Wenger defends Wilshere over 'England for English people' comments

The Frenchman has jumped to the defense of his 21-year-old midfielder following his recent remarks about only home-grown players representing their national teams
Arsene Wenger has defended Jack Wilshere over his recent comments about only English footballers representing the national team.

Wilshere's comments have caused controversy, with England cricketer Kevin Pietersen drawing himself into the debate on Twitter on Wednesday when he challenged the Arsenal midfielder's comments.

But Wenger has come out in support of his player, insisting strict rules on national eligibility should be enforced.

"I agree with him," Wenger told BBC Sport. "I always said also an Englishman should manage the England team. If we are not clear on that the national teams will become like a club.

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

"I have young players now with three different nationalities and I ask them how do you feel? You have some, for example, who were born in Africa, they have come to Europe, they have lived for a few years in one country and, after, their parents have moved to another country because they had to find work - and they have three different cultures.

"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.

"Have they the freedom of choice or do they have to be educated in a country to feel they love this country? Have you to spend a certain number of years in the country to say you represent this country?

"I feel, as well, in Januzaj's example do you just come six months and play for a country? It's not realistic. Maybe if he stays a few years and he decides that he wants to play for England then...

"But he has not chosen yet which country he wants to play for."