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Watching the English Team

I bought the book Watching the English two years ago but didn't finish reading it - as a foreigner living in London at the time, I thought it's more fun observing the English than reading about them. But the mere fact that an anthropologist spent months and months researching and defining Englishness from a behavioural perspective is fascinating.

An equally fascinating debate titled 'Should Manuel Almunia play for England?' has been reignited in the press, after he put on a superb performance at Old Trafford that almost single-handedly kept the tie alive for Arsenal, just when the goalkeeper will have the option of applying for a UK passport in June, after living in England for five years.

A club manager as intelligent as Arsene Wenger would not get drawn too deep into these discussions about whether a player 'should' play for a certain country. Despite some headlines saying that Wenger 'backs' Almunia as the England No. 1, what the boss said about his goalkeeper was simply that he's good enough to play for England because he's 'the best' and that it'd ultimately be up to Fabio Capello and the player himself after the rules qualify him as a potential candidate:

'I stand nowhere. There are international rules which have to be respected, but if it is possible legally, why not?' Wenger commented. 'Then it is more a choice left to the English Football Association or to Manuel Almunia's desire. I believe he is not only good enough, but he is the best.

'It is down to what you expect morally and mentally from a national team. I believe at some stage you have to observe just the rules and decide what you want.

'It is more a moral problem maybe for Manuel Almunia. Does he consider he has a chance to play in the Spanish national team or not?'

Harry Redknapp joined the debate by giving his opinion as to who should play for England: 'You're English if you were born here or your mum and dad were born here.' According to the Daily Mail, Redknapp was so adamant that he would rather lose a World Cup Final than see someone like Manuel Almunia in the England shirt: 'If it came to a choice between England winning the World Cup with a Spanish keeper or not winning it, I'd rather not win.'

I don't quite know why the press didn't follow up with an obvious question to the guy who reportedly felt disappointed about 'losing out on' the England job last year: if you were Fabio Capello and you got a fit Owen Hargreaves available, would you pick him? (Oh right, Hargreaves' parents were born in England, reportedly. So he must be English by his own definition?)

Another obvious question would be: do the Spanish public wish they hadn't won the European Championship and want the Spanish FA to return the big cup to the UEFA because Marcos Senna, who was born in Brazil and only migrated to Spain at 26 in 2002, was a key player for them? The answer is apparently 'No', judging by the huge crowds singing, getting drunk, hugging each other, jumping up and down in fountains everywhere from Madrid to Gijon, even in Catalonia and the Basque Country, last summer. Then out of curiosity I'd like to ask: would the English public be more inclined to feel the same as the happy and proud Spaniards or the insistent Redknapp, if England achieved the same glory with Almunia in goal?

In a globalised world, in which people travel around for education, for work, for fun and whatever other reasons and qualify for residency or a new passport everywhere, someone's nationality is not as clear-cut as before. In fact, it hasn't been easy to define probably since the Macedonians followed Alexander the Great all the way to Asia and settled in all sorts of places, or since the Roman Empire enabled people to migrate from their places of birth en masse. In the modern world, if the Home Office has been issuing UK passport after UK passport on the 5-year-residence basis and Almunia is rightfully one of them, and the FA base their national team selection on the Home Office's definition, what remains potentially challenging is not legal but something else entirely. And that something else is more of a cultural debate.

Rather than looking at it from a cultural perspective, Redknapp gave a sporting reason for his viewpoint: 'It is difficult enough for hom[e] grown players [to get] into Premier League sides as it is. You could end up with a[n] England team full of foreign players and I don't want that.'

Again, he's confusing his own personal definition of 'foreign players' with the legal one. Furthermore, it is debatable whether one goalkeeper is enough to fend off a whole generation of English goalkeepers. And that it'll necessarily mean the England team will become 'full of' immigrant players is a rather far-fetched presumption. But I do understand where he's coming from.

And if to play a 'foreigner' is to deny an English player the chance of playing for England, what about the manager? Aren't the FA working with the second foreign manager in Fabio Capello? Would it 'kill' the chances of the England team being run by an Englishman, such as, ahem, Redknapp?

