Football League Bloggers
Shaun Derry, Kevin Davies and Guy Branston discuss whether England players should be English?
Shaun Derry, Kevin Davies and Guy Branston debate what qualifies you for the international team.
Last Updated: 10/10/13 10:23am
As well as a weekly blog from Crystal Palace striker Kevin Phillips, we will also be speaking to three seasoned campaigners in the Football League.
On-loan Millwall midfielder Shaun Derry, Preston frontman Kevin Davies and Plymouth defender Guy Branston - who all appear on Sky Sports News Radio's Football League Hour - will be chatting to us about all manner of footballing issues.
Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere sparked debate this week with his comments on the requirements of players to qualify for England selection(Read the story here). His remarks that 'The only people who should play for England are English people,' developed from the story surrrounding Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj, who is yet to select a country to represent and despite being born in Belgium, could decide to play for England.
This week we asked our Football League bloggers for their views on this and whether they ever considered playing for another country...
I do agree with Jack Wilshere's comments, but we have to take them in the right context. I think what he was probably trying to say is that we've got a lot of young, good English players that need nurturing in the best possible way so that we can get the absolute most out of the academy players that we already have at our disposal and it would be a shame if someone from a definite foreign background got in front of them - i.e. he's only been in the country for a couple of years and the reason he's over here is to purely play football. I really do think we should keep it English, I understand that's there are different internationals representing different clubs throughout the world but, it just doesn't sit right with me to be honest.
I got approached by Northern Ireland when I was about 20-years-old. An agent for the Northern Irish FA asked about my background and asked If I could play for them, but at that time I was an up-and-coming player and not knowing what the future would hold and perhaps I would be keen but I missed it by a generation, obviously I have no regrets about that now.
If 'foreign' players were given a chance at international level it would definitely have a knock on effect on the top level of English football which is the international squad - if they were to go down the avenue of looking at different foreign options I think it would have a detrimental effect on the Premier League, the Football League and all the levels below in the worst possible way.
I think it should be that either your mother or father should be English. You hear a lot of stories about it going down to great-grandparents who were born here or there, but I don't think it should go much past parents and grandparents really.
I never looked into whether I could play for any other countries because I've always seen myself as being English. When I was playing under Owen Coyle at Bolton he spoke to me about representing Scotland and I said no - I don't have any family from Scotland so it's a bit of a no brainer really.
Some people want to play international football and sometimes I can understand if a player's mother and father are from separate countries then it can be a tough call, but it's where he feels like he's from inside as a person.
Sometimes it can be for the wrong reasons, though; sometimes players want to play for a certain country because it will have better financial benefits for them, or they'll get a better chance to qualify for a World Cup or a European Championship. I think, regardless of how good your country is, you represent your country. I could have gone and played for Scotland, or with Davies as a surname there's probably some Welsh further down the line, but for me it was England or nothing really.
My thoughts are if they're born in this country then great, but if we can manipulate the rules then even better. It's great to have home grown talent coming through, but if we haven't got home grown talent coming through for the next few years use what we've got in and around Europe and abroad. If we get a good enough player from a different country then let's embrace them - if he's got ties with England or family from England then that's great.
I would love to have been involved in international football; I went down the route of trying to find my family tree when I was about 25/26 when I signed for Sheffield Wednesday. My family started in Ireland and I've just been researching again for my cousin Lee Tomlin who plays for Peterborough and now he's a got a sniff at various different countries because of our family tree.
I couldn't find anything other than Ireland in the records, but that was an opportunity for me and now we're trying to trace the Scottish side for Lee. It would have been amazing to get a call-up and I'd play for any country just to say I've done it on my CV, just like playing in Europe, or any different league. I'd love to play in a European competition, a World Cup or any qualifier for any nation if I had the chance.