Wilshere and Carroll handed England Under-21 reprieve

ARSENAL’S Jack Wilshere and Liverpool’s Andy Carroll have been omitted from Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 squad for next month’s European Championship finals in Denmark.

Pearce had previously outlined his intention to select the strongest possible squad at his disposal and include players, such as Wilshere and Carroll, who have already graduated to the senior squad.

The Arsenal midfielder’s inclusion in particular has become contentious, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger describing his selection as a “massive risk” given the amount of football – 3,819 minutes to be precise – he has played this season.

Wilshere himself always maintained he was keen to play, but the player has apparently been convinced by Wenger’s arguments: “I spoke to Jack last week and he explained that while he told me in March that he wanted to be part of the squad, he now feels he is not in the best condition to take part in the finals,” said Pearce. “That is based on the number of games he has played for Arsenal this season, sports science data which Jack was presented with last week and concerns he has for his fitness looking ahead to next season.

“Jack has always expressed his enjoyment at being involved with the under-21 squad, and while I am disappointed not to have him with us for the finals I’ve accepted the situation.”

Meanwhile, Fulham’s Bobby Zamora was named in an England squad for the first time since August after Fabio Capello announced his party for next month’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.

With Andy Carroll injured and Wayne Rooney suspended, Zamora has been selected in a four-man strike force that also includes Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.

There was no place for West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green, who had hinted he did not wish to be involved on this occasion.