Opinion: Understanding Jack Wilshere’s ‘beef’ against Adnan Januzaj

by Habeeb Kolade


In the face of this decline, the possible encroachment of non English players into the English National team after depriving Englishmen much playing time in the league would be disregarding, audacious, insulting.

Adnan Januzaj or not! Living in England for five years will never make you an Englishman thus culturally ineligible to play for England. You might wonder why this is coming from a countryman whose country is known to snap up foreigners into their squad! Players like Ghanian Danny Welbeck (Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck), Ivorian Wilfried Zaha, Jamaican Raheem Sterling, Burundian Saido Berahino and so on. This country is also home to Somali born Mo Farah, Nigerians Phillip Idowu and Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu leading her tracks teams and South African Kevin Pietersen ruling its cricket grounds.

Is Wilshere jealous? Especially since the hype around him seems to be dying down after being overtaken by in-form club mate, Aaron Ramsey and now initial one match hero and Moyes’ saviour, Adnan Januzaj! The Turkish grand-parented, Kosovo- Albanian parented, Belgian born and bred, Serbian dependent, and English wanna-steal Adnan! You might be tempted to call him a nationality prostitute! Anybody’s fault! None! Is it jealousy or as black people would call it, “beef”, that has made Jack Wilshere come out to disagree with non-Englishmen playing for the English team! Was it “beef” that made Jack suddenly take to Twitter to register his opinion that living in England for five years does not make you an Englishman and made him later disclaim that his post was targeted at Januzaj when everyone knew it was?  Would it have been targeted at Boateng playing for Germany? Joachim Low would have none of that! His team is built on foreigners!

But I might likely pitch my tent with the Englishman? Why? Does he have a point? Sure he does! Isn’t the decay in English football obvious? I don’t mean the Premier League! I mean the quality of English players! While the rise in the quality of football played in the Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga has caused a simultaneous reaction to the quality of its national teams, can the same be said of England which arguably has the best and most organized league in the world? Take Egypt for example, the rise in the quality of the Egyptian national team came at a meteoric rise with the improvement of its league which saw the team rule Africa for six successive years!  Same was its fall! The English team is however unyielding as the English team has been stagnant for years! The problem is definitely not with the coaching crew but the players! A street adage says when you employ different teachers consecutively for your child and his performance doesn’t change, you should stop sacking the teachers and look at your child! English players are the problem!

How does this argument answer our Jack Wilshere Theory! Well, the inverse proportionality in progress of English football, incidentally one of the pioneers of the most famous game on the earth and probably heaven, with the rise in the quality of its league is alarming. This is unconnected to the fact that English players now get marginalized in their own league and the percentage of English players in starting shirts of English Premier League clubs have dropped to as low as 32 per cent. How ridiculous! To then think that this might progress to the National team sounds horrible in the ears of Jack Wlishere! 

Most English talents are usually very expensive compared to foreign talents! Rare Breeds?! Why buy Andy Carroll for 35 Million Pounds when you can get Giroud for 12 Million or Odemwingie for 4 Million Pounds! Manchester United was to cough out 27 Million Pounds to get Leighton Baines after paying through the nose for Rio Ferdinand and 18 year old Wayne Rooney. Same with Ashley Young and Phil Jones and of course, Owen Hargreaves! Januzaj cost Manchester United 300,000 pounds! Cristiano Ronaldo was 12Million Pounds. This might be part of the reasons why transfers of English players are not so frequent!

In the face of this decline, the possible encroachment of non English players into the English National team after depriving Englishmen much playing time in the league would be disregarding, audacious, insulting. The idea of a person just coming from nowhere, picking up and England visa and then turning out to play for its national team after several years of playing in the British country sounds ridiculous and unimaginable especially in a country where the natives are already finding it hard to get in their club’s team sheet and harder to get into the National team’s considerations for call ups.

England has not reached the Semi Final of any major championship since 1996 while it has produced great foreign talents like Van Persie, Edwin Van Der Saar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Van Nistelrooy and so on; Frank Lampard being the only English player in over ten years to have been in the FIFA Player of the Year top three.    

Jack Wilshere might then be right for crying foul at the continual marginalization of English players in the English league which might further encroach into the national team, a case which would make England like Ibadan where the thief becomes superior to the owner! 

Unless however, Jack Wilshere is really ‘beefing’ 18 year old Adnan!


Habeeb Kolade tweets from @Habeeb_X

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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