LITESPORT London Lite Tuesday, 11 August 2009 35 COLE SIGNS ON...BREAKING NEWS... Injury forces Gerrard out of England squad STEVEN GERRARD has pulled out of the England squad for tomorrow nights friendly with Holland in Amsterdam. The Liverpool skipper (above) trained yesterday but felt a slight soreness in his groin and has withdrawn as a precaution. Goalkeeper Ben Foster has already been replaced by Joe Hart after hurting his knee in Manchester Uniteds Community Shield defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. The news of Gerrards injury could also be a boost for Tottenham who face Liverpool in the opening game of the new Premier League season at White Hart Lane on Sunday. But it is potentially miserable news for Reds boss Rafa Benitez who is already struggling with a host of defensive injuries ahead of the trip to London with Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel all facing a race against time to prove their fitness. Swann misses the chance of extra bowling ENGLAND spinner Graeme Swann has been ruled out of Nottinghamshires LV County Championship match with Warwickshire with a stomach upset. Swann was released by the England and Wales Cricket Board to play in this weeks match at Trent Bridge but did not make the XI after reporting illness. The 30-year-old hit a dashing 62 in the crushing innings defeat to Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley but was cleared for county duty after sending down only 16 overs in the match. The complaint is thought to be a minor one and should not affect Swanns availability for the series decider at The Oval. NOT UP TO THE MARK: PAGE 32 Wally with the brolly made Johnson a stronger person Hot Cole: Chelseas Frank Lampard believes it is essential the club maintain the services of Joe Cole who is still recovering from a serious knee injury HOLLAND U21 v ENGLAND U21 UNDER-21 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY (kick-off: 7.30pm) Arsenal sensation Jack urged to show some Dutch courage JACK WILSHERE has been warned he faces another big step up in his blossoming career if he is selected to play for England Under-21s against Holland tonight. The Arsenal starlet, still just 17, has earned rave reviews for his displays in pre- season and has even been touted by Fabio Capello as a possible World Cup player next summer. But Wilshere has never even played for the Under- 21s and manager Stuart Pearce says it will be a true test of his -- and the teams -- credentials against the Dutch in Groningen tonight. Englands Young Lions reached the final of the European Championships during the summer, but Wilshere is one of 11 players who were not part of that squad and Pearce said: Were playing against one of the top-line nations in Europe. This is going to be a very important game for us, were starting again with a new group of players The good thing is over the last six months, weve taken on some big nations. Following the friendly against Holland, England begin qualification again for the next European Championships, which take place in 2011, with games away to Macedonia and Greece next month. And despite having a squad that includes some experienced campaigners like Lee Cattermole and Michael Mancienne, Pearce has promised newcomers such as Wilshere they will get plenty of opportunities to shine. There will be players who have not made their mark yet at club level who will come through, he explained. This is a new campaign and straight after this were into five qualifiers in a short space of time. Now we need to keep going forward and hopefully go one step further next time. BY NEIL MARTIN Last meeting 20 June 2007 Holland 1 England 1 (Holland win 13-12 on penalties) England suffered a heartbreaking defeat in a mammoth shoot-out as the Dutch reached the final of Euro 2007. Leroy Lita scored in normal time, before Anton Ferdinand had his second penalty of the shoot-out saved. Key men NACER BARAZITE HOLLAND Another of Arsene Wengers talented kids, Barazite made a big impression at Derby last season after joining the Rams on loan. The 19-year-old midfielder ended up staying for the whole season and played 35 games, scoring once. JACK WILSHERE ENGLAND Already dubbed the new Wayne Rooney all eyes will be on the right-sided attacking midfielder this season to see if he can live up to the hype. Arsenal fans already know what he can do -- and a few top defenders might soon find out as well! Latest betting MATCH ODDS Hol 13-10, Eng 23-10, draw 9-4. Jack in the box: Gunners starlet Wilshere will hope to make his Under-21 debut tonight ENGLAND full-back Glen Johnson believes being frozen out by Steve McClaren has made him a stronger player and person. The Liverpool defender, who arrived from Portsmouth this summer, was the scapegoat in 2005 after a woeful night in Copenhagen when Sven-Goran Erikssons men lost to Denmark and he paid the price under the Swedes successor McClaren. After three years in the international wilderness, Johnson was recalled under Fabio Capello after rediscovering consistency at Pompey. I wasnt picked much when McClaren was involved but going through things like that has made me the person I am today, said Johnson, who is in the frame to start against Holland tomorrow in an Amsterdam friendly. Theres nothing worse than not playing football. Some people have outbursts but I tried to keep my head down and stay focused. Johnson describes his development as turning into a man, which he was able to do with the help of Harry Redknapp and Paul Hart at Pompey, with Rafael Benitez now looking to reap the benefits of his maturity. Ive aged, Johnson said. Im improving all the time and that has been a key factor. And Johnson is enjoying the attacking license he has been handed by Fabio Capello. He said: Fabio has been positive with bombing on when we can but its about being selective. But he is keen about getting the full- backs to push on. BY JAMES GOLDMAN Not a Mac fan: Glen Johnson index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html