Perhaps I shouldn't dwell on his quotes too much. Nor do I have to give you examples like our very own Eduardo da Silva, who was born in Rio but is now a superstar in Croatia because of his achievements at Dinamo Zagreb as well as the national team. What it boils down to is three things:

1. Is Almunia legally eligible, in the eyes of the Home Office and the FA? (Yes, in June.)
2. Does the England manager, Fabio Capello, want to give him a call-up? (Wenger reckons Almunia is 'the best' option available to England. Redknapp thinks he's no better than David James. But it's Capello's opinion that matters.)
3. Does Almunia want to play for England? (According to various reports before, he's open to the idea but would give it some more thought if the opportunity arises.)

Wenger's quote basically said that if the answers to all these three questions were 'Yes', then why not? Redknapp, on the other hand, suggested that, even if Almunia checked all these boxes, personally he would never agree as a matter of principle because he was not born in England, neither were his parents, and he has only lived in England for five years.

What interests me (perhaps as a foreigner) is Wenger's question 'Why not?' because other than a cultural perception, I personally can't find any explanation for such a big fuss around this issue. I'm very curious what the cultural factors are working against someone like Almunia here.

Can you tell me why not?



Disclaimer: the author of this article was not born in England, neither were her parents. She has not lived in England for more than five years and does not hold a 'regular' UK passport but a 'hybrid' one (don't get her started on the long story about British colonial history - nor about the separate queues at Heathrow). If the editor Rocky thinks she's a passionate Gooner and she writes okay, can she write for an English site called Vital Arsenal now?




