• World Cup

Youngsters need to grow up, says Wilshere

ESPN staff
June 26, 2014
Jack Wilshere was one of several young players for England at the World Cup © Getty Images

Jack Wilshere admits that "time is running out" for England's youngsters to make their mark following a disappointing World Cup campaign.

Wilshere was one of many players who made up a youthful squad at the tournament but they were eliminated with one group game remaining and suffered their earliest elimination since 1958.

The 22-year-old has offered his opinion of the young players in the side, with the Arsenal midfielder calling on himself, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw to start proving their worth as the next generation of players for the national side.

"It's easy for me to stand here and say: 'We're young, we can go forward. But if you look at Germany, a team like that, they've got young players who are delivering now," Wilshere said.

"Time is running out for us to say we're young any more. I'm 22, only Ross, Luke [Shaw] and Raheem are young players. They showed in this tournament what they can do, but in the next tournament we really have to deliver.

"It is a nice group of young players and hopefully we can stick together, learn from this tournament, take all this disappointment and bottle it up. This is the worst feeling."

Wilshere maintained that England have no one else to blame but themselves for their poor showing in Brazil, although he conceded the hot and humid conditions in the country may have affected them.

"What excuses are we going to use?" he said. "We prepared well. We're just disappointed. It's all a bit raw. When we get back to England we'll wake up every day and think: 'What if this, what if that?'

"The weather always plays a part. Don't get me wrong, it's not an excuse for European teams, but naturally I think it will help one of the South American teams win it. It does play a part, but it's not an excuse. They are good footballers too, the way they press without the ball, the way they keep the ball. We could learn from them."

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