I can't believe the fuss that has been kicked up by the media and some fans after Jack Wilshere's comments bout Man Utd's Adnan Januzaj and his opinion that only English players should play for England. His comments after that about "we're English, we tackle hard, that's what we're about" are a lot more concerning for me, they're words that make me shiver to my very core; but that's a topic for another day.
People seem to desperately justify the idea of foreign players playing for England by just saying "well the world's changing". Yeah, so? The world's changing all the time- throughout history different eras have seen constant change in societal values and rules. It's not just a sudden thing you know. It's quite a lazy thing to say anyway, they're not providing justification of a foreign talent playing for England with a concrete reason. They're basically just saying "well this would suit us so screw it, the world's changing so why the hell not?"
It defeats the object of international football for me if you're allowing people who've lived in the country for 5 years to play for that country. If I go to France now and live there for 5 years, am I suddenly French? No.
In my opinion you represent the country where you were born. Because that means that's what your nationality is. Not where your parents were born, not where you've lived and worked for 5 years, where you were born. The more you stretch the boundaries of what qualifies you to play for a specific nation, he more international football becomes like club football- a lottery that benefits the better footballing nations. It is also made rather pointless as the concept of international football is defeated. International football is competition of which country has the best football players and which has PRODUCED the best players. Now if England won that competition with the help of players from other nations, how can we really say our nation has produced the best players?
It's hypocrisy of the highest level as well from our media and the FA. They keep banging on about how clubs need to stop buying so much foreign talent and invest more in young English players to benefit the national team. And then as soon as a foreign player becomes available for England through a questionable hole in the rules, they're desperately trying to get him into the national team.
If England beat Brazil 1-0 in the 2018 World Cup final thanks to a goal for Adnan Januzaj and a wonderful, man of the match performance from him, would it feel totally fine? Would it feel like us English have won it? Even though we wouldn't have been able to without the help of sneaking a Belgian born and raised talent? Someone Belgium clubs and coaches have brought up and trained and given him the talent that has attracted Man Utd to buying him? Wouldn't it feel like we've stolen from Belgium for our own gain in a wrong way?
I think it's desperate and hypocritical for the FA to call upon foreign players like Januzaj (especially after just one good game) to help England ahead of promoting native talent to play for the nation. They should be getting excited about the likes of Ravel Morrison right now, not Adnan Januzaj on the basis he could be eligible to play for England in 5 years. The whole thing reeks of desperation and hypocrisy.
So yes, Jack wilshere is right to say only English players should play for England. Not people who have plied their trade here for a matter of years. Not because I don't want that player, but because it's wrong to steal the talents of a player from another country when that country should be reaping the rewards of schooling and developing that player into the talent he is.