Arsenal great Ian Wright says any England win with Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling would be hollow
“KEVIN PIETERSEN let his country down — but Jack Wilshere hasn’t, say Ian Wright, who adds in his Sun column:
The flak Jack copped for his views on foreign players representing England is outrageous. And I agree with everything Jack said. You MUST be English to play for England. KP can say whatever he wants but he was born in South Africa — it isn’t the same him having the Three Lions on his chest…
It’s like cheating. Any victory that requires foreign help is hollow. If you’re English and not good enough to play for England you don’t just go and play for Ireland.
So. If your national team has foreign-born players any victory is hollow. And being English means being born in England.
Is this the same Ian Wright who said Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, born Kingston, Jamaicia, should be blooded in the England Under-21s before making the senior squad? (It is.)
Without all the political correctness gone mad, all Jack did is be honest. I often get asked ‘Why didn’t you play for Jamaica? Your parents came from Jamaica’. But I don’t come from Jamaica, I come from England. I wanted to play for England.
So. If Raheem wins the World Cup with England it will be a hollow victory. We will have cheated. The nation might well go mad, but Wrighty will shake his head and not accept the prize as valid.
Photo: Date: 13/06/1993. Ian Wright lines up with the England team – including Australian-born Tony Dorigo. Wright has his arm around his shoulders.
“England came along and asked me to play for them if I hung around for another year and got my British citizenship,” says Dorigo. “My father was Italian and my mother was Australian, so I have no English parentage at all. What I say to my English friends today is that ‘you lot were so bad you needed an Aussie to come and play for you!’ It was very different back then to what it is now – the players in the Premier League today fly all over the world to play for their countries. They just did not allow that to happen in my day…
“If there was a level playing field as there is now I would have played for the country I was born in. I had a great affinity for Australia and I always have done. When it comes to the cricket and rugby, I’m an Aussie. It is just the football bit that went awry – but it just didn’t seem an option at the time. Playing for Australia back then did not mean a lot compared with playing for England, which trebled your wages.”
Backrow L-R] Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Des Walker, Tim Flowers, Lee Sharpe. [Frontrow L-R] Earl Barrett, Nigel Clough, Ian Wright, Tony Dorigo, David Batty and Andy Sinton.