COS contributor Andy Burrows wonders why the fuss?
I’ve always argued that any England first team player should be viewed as the footballing equivalent of family- you may not like them, but you’ve still got to love them…deep down. Over the years however, this view has been getting harder and harder to keep to as more and more of the England players turn out to be dicks. The list of indiscretions by England’s key players reads like a checklist of cockish things to do before you die:
1) Have an affair behind your wife’s back with a team mate’s ex? Well done JT.
2) Hit a barman for not playing the music you want? Got away with it too Stevey- extra marks.
3) Marry the fittest member of a girl band and then repeatedly cheat on her until she leaves you? Congrats Ashley.
4) Get an eight month ban for missing a drugs test? Rio you silly thing.
Earlier this year, after Terry-gate, we reached the happy state where we had the choice between an alleged drugs cheat and someone charged with assault as the next national captain. We went for the former.
Having said all this though, you know what, quite frankly, I really don’t care. If these very players play well once they pull on the England shirt this summer, I don’t give a monkeys what they do off the pitch. If Rooney murdered the Queen and then the next day scored the winner in the World Cup final, I’d be shouting for the newly crowned Prince Charles to award Wazza a knighthood. At the end of the day, they are footballers and it is their job to play football. If the papers in this country weren’t so hungry for any celebrity scandal (even at the cost of our World Cup preparation), John Terry’s affair and divorce would have just passed quietly by, just as it does with thousands of other couples each year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending them, I would just rather judge a footballer on his performances on the pitch. Certainly, I may not like many of the current England crop, but I certainly still love them. Even if it is only in the way that you still love an older brother who constantly beats you up.