Monday, October 14, 2013

Quick Take on Adnan Januzaj


There's been a lot of negativity and bad blood brewed over the past few days after Jack Wilshere stated that, in reference to the thought of Adnan Januzaj getting called up for England, “The only people who should play for England are English people,” after a training session this past week. Many seem to agree with him in believing that people not born in England should not play for the national team.

That argument can be made and have quite a strong backing, but times are changing and Wilshere needs to recognize and accept that. It's not a secret the England squad is lacking in, well, something. The young talent in England just isn't up to par with what we see coming through the ranks of other big name countries and that is widely recognized. With the proposed pursuit of Januzaj, it shows that England are ready to follow in the footsteps of other countries that are making the most of out of finding ways to get players that qualify to play for their country to do exactly that.

A prime example is the United States. J├╝rgen Klinsmann had been criticized early on for using many players that qualified to play for both Germany and America and persuading them to play for his United States squad. Many thought he was overlooking some of the young prospects that were born and raised in the United States, but now he has silenced those critics by qualifying the USA for the World Cup in Brazil. He also has kept the core of the team (at least for now) American.

So where is the harm in being open to letting naturalized citizens play for your country? It shows diversity, willingness to accept change, and if it doesn't work out you drop them from them team. Seems an easy enough solution. Look at all the players that could have played for other nations but chose to play for the one they do now, many of them are excelling. Lukas Podolski, Mario Balotelli, Danny Welbeck, etc. all of these players could have picked another country to play for yet didn't.

If Janujaz gets called up to England when the time is appropriate and chooses to play for them then his peers need to accept it and welcome him into the team with open arms. The idea that a player must be born in the country to play in the country is a dying one. Times are changing, it's about time we all accept that.