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Arsenal reject Bothroyd eager for England chance

sports Updated: Nov 15, 2010 21:56 IST

AFP
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Former Arsenal forward Jay Bothroyd will be especially keen to make his England debut in this Wednesday's friendly against France at Wembley -- just a few miles from where his career came to a juddering halt with the north London giants.

A striker with second-tier Championship leaders Cardiff, Bothroyd was released by the Gunners, then as now managed by Frenchman Arsene Wenger, after reacting petulantly to his substitution in the 2000 academy playoff final.

Spells with Coventry, Italy's Perugia, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton and Wolves all followed before he arrived at Cardiff, where his form led England manager Fabio Capello to call him up for Wednesday's match.

"When I was younger I made a massive mistake but I was a nipper and you try to learn from mistakes," Bothroyd told a news conference on Monday.

"It was disheartening to leave and I've had a long journey," the 28-year-old added. "I like to think I am back on track now. I've just been called up for England.

"There have been lots of downs but the last couple of years I have knuckled down. I have made a conscious effort to turn my life around."

Bothroyd said he'd been surprised by his England call-up but was relishing the experience.

"It was the best day of my career to get that call and I am happy to be here. I'm just delighted to be here training with some of the best players in the world," added Bothroyd, who has scored 15 goals so far this season for Cardiff, including eight in his last six appearances.

"The Championship is a bit more hustle and bustle but coming out and playing there today (Monday) was enjoyable.

"You feel like you have got to step up and show your worth."If I am involved on Wednesday it will be another great day for me."

Last weekend Wenger expressed his sorrow at Bothroyd's exit from Arsenal, saying he didn't want to go against the decision of youth team boss and Gunners great Liam Brady.

"He is one of my regrets, Bothroyd, because he left very early," Wenger said.

"The incident didn't happen in the first-team group, it happened in the youth team and Liam Brady is responsible for that. They made the decision and I didn't stand in their way because it was a disciplinary matter."

Meanwhile 20-year-old Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson was hoping to build on his starring role in a shock 3-0 win at Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday with an international debut against France.

"I don't think I'll be intimidated. I'll give players respect and go out and prove to people what I can do."