England players deserve any boos they get – Wilshere

Joe Williams

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere thinks members of England’s Euro 2016 squad should prepare to be booed this season.

Wilshere, who only played 113 minutes at the tournament, was part of the Three Lions side that crashed out of Euro 2016 in the second round to international minnows Iceland.

Following the humiliating exit, Roy Hodgson resigned as boss and was replaced recently with former West Ham and Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce.

And Wilshere reckons the whole squad, himself included, should be ready to face the music when the return to Premier League action this weekend.

“Yes, I think so, because we know that we were not good enough. We know that we didn’t reach the heights that the country expected us to meet. We didn’t perform. And for us, as well, the main thing is to look at ourselves. We as players know that we were not good enough.

“Of course we let the fans down. We know that England fans are passionate, and they are going to show their frustration towards us. But I think it’s important for us as players for the national team to focus on working for the new manager, focus on what he wants us to do as a team.

“I’m sure there will be new players involved with England, and us, of course, we need to win the trust back of the fans. But once we do that we need the whole country behind us as well.”

The 24-year-old admits the England players “weren’t good enough” in their defeat to Iceland and admitted they “froze” on the big stage.

“On the day we froze, we weren’t good enough,” he said. “You look back over it and, especially their first goal, we worked on their throw-ins – that was one of their strong points and we worked on that all week. And then they went and scored the first one, so it was just one of those days.

“We didn’t play well and they rose to the occasion. We wanted to win that game. The worst thing that could have happened was for us to lose the game and the manager leave, and that happened. It was just a bad day all round.”

Wilshere isn’t concerned about the style of new boss Sam Allardyce and is happy that the Football Association took the decision to appoint a Englishman.

“I’m happy with him, I think it’s important that the England manager is English,” he said. “I have worked under Fabio Capello and Hodgson, and they were both great, but I think it’s important that he is English and he shares the same passion as all of us. He knows what playing for England is all about, and I’m looking forward, if selected, to working with him.

“Watching his teams when I was growing up and over the last few years, one thing that stands out is that they are organised. People talk about his style of play, but I think he does what it takes to win games.”