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The Journalist

Writer: Gooner Lou Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 1 2009

Time: 10:00PM

Your Comments

Lou, if you don't like it here, **** off! :D I agree with the post.
Tom14
Lou, if you don't like it here, **** off! :D I agree with the post.
Tom14
You mean England or VA Tomf lol? I've ****ed back to my place of birth (for now). But I loved and still love England. I may later even stay there for 5 years, what can you do? If you're referring to VA, nah I won't just **** off. I just got picked by the boss Rocky to write articles, why would I go? I'll keep annoying you here. ;)
GoonerLou
You mean England or VA Tomf lol? I've ****ed back to my place of birth (for now). But I loved and still love England. I may later even stay there for 5 years, what can you do? If you're referring to VA, nah I won't just **** off. I just got picked by the boss Rocky to write articles, why would I go? I'll keep annoying you here. ;)
GoonerLou
Redknapps' comments are *****. We shouldnt be paying too much attention to him. This is really a non-issue for me. The rules say Almunia can play for England. A lot of countries have used this to their benefit (Senna & Dudu), so I dont see why England shouldnt. The question that people should be asking is if Almunia is better than James, Kirkland and Foster. If the answer is yes (and IMO, it is yes), then he should be picked for England.
prits
Personally I am all for anything that discourages any of our players from playing for any international side. The fewer players we get injured playing some meaningless friendly or pointless tournament qualifier against some minor international side the better it is in my book.
Amos.
Personally I am all for anything that discourages any of our players from playing for any international side. The fewer players we get injured playing some meaningless friendly or pointless tournament qualifier against some minor international side the better it is in my book.
Amos.
somehow the french national team and french players have survived with foreigners like Makelele and Vieira (just off the top of my head) throughout their ranks... eh 'Arry?
TPowell
somehow the french national team and french players have survived with foreigners like Makelele and Vieira (just off the top of my head) throughout their ranks... eh 'Arry?
TPowell
I have no love for the (perennially underachieving) English team but if he (or any other player) qualifies 'legally' and he is the best option, you'd be crazy not to call him up. It's not like it doesn't happen in every other code on the planet..... and I find it hard to believe that 'Arry would turn his back on any celebrations if Almunia happened to be between the sticks saving the winner in a shoot out for the world cup. If you don't want him, ship him down here with an Australian passport - we'll gladly find a shirt for him.
the yza
I have no love for the (perennially underachieving) English team but if he (or any other player) qualifies 'legally' and he is the best option, you'd be crazy not to call him up. It's not like it doesn't happen in every other code on the planet..... and I find it hard to believe that 'Arry would turn his back on any celebrations if Almunia happened to be between the sticks saving the winner in a shoot out for the world cup. If you don't want him, ship him down here with an Australian passport - we'll gladly find a shirt for him.
the yza
Although, i am not english, i agree with Harry. You guys are thinking with your hearts rather than your head as almunia plays for arsenal. The fact is that he would certainly prefer playing for spain over playing for England if given a choice and hence will not show the same commitment and passion to the england shirt or when the national anthem is played.
Yid_from_India
Although, i am not english, i agree with Harry. You guys are thinking with your hearts rather than your head as almunia plays for arsenal. The fact is that he would certainly prefer playing for spain over playing for England if given a choice and hence will not show the same commitment and passion to the england shirt or when the national anthem is played.
Yid_from_India
If Almunia was the best option for the Republic of Ireland and there was a loophole that meant he could play for them I bet they would pick him. I couldnt care less what old twitchy says because he will only change his mind next week, he'll probably even offer to drive Almunia to the England training ground if public opinion is positive towards him being selected.
iceman10
If Almunia was the best option for the Republic of Ireland and there was a loophole that meant he could play for them I bet they would pick him. I couldnt care less what old twitchy says because he will only change his mind next week, he'll probably even offer to drive Almunia to the England training ground if public opinion is positive towards him being selected.
iceman10
YfI to assume we're 'thinking with our hearts' cos Almunia's an Arsenal player is premature. Many of us don't care too much about internationals and, if you did read Amos' post, some Gooners don't want our guys to go away and play too much or get injured with their national teams. Whether you're 'thinking with your heart' cos it's Harry Redknapp, heh, I don't know. But you're going back to the Marcos Senna thing again. Given the choice, he would've died for a Brazil cap wouldn't he? But if Luis Aragones reckoned he's good enough for Spain, the Spain team and fans (gradually) accepted him and he played brilliantly enough to earned a place in the Team of the Tournament of Euro 2008, does anyone have doubts over his commitment? I don't know how you can judge someone's commitment before even seeing him play for a certain team. But that's not a call for us to make, but Capello's and Almunia's.
