Had Jack Wilshere not pulled out of the England U21 squad for the European Championships in Denmark then the Young Lions would not have crashed out at the group stage. At least that is the opinion of Michael Mancienne who played as a midfielder in the absence of the Arsenal star.
Wilshere performed a dramatic and controversial U-turn over his participation at this summer's tournament after being convinced he could suffer burnout.
Mancienne said: "The type of player he is, he's very creative, so he would have made a big difference.
"We would have gone through if we'd had the likes of Jack and Andy Carroll here."
England had again been criticised for their lack of technical ability compared to their opponents.
Mancienne, who has just joined Hamburg from Chelsea, initially claimed this was not the case but added, tellingly: "Obviously, they play a different type of football to us, they're really good at keeping the ball.
"Our game was to counter-attack.
"We could have done better in the first two games and probably wouldn't have to be in this situation."