Incredibly, the inclusion of Jack Wilshere in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad was met with some surprise and outrage.
Fans of other clubs, mainly West Ham United supporters who somehow believe Mark Noble should’ve been called up instead or something.
Hodgson, though, stands by his choice to choose Wilshere despite the midfielder starting his one and only Premier League game of the season on Sunday.
“He is there on merit, he is a special player. We don’t have lots and lots of Jack Wilsheres available,” Hodgson said to the media on Monday.
“Most of his injuries have been trauma injuries. I am not worried about him. Obviously, I think he is a real quality player. He ticks all the boxes.”
Wilshere has been used in a variety of positions by Hodgson, who has more or less admitted he would like to, ideally, build his midfield around the Arsenal man.
After playing a number of u21s games, Wilshere has played 70 minutes for Arsenal twice in the last two weeks and has three England friendlies to prepare for the tournament this summer.
“I had to ask myself certain questions,” Hodgson explained. “Is he actually fit now? Yes, he is fit. I had to ask myself if he is the type of player who brings something different to the team, a player we do not have an abundance of? The answer was yes.
“The third question, well, at top-level competition, in the qualifiers, has he performed? Has he done the job for us? Has he been a very good player? I think three man-of-the-matches in a row would answer that one.
“So, really, to select him in a group of 26 was a very easy thing to do.”
It’s been a difficult season for Jack but he is now fit and, ultimately, Hodgson has to make the best of the situation. The best, clearly, is to select the midfielder and see how it goes.
“Would I have liked him to have actually been playing week-in, week-out for the Arsenal? Of course I would. Would I have liked Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Eric Dier to have played a few less games, and Chris Smalling to have had a bit of a rest at some stage of the season? Yes, I would.
“For Wilshere, it is a bit different so he deserves the chance to show he is fit, capable of playing at the level he was playing for us in the autumn and I have got at least a couple of matches when I can test those things out as well as the training sessions.”
I mean, how could Roy not pick him?