• England

Wenger backs Wilshere England stance

ESPN staff
October 10, 2013
Lions need to roar

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere over the midfielder's assertion that only "English people" should play for England.

The subject of which players' eligibility to represent a nation where they were not born has been a much-discussed topic following Manchester United manager David Moyes' claim that the FA is looking into recruiting Belgium-born Adnan Januzaj - who has Albanian-Kosovan parents - in the future through FIFA's five-year residency rule.

When asked about the general issue earlier this week, 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 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."

Wilshere's comments stoked up the debate, and the 21-yar-old took to Twitter on Wednesday to clarify his position, saying: "I wish he [Januzaj] was English!"

Wenger has now lent his support to his player on the matter, saying: "I agree with him. I always said also an Englishman should manage the England team."

However, Wilshere's opinion was called into question by England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who has an English mother but, like several of his international teammates, was born in South Africa. The pair then engaged in an exchange of views on the social network.

Wilshere responded in a tweet which has since been deleted by saying: "With all due respect Mr Pietersen the question was about Football! Cricket, cycling, Athletics is not my field!" Pietersen replied: In an attempt to close the debate, Wilshere concluded:

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