Skip to main content

Capello calls up teen Wilshere, drops England's World Cup flops

Teenager Jack Wilshere is hoping to establish himself as a first-team regular at Arsenal in the upcoming season.
Teenager Jack Wilshere is hoping to establish himself as a first-team regular at Arsenal in the upcoming season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal's 18-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere called into England squad for friendly
  • Coach Fabio Capello retains just 10 of the 23 players he took to the World Cup
  • Wilshere's young clubmate Kieran Gibbs is also named in squad to face Hungary
  • Wembley fixture in preparation for start of Euro 2012 qualifiers in September

(CNN) -- Under-pressure England coach Fabio Capello has dropped more than half of his World Cup squad for the first match since the team's disappointing second-round exit.

The Italian has named only 10 of the 23 players he took to South Africa for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary in London, while calling up young uncapped players Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

He has recalled young internationals Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott, who missed the final cut in June, while goalkeepers Joe Hart, 23, and Ben Foster, 27, replace veteran David James and Robert Green -- who was axed after his mistake in the opening game against the U.S.

Midfielder Wilshere, now 18, made his name when he played in the Champions League as a 16-year-old for Arsenal. He is an under-21 international and spent half of last season on loan at Premier League club Bolton.

Being called up to the England squad is a proud moment for me and my family, but my first target is to break into the Arsenal team
--Jack Wilshere
RELATED TOPICS
  • Fabio Capello
  • Brazil
  • Hungary
  • FIFA World Cup

"Being called up to the England squad is a proud moment for me and my family, but my first target is to break into the Arsenal team and play on a regular basis," Wilshere, who would become the 10th-youngest England international if he plays, told Arsenal's website on Saturday.

His 20-year-old clubmate Gibbs is less likely to break into the team when the Euro 2012 campaign begins, as he plays in the same left-back position as Chelsea's Ashley Cole, one of England's few successes in South Africa.

The Hungary match, which takes place four days before the Premier League season kicks off, is preparation for the first qualifier at home to Bulgaria on September 3.

England's second Group G tie is in Switzerland four days later.

New Liverpool signing Joe Cole was among those to be omitted, having apparently fallen out with Capello at the World Cup, where he was used sparingly despite England's lack of attacking potency.

Fulham's 29-year-old striker Bobby Zamora was called up, having missed out on the World Cup due to the Achilles injury that plagued him at the end of last season.

He is one of four forwards along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney -- a big disappointment in South Africa -- plus West Ham's Carlton Cole and Sunderland's Darren Bent, who was in Capello's preliminary World Cup squad.

The midfield core of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry was retained, while Johnson will compete for wing places with James Milner, Ashley Young and Walcott.

In defense, uncapped former squad member Gary Cahill was recalled along with Phil Jagielka and Wes Brown. Michael Dawson was retained after being a late replacement for injured captain Rio Ferdinand, but not actually playing at the World Cup.