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Arsene Wenger Sides With Jack Wilshere In Row Over England Eligibility Rights

Gunners playmaker and KP get in a heated debate on the matter over Twitter.  

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Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has given his full backing to Jack Wilshere after the midfielder came in for criticism over comments he made regarding who should and should not be allowed to play for the England national team, according to reports in the Daily Mail.

The Gunners playmaker was speaking in the aftermath of Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson’s revelation as a pundit on BBC Match of the Day on Saturday night that The Football Association were trying to persuade Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj to play for England.

However, Wilshere said in reaction to Hodgson’s comments that he did not think that any players born outside of the country should be eligible to play for the Three Lions, a viewpoint that has subsequently produced a fierce reaction from around the UK.

And in particular, England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has pulled the 21-year-old up on the matter over Twitter, asking Wilshere if he felt the same way about the likes of English sporting heroes Mo Farah, Justin Rose and Chris Froome, who were all born outside of the UK.

But Wilshere’s club boss has now also spoken up on the matter and has given the player his support, saying on BBC Radio 5 Live: “I agree with him. I always said also an Englishman should manage the England team. If we are not clear on that the national teams will become like clubs, we will buy players to buy passports.

“I personally believe what we have really to define is what is an English player and we get that more and more.

“I have young players now with three different nationalities and I ask them ‘how do you feel?’ You have some, for example, who were born in Africa, they have come to Europe, they have lived for a few years in one country and, after, their parents have moved to another country because they had to find work – and they have three different cultures.

“One of the tasks of the modern politicians will be really to define what is the nationality of a person, because some people feel differently to their passport. Have they the freedom of choice or do they have to be educated in a country to feel they love this country? Have you to spend a certain number of years in the country to say you represent this country?

“I feel, as well, in Januzaj’s example do you just come six months and play for a country? It’s not realistic.”

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