Premier League stars Jack Wilshere of Arsenal and Andy Carroll of Liverpool were left out of the England U-21 squad for next month's European Championships when coach Stuart Pearce announced it today.
Pearce's decision will please Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who had complained last week that 19-year-old Wilshere had played too much football and needed a summer of rest.
"I spoke to Jack last week," said Pearce. "He explained that while he told me in March that he wanted to be part of the squad, he now feels he is not in the best condition to take part."
Carroll has been left out because of injury and the absence of both players will be a blow for Pearce.
Wenger, whose side finished a disappointing fourth in the Premier League and without a trophy, was concerned about the possibility of Wilshere burning out. He played 48 games for Arsenal this season and establishing himself in England manager Fabio Capello's full side, for whom he has won four caps.
England begin their European Championship campaign on 12 June against Spain before they play Ukraine three days later.
They finish their Group B fixtures on 19 June against Czech Republic, with the semi-finals and final taking place the following week with the English bidding to go one better than the previous championships where they were thrashed in the final by Germany.