

Coupled with the fact that he missed four months of the season through injury and missed the last European U21 tournament through injury as well, I think we had a valid case

Stuart Pearce

Pearce also wants him available for the European U21 championships, which start in Sweden next week.

He revealed he had discussed the matter with Wenger and the pair "disagreed but were civil," and said he did not expect Capello to think about England U21 concerns when picking his senior side.

"Fabio will pick his strongest side, whether Theo is coming to meet us two days later or not is irrelevant," said Pearce.

"If he deems they need to play 90 minutes then so be it. We need to beat Andorra as a nation, that is the most important thing now."

Pearce also said fears about the possibility of getting injured were not a valid reason not to play.

606: DEBATE

"The one thing I would say from my experience as a player, you never know when that injury is going to come," he said.

"You never know when you are going to be out for six months, a year or however long.

"It's a great honour to play for your country because you bet your bottom dollar that when you are 35 or 40 you cannot do it any more.

"Coupled with the fact that he missed four months of the season through injury and missed the last European U21 tournament through injury as well, I think we had a valid case."



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see also
Wenger fear over Walcott workload
25 May 09 |  Arsenal
Capello calls up veteran Neville
24 May 09 |  Internationals
Arsenal 4-1 Stoke
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Walcott agrees new Arsenal deal
08 May 09 |  Arsenal
Walcott ruled out after surgery
20 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Young Personality - Theo Walcott
10 Dec 06 |  Other Sport
Arsenal complete Walcott transfer
20 Jan 06 |  Arsenal


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