The Everton Footballer Mikel Arteta (of Spanish nationality) is now eligible for a British passport (and so he can commit to any British team of his choosing) because he has been a resident in the UK for five-and-a-half years. He was signed by Everton from Real Sociedad in 2005 and completed a permanent move for just £2 million which was a snip.
He was asked at the weekend if he would consider playing for England instead of Spain and he said he would “have to seriously consider it”. There has been a lot of online conversation about this on several forums.
The campaign seems to be gathering pace and this Facebook group already has 1,400 members and there is a growing feeling that Mikel Arteta should be the first non-English person to play for the England national team. There is no doubt that he is a cracking player and to be honest, I can see him pushing Gareth Barry straight out of the team as his passing range is vast.
Would it be terrible to include a foreign person in our national side? Lots of other countries have used foreign players, when they have become available such as France, Spain, Germany but we have never used one but we have had a couple of foreign managers. England captain Stephen Gerrard spoke to Talksport yesterday and commented:
“I’d certainly love nothing better than to see Mikel Arteta available for England,” “You want to play with the best players, and if it makes the England squad better, of course I’d like to see it.
“I think it happens to most national teams [that they pick non-nationals], but it’s up to him if he wants to make himself available. Fabio Capello is the man to answer the question because he’s the manager, but for me he’s an excellent player.”
Is the England team or any other British football team sacred? Or after a terrible showing in the world cup should the English FA now use this as an opportunity to put together the best team it can? I would be interested to hear your views!