Wilshere: England for English
09 October 2013, 13:45
London - England midfielder Jack Wilshere has insisted only English players should represent the national side.
Arsenal star's comments came as it emerged the national governing
Football Association had looked into the eligibility of talented
Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj to play for England.
winger Januzaj can play for the country of his birth, Albania, Kosovo,
Serbia and Turkey and the 18-year-old could represent England in 2018 on
residency grounds if he remains in the country for the next five years.
Wilshere 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
"If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I am
not going to play for Spain," he added ahead of England's key World Cup
qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Friday.
means he is a far more enticing option than Spanish-born Mikel Arteta
and native Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, both of whom have been
linked with playing for England following lengthy stints in the Premier
But Wilshere said having foreign-born players in the team risked diluting the essential character of the side.
"We have to remember what we are. We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat.
have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but
you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard.
We have to remember that."
Wilshere hit the headlines last week after being pictured with a cigarette in huis hand following an Arsenal night out.
At first he said he was just holding it, before admitting he had been smoking and apologising to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.
However, that hasn't stopped him being the target of dressing-room banter.
"It is non-stop," said Wilshere.
the game on Sunday the physio, Colin Lewin, said 'you smoked that
shot'. When I am getting angry in training they say 'calm down, have a
"We move on eventually but everyone is going to make a joke of it and that's fine."
Even Arsenal fans have had a joke at Wilshere's expense, chanting 'he smokes when he wants' during Sunday's draw at West Brom.
"I would prefer them to change it to 'he scores when he wants'," said Wilshere.
am not a smoker," he said. "I don't smoke 10 a day as some have been
saying. "It was a mistake. I am not just a footballer. I am a top