GoonerLou
YfI to assume we're 'thinking with our hearts' cos Almunia's an Arsenal player is premature. Many of us don't care too much about internationals and, if you did read Amos' post, some Gooners don't want our guys to go away and play too much or get injured with their national teams. Whether you're 'thinking with your heart' cos it's Harry Redknapp, heh, I don't know. But you're going back to the Marcos Senna thing again. Given the choice, he would've died for a Brazil cap wouldn't he? But if Luis Aragones reckoned he's good enough for Spain, the Spain team and fans (gradually) accepted him and he played brilliantly enough to earned a place in the Team of the Tournament of Euro 2008, does anyone have doubts over his commitment? I don't know how you can judge someone's commitment before even seeing him play for a certain team. But that's not a call for us to make, but Capello's and Almunia's.
GoonerLou
oh almunia, saved it england world cup winners 2010, Classic lol, i think if it is his right to get the passport, everybody can shut up and leave it to fabio. i am not english, so my hands are in water, still i think almunia should stick with spain, i think every player should play for the country where his heart lies, i am sure almunia would love to play for spain anytime over england. so he should stick with that. BTW, i think mumba played for england U-21 and he was born in africa.
Gooner SA
oh almunia, saved it england world cup winners 2010, Classic lol, i think if it is his right to get the passport, everybody can shut up and leave it to fabio. i am not english, so my hands are in water, still i think almunia should stick with spain, i think every player should play for the country where his heart lies, i am sure almunia would love to play for spain anytime over england. so he should stick with that. BTW, i think mumba played for england U-21 and he was born in africa.
Gooner SA
was it John Barnes borns in jamaica and he played for england ?!
Gooner SA
was it John Barnes borns in jamaica and he played for england ?!
Gooner SA
Gooner SA, that's exactly my personal view - if I were Almunia, I'd think I'm good enough to beat Victor Valdes as the No. 3 at least, and fight it out with Pepe Reina to get tne odd games though nobody can really displace Casillas now. But what good is that if you sit on the bench? I don't know if he loves Spain enough to do that. Nor do I know if he loves England enough to fight for the No. 1 spot. I personally don't want him anywhere near England also bcos he's such a nice bloke and the press and fans will murder him when he makes a mistake, something that every keeper does at some point. Here's an article that gives an answer to the cultural thing I asked about, quite interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/may/02/manuel-almunia-england-arsenal
GoonerLou
Gooner SA, that's exactly my personal view - if I were Almunia, I'd think I'm good enough to beat Victor Valdes as the No. 3 at least, and fight it out with Pepe Reina to get tne odd games though nobody can really displace Casillas now. But what good is that if you sit on the bench? I don't know if he loves Spain enough to do that. Nor do I know if he loves England enough to fight for the No. 1 spot. I personally don't want him anywhere near England also bcos he's such a nice bloke and the press and fans will murder him when he makes a mistake, something that every keeper does at some point. Here's an article that gives an answer to the cultural thing I asked about, quite interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/may/02/manuel-almunia-england-arsenal
GoonerLou
An excellent article and I would think there are numerous views on this subject. I am from the old school of thought and i would say you had to be born in England to play for the national team.
Thaibluefan
An excellent article and I would think there are numerous views on this subject. I am from the old school of thought and i would say you had to be born in England to play for the national team.
Thaibluefan
http://www.spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=7500895#yoursay Can't be arsed to repost, most of my views are on there though.
Little Dutch
http://www.spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=7500895#yoursay Can't be arsed to repost, most of my views are on there though.
Little Dutch
Lou two points: 1 your too young (and not English) to have been in England when we did win the world cup. I can assure you the nation went wild when we won; every house , (well almost every house) were happy with pride. It didn't matter if they played for Wham Manure or what ever they represented England. As a serviceman we marched with pride in Germany annoying the Germans who I must admit accepted it on the chin. 2. I suspect most of the writers on this blog who dont come from England or were born here would agree with your comment 'Many of us don't care too much about internationals' but there are a few who have followed Arsenal for many years before it was as internationally followed as it is today who do care about the international side. Finally I could not agree more about the silly friendly internationals that mean nothing but that is the ruling from the world body and all counties have to abide by the rules; so there is nothing we can do. Nevertheless large crowds still turn out to watch their particular country, mainly to see the members of their side play. I would suspect most of the footballers who do get the opportunity play for their country with pride because that surely is the pinnacle of their career. If i am wrong ask the likes of the Charlton brothers, David seaman, Tony Adams and our young Theo just to name a few.
