I’m sure we have all seen Jack Wilshere’s comments about the possibility of Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj playing for England. In case you missed it, here is what was said “The only people who should play for England are English people. If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. You shouldn’t play. It doesn’t mean you can play for a country. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I’m not going to play for Spain”. Ok slow down Marlboro man. Even if you did live in Spain, I very much doubt you would get the call up. Spain dont need help in midfield. After all, they are World and European champions with arguably the best national team ever. Your country England, on the other hand, is not in such a fortunate position. I think England needs all the help they can get. You haven’t won a major tournament in forty seven years. England currently sit 17th in the world rankings behind the likes of USA, Greece and Chile. Belgium, Adnan Januzaj’s nation of birth, are sitting in a comfortable 6th place in the world rankings. If I was Mr Hodgson, I would scour the world looking for players under any rule that allows them to help your country. I have a few questions on the topic of Januzaj playing for England and Wilshere.
Firstly, why would Januzaj want to play for England? The cons heavily out weigh the pros. He will be the new shinning hope of English football like Rooney and Walcott before him. His every move will be scrutinised by every journalist. The hopes of a failing football nation will be placed on his scrawny eighteen year old shoulders. He will play 4-4-2 pretty much every game. Belgium are currently going through their golden era whereas England are on a downhill slope. The pros are...... ? I’ll get back to that at some stage.
Secondly, the boy scored two goals against Sunderland and now all of a sudden, he is being linked with Barcelona, called up to United’s european squad and being offered a new contract. Everyone just take a deep breath and relax. The boy is eighteen years old. Did anyone know of him two months ago? Now all of a sudden he is being rushed to stardom. In my recent article on England’s talent problem, I made the point of how we are in a world of instant gratification. How we don’t have the time or patience for players to evolve and grow at a natural pace. The kid has ability. He has a nice cultured left foot, good balance and an eye for a pass. He has all the skills necessary to succeed yet before he has even made a mark on the game, the expectations and pressure put on him is just plain stupid.
Wilshere has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. The cigarette incident outside a nightclub was the first. Now, his slightly aggressive, patriotic remark about England players being English. Someone should explain to him that John Barnes was born in Jamaica, as was Raheem Sterling. That his team mate, Podolski, was born in Poland but plays for Germany (he may need a history lesson on that one). World class players such as Deco, Mauro Camoranesi and Patrick Viera, all born in different countries to the national team they went on to represent. Not only did they represent their adopted country, but they helped them win World Cups and European Championships.
So I think Jack needs to sit down, have a coffee and a cigarette and think about his recent comments. Look around at his team mates. Look at the players coming through the ranks and ask himself this “Are we, as a nation, in the position to turn down good players to play for our country”. While he is pondering this, maybe ask him to chat to Kevin Pietersen and ask him what it was like to win the Ashes for England.
Wilshere or England, are in no position to refuse a quality player eligible to play for them. They are a under preforming team and their grass roots coaching is currently being restructured AGAIN. The chain of quality footballers coming through has stopped. No golden age is on the horizon for the three lions. No Bronze Age or Neolithic age. With Jack’s comments, grass roots coaching in disarray and England’s current style of play, I guess the age they are in is a Prehistoric one.