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Hodgson sticks up for Wilshere

10 Oct 2013 16:46:52

Hodgson sticks up for Wilshere

Roy Hodgson has defended Jack Wilshere and is confident the controversy over his comments this week will not affect the Arsenal midfielder in England's final World Cup qualifiers this weekend.

Wilshere sparked a fresh debate over player eligibility this week after responding to suggestions the FA would pursue Manchester United's Belgian youngster Adnan Januzaj by saying only English players should play for England.

The issue has dominated headlines since, but Hodgson does not expect there to be any impact when England take on Montenegro at Wembley on Friday evening.

"First of all I think his comments, if not misunderstood, were translated in a way people wanted to translate them," Hodgson said.

"People are always complaining that players don't have an opinion or that they say nothing worth listening to, so I don't think it's quite right to criticise someone for having an opinion.

"The subject matter is worthy of debate and, at the end of the day, it will be a policy decision taken by the FA.

"From my point of view, it hasn't affected Jack. I think he just shrugs it off."

Wilshere has been a focus of attention for several reasons even before this week's interview.

He has frequently been playing out of position for Arsenal, stationed on the left due to the outstanding play of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in the centre, and was then photographed with a cigarette in his mouth after the Gunners victory over Napoli.

But Hodgson said the 21-year-old is keeping his head down and not allowing events to distract him.


PA

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