alwaysgunner
Lou two points: 1 your too young (and not English) to have been in England when we did win the world cup. I can assure you the nation went wild when we won; every house , (well almost every house) were happy with pride. It didn't matter if they played for Wham Manure or what ever they represented England. As a serviceman we marched with pride in Germany annoying the Germans who I must admit accepted it on the chin. 2. I suspect most of the writers on this blog who dont come from England or were born here would agree with your comment 'Many of us don't care too much about internationals' but there are a few who have followed Arsenal for many years before it was as internationally followed as it is today who do care about the international side. Finally I could not agree more about the silly friendly internationals that mean nothing but that is the ruling from the world body and all counties have to abide by the rules; so there is nothing we can do. Nevertheless large crowds still turn out to watch their particular country, mainly to see the members of their side play. I would suspect most of the footballers who do get the opportunity play for their country with pride because that surely is the pinnacle of their career. If i am wrong ask the likes of the Charlton brothers, David seaman, Tony Adams and our young Theo just to name a few.
alwaysgunner
I am not bothered about the England National teams but I do like Internationals Football. For me, it is just football. If England suddenly became the best team, I would want them to win, just like I wanted Spain and Holland (or any Arsenal player's team) to win the Euro's. Almunia doesn't striker me as a guy who is particularly patriotic. If he knew that he was 1st choice for Spain and England, of course he would choose Spain - they are 100 times better. If he had been born in Colombia, I very much doubt that he would give a monkeys (in terms of him as a person, I am sure there are many proud Colombians).
Tom14
I am not bothered about the England National teams but I do like Internationals Football. For me, it is just football. If England suddenly became the best team, I would want them to win, just like I wanted Spain and Holland (or any Arsenal player's team) to win the Euro's. Almunia doesn't striker me as a guy who is particularly patriotic. If he knew that he was 1st choice for Spain and England, of course he would choose Spain - they are 100 times better. If he had been born in Colombia, I very much doubt that he would give a monkeys (in terms of him as a person, I am sure there are many proud Colombians).
Tom14
My first impression was "we've got to keep the England team English". But with a little thought it gets harder and harder to define what being 'English' is. How long do you have to live here to be English? If your mum had an affair with an English man but youíve never even stepped foot in the country are you English then? If he feels a bond to the country though his time here or family, and itís not just for the sake of playing international football, then for me there is no problem
Phartman87
My first impression was "we've got to keep the England team English". But with a little thought it gets harder and harder to define what being 'English' is. How long do you have to live here to be English? If your mum had an affair with an English man but youíve never even stepped foot in the country are you English then? If he feels a bond to the country though his time here or family, and itís not just for the sake of playing international football, then for me there is no problem
Phartman87
I do take your points AG, of course almost every single person would be jumping up and down if England won the World Cup. The pride will always be there, as I said about what I saw in Spain when they won the big cup last summer, they cared eff off about Senna being Brazilian by blood. The difficulty remains where you draw the lines: do you think it's acceptable to include someone who's lived in England for 5 years? To have the team run by an Italian/Swede? To have a Canadian who qualified through his parents who're born in England? It sounds a bit more philosophical but how does a national team represent the nation, by having a team all born in England, run by an English manager, supported by English physios and coaching staff? That's what I'm interested to hear from you guys really.
GoonerLou
I do take your points AG, of course almost every single person would be jumping up and down if England won the World Cup. The pride will always be there, as I said about what I saw in Spain when they won the big cup last summer, they cared eff off about Senna being Brazilian by blood. The difficulty remains where you draw the lines: do you think it's acceptable to include someone who's lived in England for 5 years? To have the team run by an Italian/Swede? To have a Canadian who qualified through his parents who're born in England? It sounds a bit more philosophical but how does a national team represent the nation, by having a team all born in England, run by an English manager, supported by English physios and coaching staff? That's what I'm interested to hear from you guys really.
GoonerLou
Hmm typo sorry: I meant the Spaniards cared 'eff all' about Senna being Brazilian by blood. (Maybe I've typed 'eff off' too many times and it's become a habit lol..)
GoonerLou
