Wilshere: We need a good start

Jack Wilshere (AFP)
Jack Wilshere (AFP)
London - Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere believes a good start for his country would play a significant role in boosting the confidence of his team-mates in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

The youthful English team kick off their campaign against four-time champions, Italy.

The 22-year-old playmaker told Sky Sports Television that their main priority at the global spectacle will be to make their country proud.

Wilshere also hinted that his team-mates will be boosted by the experienced of players like of skipper, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.

“We just want to make the country proud,” said Wilshere.

“We don’t want to start badly.

“We need a good start in this World Cup just like in any tournament.

“We might be full of a youthful squad but we also have experienced senior players like Steven (Gerrard) and Frank (Lampard) who have played at this stage before.

“We are also going to play against teams full of experienced players but we must just keep possession to save our energy against them.”

The Gunners' industrious midfielder also calmed talks stating that he will be partnering the Liverpool young midfielder, Jordan Henderson, regularly during the tournament, stating that Gerrard and Lampard are most likely to occupy the positions due to their experience.

“Players like Steven and Frank might partner in midfield.

“They have plenty of experience.

“We can’t just say I’ll partner Jordan (Henderson) because it’s not up to me, it’s up to the coach.

“As young players, we’ll be willing to help out where we’ll be needed.

“We are all here on merit as we have worked very hard throughout the season to make the team.

“We are all looking forward to the tournament,” he added.

England failed to pass the quarter-final stage in the last five World Cups. They last featured in the semi-finals in Italy back in 1990 when they lost 4-3  on penalties to West Germany after 1-1 draw.

Gary Lineker scored for England in that encounter while Andreas Brehme found the net for the Germans.

Roy Hodgson and the English football fraternity will be relying on their target man, Rooney, once again this year.

The 28-year-old forward is yet to find the back of the net at the world’s biggest stage since making his first appearance at the 2006 tournament in Germany.

The former Everton striker will be hoping to be fully fit for the upcoming campaign as he was forced to play the past two tournaments battling with injuries.

England and the Azzurri will open their campaigns at the Arena Amazonia Stadium on June 15.

Kick-off is at 00:00 (SA Time).
 
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