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England boss doubtful Spurs and Arsenal stars will play for U21s

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for England. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for England. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

Sunday, September 16, 2012
11:40 AM

Roy Hodgson has admitted it may be difficult persuading England youngsters Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kyle Walker to drop down to Under-21 level even if they are not required for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

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With a two-legged play-off against Serbia to plan for, Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has expressed the hope some of his star men will be released from seniors duty against San Marino and Poland to maximise the chances of reaching next year’s European Championship finals in Israel.

Hodgson has already made it perfectly clear any player he needs will not be released.

But he has also questioned the desire of players to drop down a level after making their big breakthrough for the Three Lions.

“I don’t have hard and fast views,” said Hodgson.

“I will listen to his (Pearce’s) ideas and what he would like and make decisions accordingly.

“But there is no doubt once a player is playing regularly for the senior national team, it is never easy to suggest he should go back and play for the Under-21s.”

He added: “I don’t know yet what players he is thinking of and what importance they would have in my thinking for the next two games.

“We were short for this one, 10 senior players, and that is without talking about the (Chris) Smallings, the (Phil) Jones and (Jack) Wilsheres.

“I am not getting drawn into a debate but I am stating the obvious when I say that if I think we need them, that is where they will be.”

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