Hmm typo sorry: I meant the Spaniards cared 'eff all' about Senna being Brazilian by blood. (Maybe I've typed 'eff off' too many times and it's become a habit lol..)
GoonerLou
In the words of the late great Bill Hicks, "it was a round f****** world last time I checked"
Rocky7
In the words of the late great Bill Hicks, "it was a round f****** world last time I checked"
Rocky7
Lou when times were different and distances between us were vast then yes you had to be English but times have changed. If a person puts on an Arsenal shirt then I dont care where he comes from or what colour he is; he is playing for the team I support. Arsenal were mainly English during the thirties, then full of celts, there were more Irishmen than Wimpey's, (common term was We Import More Paddies Every Year) in my humble opinion it doesn't matter its the shirt they wear. The British army has soldiers from all over the world and their colour fades once they put on the uniform,(shirt). Before some-one starts most countries around the world are the same, be it sport, commerce or academia ability. Hey, but as I said that is just my opinion.
alwaysgunner
Lou when times were different and distances between us were vast then yes you had to be English but times have changed. If a person puts on an Arsenal shirt then I dont care where he comes from or what colour he is; he is playing for the team I support. Arsenal were mainly English during the thirties, then full of celts, there were more Irishmen than Wimpey's, (common term was We Import More Paddies Every Year) in my humble opinion it doesn't matter its the shirt they wear. The British army has soldiers from all over the world and their colour fades once they put on the uniform,(shirt). Before some-one starts most countries around the world are the same, be it sport, commerce or academia ability. Hey, but as I said that is just my opinion.
alwaysgunner
Lou when times were different and distances between us were vast then yes you had to be English but times have changed. If a person puts on an Arsenal shirt then I dont care where he comes from or what colour he is; he is playing for the team I support. Arsenal were mainly English during the thirties, then full of celts, there were more Irishmen than Wimpey's, (common term was We Import More Paddies Every Year) in my humble opinion it doesn't matter its the shirt they wear. The British army has soldiers from all over the world and their colour fades once they put on the uniform,(shirt). Before some-one starts most countries around the world are the same, be it sport, commerce or academia ability. Hey, but as I said that is just my opinion.
alwaysgunner
Lou when times were different and distances between us were vast then yes you had to be English but times have changed. If a person puts on an Arsenal shirt then I dont care where he comes from or what colour he is; he is playing for the team I support. Arsenal were mainly English during the thirties, then full of celts, there were more Irishmen than Wimpey's, (common term was We Import More Paddies Every Year) in my humble opinion it doesn't matter its the shirt they wear. The British army has soldiers from all over the world and their colour fades once they put on the uniform,(shirt). Before some-one starts most countries around the world are the same, be it sport, commerce or academia ability. Hey, but as I said that is just my opinion.
alwaysgunner
(Sorry hit that twice) In conclusion it doesn't matter, The British race are made up from every race on this planet, so who cares, fill yer boots Almunia welcome aboard.
alwaysgunner
(Sorry hit that twice) In conclusion it doesn't matter, The British race are made up from every race on this planet, so who cares, fill yer boots Almunia welcome aboard.
alwaysgunner
As far as I'm concerned, there is one reason e shouldn't play for england: David James is better. Other than that, if david james is injured, or has a mental breakdown (or basicly can't play), and Almunia wants to play - he can.
pompeycarpet
As far as I'm concerned, there is one reason e shouldn't play for england: David James is better. Other than that, if david james is injured, or has a mental breakdown (or basicly can't play), and Almunia wants to play - he can.
pompeycarpet
...as david james demonstrates why he's englands no.1... oh wait.
pompeycarpet
...as david james demonstrates why he's englands no.1... oh wait.
pompeycarpet
Haha good ol' foot in mouth moment huh, pompeycarpet?
gunnerkid107
Sorry, I was born in England,and have lived here all my life.But I don't give a fly F..k, who plays for England, or if England do well! I only tend to support any Arsenal players in any International teams. But I don't want Almunia to play for England,because of all the Media hype that comes with playing for England.
hackneyval
Sorry, I was born in England,and have lived here all my life.But I don't give a fly F..k, who plays for England, or if England do well! I only tend to support any Arsenal players in any International teams. But I don't want Almunia to play for England,because of all the Media hype that comes with playing for England.
hackneyval
I can't see how fifa and uefa can possibly complain about the non-english nature of the premier league and at the same time advocate this policy at international level. In my view if a country fields players that were not born in their country, whose parents were not born in that country or who was not raised in that country, that country is essentially cheating. France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Croatia and Holland are all cheats and we should not join them! Especially when its not like Almunia has any real desire to represent england, he just has nothing better to do in the summer because he isnt good enough to represent his own country. SURELY WE MUST HAVE SOME PRIDE???
