Arsenal star Ben White defended after England snub as ‘not everybody’s patriotic’ – ‘it is strange’

Lewis Oldham
White England snub
Ben White defended by Jermaine Jenas.

Arsenal defender Ben White has been defended by Jermaine Jenas over the “strange” situation which resulted in him rejecting an England call-up.

Gareth Southgate named his England squad for upcoming international friendlies against Brazil and Belgium earlier this week.

White snubs England…

Arsenal standout White was deserving of a call-up but he was not included in Southgate’s squad. It has since emerged that the England boss wanted to include the defender but he decided against being involved.

White has been out of the England fold since he was sent home early from the 2022 World Cup for “personal reasons”. It was subsequently reported that he had a fall-out with assistant manager Steve Holland.

Earlier this week, a report from The Athletic claimed White’s issues with England started as he ‘found it difficult being out of the side’. 

White has been criticised in recent days but Jenas has moved to back the defender, who may feel that there’s no point in going on international duty if he’s “not going to play”.

“It is strange,” Jenas told The Daily Mail.

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“I think not everybody’s patriotic, and I think we have to accept that. I think Ben has his own reasons why he feels it’s best for him to not be selected for England. For all we know, him not being selected with England has such a positive impact on his club career, and he wants to focus on that.

“Not everybody’s the same in football. We like to kind of pigeonhole players like, ‘You’ve got to fight for your country’. It might be a footballing reason. It might be like, ‘What’s the point in me going if I’m not going to play?'”

“I hope that there’s no negative fallback…”

Jenas also believes White’s decision “creates an opportunity for somebody else” and he hopes there’s “no negative fallback” for the defender.

“It creates an opportunity for somebody else. Braithwaite’s come into the fold. He’s had a good season at Everton in a tough situation. He’s got the opportunity and I think that’s the way to look at it,” Jenas added.

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“I think Ben White’s having one of his best years as a footballer. I understand why Gareth did what he did because he needed give reasoning as to why he’s not picked him because it’s quite obvious that he’s been brilliant lately.

“I hope that there’s no negative fallback for Ben because he’s been brilliant for Arsenal and I think he’s got to decide what’s best for his career, nobody else.”