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Classy Wilshere looked like a Barcelona No 4 in the making

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SOCCER-FRIENDLY/Scrunching up the eyes a bit, and using just a touch of imagination, watching Jack Wilshere on the ball for England against Denmark was almost like watching Xavi. It was quite a shock, in fact, to see a player in an England shirt pause, look up and think before picking out a team mate with a precise, considered pass.

Comparing Wilshere to the peerless Barcelona midfielder Xavi will be stretching it for some. I was pretty surprised, I must say, to read match reports on Thursday suggesting Wilshere had been a bit disappointing.

The conventional wisdom on Wilshere seems to be that Capello risks wasting his talent by playing him in such a deep role. Reporters in England clearly want to see Wilshere playing much closer to the opposition penalty area, wreaking havoc with his deft touch and eye for a pass.

The problem is that Capello’s England have a far more pressing problem than the need for a tricky midfielder to set up chances. As was made abundantly clear at the World Cup in South Africa, England must learn how to hold the ball with more assurance and for much longer periods of time if they are to mix it with the best.

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