tuscan3000
I can't see how fifa and uefa can possibly complain about the non-english nature of the premier league and at the same time advocate this policy at international level. In my view if a country fields players that were not born in their country, whose parents were not born in that country or who was not raised in that country, that country is essentially cheating. France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Croatia and Holland are all cheats and we should not join them! Especially when its not like Almunia has any real desire to represent england, he just has nothing better to do in the summer because he isnt good enough to represent his own country. SURELY WE MUST HAVE SOME PRIDE???
tuscan3000
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
The fact that Wenger says that Almunia is 'the best' tells you all you need to know about why we are where we are at the moment. Losing the plot a bit is the voyeur.
Ozi Gooner
Oops, my computer is *****ed, sorry
Ozi Gooner
Oops, my computer is *****ed, sorry
Ozi Gooner
Oh come on Ozi, you'd expect Wenger to come out with words of encouragement for his own player. He's already labelled Fabianski a 'great goalie' although all of us can see that he's not there yet. Not all of his words need to be interpreted literally.
prits
Oh come on Ozi, you'd expect Wenger to come out with words of encouragement for his own player. He's already labelled Fabianski a 'great goalie' although all of us can see that he's not there yet. Not all of his words need to be interpreted literally.
prits
According to the Guardian poll 81 percent of respondents don't want to see Almunia as an english national team keeper.. The Guardian i may add is a left wing based newspaper with traditionally liberal views usually against any form of nationalism. Many of you have preached on here how you dont even care about the England team, you dont even watch them anymore and basically think its a massive distraction. So to then get involved in a debate such as this is pathetic. Most of you arent even England supporters on here, LD has written countless articles slamming everything to do with the national side. But because Almunia is an Arsenal player and Wenger thinks he should be picked then you stick your nose in. The fact of the matter is no matter how good Alumnia and how decent a chap he seems to be, because hes played for Arsenal for 5 years is NO reason in my eyes that he should represent national football team. Hes 100% Spanish. The vast majority of the country agree with me also rightly or wrongly. Harrys views are the same as the vast majority of the country so to call them outdated is also pathetic.
HuddersfieldYiddo
According to the Guardian poll 81 percent of respondents don't want to see Almunia as an english national team keeper.. The Guardian i may add is a left wing based newspaper with traditionally liberal views usually against any form of nationalism. Many of you have preached on here how you dont even care about the England team, you dont even watch them anymore and basically think its a massive distraction. So to then get involved in a debate such as this is pathetic. Most of you arent even England supporters on here, LD has written countless articles slamming everything to do with the national side. But because Almunia is an Arsenal player and Wenger thinks he should be picked then you stick your nose in. The fact of the matter is no matter how good Alumnia and how decent a chap he seems to be, because hes played for Arsenal for 5 years is NO reason in my eyes that he should represent national football team. Hes 100% Spanish. The vast majority of the country agree with me also rightly or wrongly. Harrys views are the same as the vast majority of the country so to call them outdated is also pathetic.
HuddersfieldYiddo
I think if Almunia does decide to get an english passport then that means he is committed to being english for the rest of his life and i doubt he will get a passport just to play for the national team. IF he decides to get a passport that means he is devoted to england and I think he should be allowed to play.
DerekP
I think if Almunia does decide to get an english passport then that means he is committed to being english for the rest of his life and i doubt he will get a passport just to play for the national team. IF he decides to get a passport that means he is devoted to england and I think he should be allowed to play.
DerekP
Lol at thinking that cos somebody gets a 2nd passport or dual citizenship they're committing to being that nationality for life. You do realise the benefits of dual nationality right DerekP?
Ozi Gooner
Lol at thinking that cos somebody gets a 2nd passport or dual citizenship they're committing to being that nationality for life. You do realise the benefits of dual nationality right DerekP?
Ozi Gooner
Personally, I dont want to see Almunia playing for England, coz the nationality debate will be massively distracting for him, and will resurface every time he makes a mistake. I think he can do without that, and only for that reason, I dont think he should play for England.
prits
Personally, I dont want to see Almunia playing for England, coz the nationality debate will be massively distracting for him, and will resurface every time he makes a mistake. I think he can do without that, and only for that reason, I dont think he should play for England.
prits
 

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