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Wilshere positive on England talent
Jack Wilshere is not worried by the increasing lack of young English talent breaking through into the Barclays Premier League.
It is estimated only around 30 per cent of top flight players will be eligible for the Three Lions this season - and realistically, the number Roy Hodgson can call on for national service will be far fewer.
New Football Association chairman Greg Dyke highlighted the problem in his key-note speech in London last month, although evidently, a solution will not be easy to find.
However, Wilshere does not feel the situation is as dire as some believe.
"I don't think we should be worried at all," he said. "They (foreign players) are not an obstruction. Ravel Morrison has burst onto the scene this season. He is a great prospect for the future.
"A lot of young English players are breaking into teams too.
"OK, there are a lot of foreign players as well. But I can learn from the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil. They are top players.
"Playing with the best players in Europe can only help my game. That is a positive."
It is beyond question that should England fail to gain the results against Montenegro and Poland over the next week that would allow smooth passage into next summer's World Cup Finals in Brazil, it will trigger another bout of naval gazing.
"Teams want the best players," said Wilshere. "If the best players come through your academy you can play.
"Kieran Gibbs is in this England squad. He grew up with me at Arsenal from when I was nine. If you are good enough it doesn't matter where you come from."
The absence of Ashley Cole with a rib injury might have deprived Hodgson of a senior player, but having Leighton Baines in his squad means the damage is not too great.
In other areas the situation is not quite so positive.
As Wilshere's Arsenal team-mates Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both missing through injury and Manchester United pair Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha have been overlooked due to a loss of form, Tottenham youngster Andros Townsend is the only orthodox wide-man available to Hodgson.
Whether the England boss is willing to risk an uncapped 22-year-old into such a significant situation is open to debate.
"These next two games will be my biggest as an international player," said Wilshere. "If we win them, it will be amazing to get to a World Cup.
"It is helpful that our destiny is in our own hands. That was the plan. It is also nice to be unbeaten. But we can still be unbeaten and not go to the World Cup so it is not done yet."
For Wilshere, after missing out on Euro 2012 due to injury, an appearance at a World Cup would represent a significant milestone in a career that looked like becoming more famous for the games he missed rather than ones he was involved in.
"A new manager came in for England but I kept getting injured," said Wilshere. "I was no use to no-one. This is my third consecutive meet-up now and hopefully there will be many more."
It would also allow him to forget about the ill-advised decision to smoke, which was captured on camera and provoked an irritated response from Arsene Wenger.
"Players and people make mistakes," said Wilshere.
"I made a mistake. I spoke to the boss. We sorted it out and I played on Sunday. Hopefully I repaid him with a goal."