Wilshere in English players row

England midfielder Jack Wilshere has insisted only English people should be able to play for the national team. His comments came after England boss Roy Hodgson admitted he was keeping an eye on Manchester United's new teen sensation Adnan Januzaj.

Live updates

Hodgson: Wilshere's comments 'worthy of debate'

Roy Hodgson has defended midfielder Jack Wilshere's right to question who is eligible to play for the national side.

The England manager said the subject matter "is worthy of debate", following Wilshere's comment that "only English people" should be able to play for the national team.

In a press conference Hodgson said "it's wrong to criticise someone for having an opinion", and reminded his audience that "at the end of the day it's going to be the result of a policy decision which will be taken by the Football Association."

Hodgson: Wilshere's comments 'misunderstood'

England manager Roy Hodgson has defended Jack Wilshere's comments that "only English people" should play for the national team, saying that the Arsenal midfielder was "misunderstood."

England manager Roy Hodgson has defended Jack Wilshere. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

He said: "First of all I think his comments, if not misunderstood, were translated in a way people wanted to translate them.

"People are always complaining that players don't have an opinion or that they say nothing worth listening to, so I don't think it's quite right to criticise someone for having an opinion.

"The subject matter is worthy of debate and, at the end of the day, it will be a policy decision taken by the FA.

"From my point of view, it hasn't affected Jack. I think he just shrugs it off."


Hoddle on English players row: 'The rules are the rules'

Glenn Hoddle told ITV News that "the rules are the rules", when he was asked about Jack Wilshere's comment that "only English people" should play for England.

The former England manager also said the FA needs to be "ruthless" and change the English game so the country can produce more home-grown talent.

Hoddle, who has been appointed on an FA commission tasked with improving the England national team, said: "In the past we've lost a lot of talent to other countries.

"There was a really good spell where the Irish had some fabulous players that were English-based but they went and they played for Ireland which is fair because the rules are the rules.

"I'm not adverse to having those rules changed to benefit English football, we've got to be that ruthless."

Wayne Rooney was approached by Scotland

Former Scotland manager Berti Vogts has revealed that he approached a teenage Wayne Rooney about playing for Scotland.

Wayne Rooney playing for England against Australia on his national team debut in 2003. Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Vogts, who was in charge of Scotland from 2002 to 2004, said he was made aware of a family link when Rooney was a 16-year-old with Everton.

He said: "I spoke to Wayne Rooney - his grandmother, she is Scottish.

"The Scottish Football Association found the grandmother and I made the call. I flew from Glasgow to Everton. He was playing under David Moyes at Everton and I spoke to him - a young lad of 16 years of age. I said to him 'you can play for Scotland'."

Explaining Rooney's reaction, the German coach beat his chest theatrically and said: "(Rooney told me) 'I am English, I am English'. Okay, sorry. You have to speak to the player but he told me 'I'm so sorry boss, I'm English'."

Redknapp 'in Wilshere's corner' over England row

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp said he is "in Jack Wilshere's corner" over the England players row.

Redknapp said he was "absolutely with Jack". Credit: Dave Howarth/PA Archive

The Arsenal midfielder said "the only people who should play for England are English people", leading to criticism on Twitter from cricketer Kevin Pietersen - who was born in South Africa.

However, Redknapp told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he agreed with Wilshere.

He said: "I really feel that if we are going to allow lads to come in here at 17 years of age and suddenly within a couple of years they're eligible to play for England then we're going to end up...where youth teams are absolutely full-up with players that are bought in from other clubs abroad.

"We'll end up with no English kids in the team, I can see that happening in the future, where it'll be three of four English boys and the rest will be lads that have come in here at 16, 17 because they're the cream of the crop abroad."

"I'm absolutely with Jack," Redknapp added.


Wenger backs Wilshere in England players row

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has received backing from his club manager Arsene Wenger after saying that "the only people who should play for England are English people".

Arsene Wenger has backed his midfielder. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who was born in South Africa, asked the footballer on Twitter how he would "define a foreigner" and FA chairman Greg Dyke said Wilshere's views were "too extreme".

However, Wenger told BBC Sport he backed the England star: "I agree with him. I always said also an Englishman should manage the England team."

He added: "I personally believe what we have really to define is what is an English player and we get that more and more."

"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," Wenger said.

England's Jack Wilshere disagrees on 'passport' to play

England and Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere has made further comments on Twitter saying that he disagrees with people playing for a national team when they are given a "passport" in a new country.

Pietersen and Wilshere disagree over foreign players row

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has pressed Jack Wilshere on Twitter over his comments that only English people should be able to play for the national team.

Jack Wilshere said he believed only English people should play for the national side when questioned over Roy Hodgson's plans to convince Manchester United's teen sensation Adnan Januzaj to play for England.

In response, South African-born Pietersen tweeted:

Wilshere, 21, said his comments concerned football and not any other sport.

However, the England cricketer insisted the same principle applied whatever the discipline:

Wilshere: 'Journalists are trying to make me look bad'

England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who said "the only people who should play for England are English people", has tweeted:

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports