Despite playing at the top level of football in England for years and winning a hatful of medals with Arsenal, including being a big part of the incredible invincibles season of 2003-04, Ray Parlour never managed to hold down a place with the England national team.
The 41-year old did win 10 international caps in a two year period but his one chance of playing in a tournament, Euro 2000, was wrecked by a knee injury and his England career fizzled out once Sven-Goran Eriksson took over from Kevin Keegan as England manager.
Parlour was a central midfielder but did come up with goals at times, most memorably his 30 yard FA cup final winner against Chelsea. He also incorrectly had one disallowed at international level, so he does know the role very well and should have played more for his country.
And on the subject of England, Parlour has spoken out against the new central midfield role being tried out with Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere. In a Daily Star report, the former Gunner says that Roy Hodgson is losing out on the best of Wilshere by playing him so deep, despite the praise that Jack has received for his performances in the last two games.
Parlour said, “I really believe his best position is more of an advanced midfielder.
“His game is best when he is doing those little one-twos around the penalty box.
“He knows exactly when to give it, he holds onto it enough and he does those driving runs forwards – I think that is Jack Wilshere at his best.
“I always think you’ve got to be playing on a regular basis in that regular position if you’re going to be playing for your country. Roy Hodgson has got to make a big decision.
“Certainly I believe Jack Wilshere’s position is more advanced and Roy will have to look into the further we get into the group and obviously in two years’ time in the European Championships.
“Who plays there, I don’t know. It is a situation where there is a big decision as to who play there, but at the moment I’d like Jack further forwards, around that penalty box, creating chances.”
Can Wilshere play different roles for club and country and if not, which one should he focus on?