“If you live in England for five years, it doesn’t make you English. The only people who should play for England are English people”
These comments have created a lot of controversy and heated words have been directed towards the young Englishman. Jack has faced a lot of insults and his comments have been misunderstood. I even had some of my friends label his comments racist. However, what most of us have failed to do is to really understand what Jack means.
Romelu Lukaku, Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera, Zinedine Zidane and a host of others are football super heroes in their respective countries but were originally from other countries mostly African. However, one striking feature about these players is that they were either born in their adopted countries or migrated there when they were still infants. They did not find themselves in those countries because of football.
Let’s look at another group of players: Mikel Arteta, Manuel Almunia and Recently Januzaj. These players were not born in England, did not move to England in their infancy but arrived in England because they are seeking better fortunes in their football careers. So if they spent more than 5 years in the country, does that mean they are English internationals?
The national team set up is different from that in the club. There is a meeting of players of like mind, similar background, cultural affinity; I wonder if that would be possible with a man of another nationality?
Arsenal’s right back, Carl Jenkinson was recently capped by the Three Lions and even though he had the option to play for Finland, he ‘felt English’ and that should be the same for every national team player, they have to love playing for the team, does 5 years make them nationals of those countries or just a quest to have some international caps to his name?
“It’s where I grew up, it’s where I went to school. I don’t know nothing but England. This is it, and when I run for my country very proud and as long as you do that and make your country proud”
Mo Farah latest comments confirms my earlier theory. The Somalia born Olympic and world Champion came to England at the age of 8 and grew up being English, he felt English and when he ran for Great Britain, he did so with passion, because he is English.
I am sure that people opposing Wilshere’s comments would have been praying that Swansea’s Michu was not capped for Spain against Belarus so that he could play for England in about 3 years. The English are complaining about the lack of young English talent and at the same time want every Tom, Dick and Harry that arrives in the country to play for the national team. Double standards.