Heard the one about the footballer who’s a bit too big for his boots? Indeed, it’s a common occurrence these days, with player power at an all-time high. This is especially the case at Chelsea, where the salaries are pretty much higher than anywhere else in the Premier League, and there are plenty of squad members who are willing to speak their mind and worry about the consequences later.
Didier Drogba regularly hits the headlines for declaring his love / disgust for the Blues, yet it’s Michael Ballack who has stolen the limelight on this occasion. The German captain was clearly not happy to see Torsten Frings benched for the national team’s last two matches, with Sky Sports reporting that he made his feelings clear about it in the public domain. In doing so, he has incurred the wrath of Joachim Low, the snappily-dressed manager of Germany.
Chelsea’s Ballack was critical of the decision and called for ‘respect and loyalty’ for his compatriot, but Low has defended his actions.
“I am very surprised by Michael Ballack’s comments,” Low said in an official DFB-statement.
“I am astonished and disappointed by the fact that he has chosen to make his critical comments via the media.
“He is the captain and therefore an important player for me to discuss things with and nothing will change there. But the team line-up will remain the decision of myself and my team.
“We treat all squad members with the appropriate respect, irrespective of whether they are young or old.”
It is rumoured that Ballack took matters into his own hands during Euro 2008 after the team’s poor start, calling a player meeting to sort things out, something which culminated in Germany reaching the final of the competition. Once again, he’s clashed swords with Low, although the Chelsea midfielder looks to have overstepped the mark on this occasion.