Capello hails 'incredible' Jack

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

Fabio Capello has hailed Jack Wilshere's "incredible" progress at Arsenal as he prepares to throw him in at the deep end against Denmark.

It is a huge statement of Capello's faith in the teenager, who will be making only his second international appearance.

But the England boss is certain his assessment of Wilshere's qualities will not be misplaced.

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

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

Capello has no doubts Wilshere will reach the very top, just as he has no fear over his decision to sit the teenager in front of his defence, allowing Frank Lampard the freedom to use his attacking instincts to maximum effect.

To some, there may be a worry over whether Wilshere has the discipline required for a vacancy that has not been adequately filled since Owen Hargreaves was struck down by injury nearly two and a half years ago.

But after speaking extensively with Arsene Wenger, Capello has no such concerns.

"I know he prefers to go forward but an intelligent player can play anywhere," Capello said.

"I used the example of Claude Makelele before. Andrea Pirlo also started just behind the forward player but ended up playing in front of the back four.

"The thing is, he plays with confidence, never with fear, and other players have confidence in him.

"He is not playing for a team that's trying to stay in the Premier League. It is Arsenal, second in the table. It is incredible for someone so young.

"A player like this has to stay with the seniors."

That Wilshere will start was one of the few pointers Capello was prepared to give about his line-up.

The presence of Joe Hart and Darren Bent was also confirmed, as was England's newly crowned player of the year Ashley Cole.

For Bent it is an acknowledgement of the wider role he has undertaken since his move to Aston Villa last month, and the opportunity to partner Wayne Rooney, a man Capello insists has been in good form all season.

"Rooney has had 12 assists," the Italian said when quizzed about his star striker's meagre tally of three Manchester United goals from open play this term.

"But Rooney scored twice against Aston Villa recently, which is good because a striker always thinks it is important to score."

Capello seems ready to spring a surprise by naming Joleon Lescott as John Terry's partner in central defence instead of Michael Dawson.

Given he lost four players from his original squad, having already been denied the services of Rio Ferdinand, and the general mutterings from around the Premier League about this particular fixture, it would appear to be the match no-one wants.

Capello has sympathy for that view, having been on the other side of the fence so often during his illustrious club career.

But he denies finding evidence of players who no longer care about representing their country.

"They are absolutely 100 per cent committed to England," Capello said. "All the players with the national team are proud to be here.

"I know they have played a lot in the last three weeks and have more in the next few weeks too. I have to be careful and will try to help the clubs.

"But I didn't decide this date. It was FIFA.

"When I started the next adventure here as England manager, we needed new faces. I put new players in the team against France and still read things that were against everyone.

"So we have to play a good game and we have to win."

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