The passion of footballers has been questioned in recent years, and it’s not surprising. With pay packets more than doubling a doctor’s yearly income, players are set for life, so why bother playing for the badge on their chest?
In this generation of football, it would appear that the monthly direct debit set up into the top flight footballer’s bank accounts is more important than the club they play for, the players they play with and the fans they are idolised by.
It seems as though once they have broken their way through the ranks to make it to the top of the professional game, the success goes directly to their head, rather than onto the pitch.
The word that comes to mind for this selection of players is ‘egomaniacs’. The behaviour on and off the pitch is something of an embarrassment, and for people that are supposed to be role models for the next generation, they are not setting a particularly good standard.
A perfect example is Carlos Tevez. A tremendously accomplished young player with the world at his feet, he was given his ticket into the Premier League with West Ham United. He showed great potential, and even managed to save the Hammers from relegation in the 2006/07 season.
This spurred a move to the European giants, Manchester United. With a decent couple of seasons at Old Trafford, he then did the unforgivable, and moved to Manchester United’s closest, and fiercest rivals, Manchester City.
This is when his career took a tumble. Some unbelievable antics lost him his place in the starting line-up. One specific moment was when it appeared he refused to come onto the field of play as a substitute against Bayern Munich, something which he denies.
After this drama, Roberto Mancini proclaimed that Tevez’s career at Manchester City was over. Tevez then decided to appear on an Argentinian chat show and belittle Roberto Mancini and Manchester City, saying that ‘Mancini treated him like a dog’ and that he would never return to Manchester, even for a vacation.
This all happened on an unpermitted three-month holiday, which Tevez felt he was entitled to. It appeared that this feud had cost Tevez his respect of football fans and his career in England. A miraculous U-turn from Mancini in 2012 saw Tevez welcomed back into the City squad with open arms.
He made his return to the first team squad in a 2-1 victory against Chelsea on March 21 2012. This unbelievable display of unprofessionalism is something unforgivable, but not in the eyes of Manchester City.
This conduct, by Tevez is encouraging other footballers to behave in the same way. The most prolific example of this is Mario Balotelli. The most disgraceful aspect is that Manchester City allowed him to do this and let him back into the squad, giving the idea that a player can partake in insulting a football club.
But instead of being punished, he is rewarded with game time. How can this sort of behaviour be allowed without serious punishment? If a doctor decided to take a three-month holiday without permission or slated the NHS system publicly, I’m pretty sure he would not have a job in the morning.
Is it just in Britain that this happens? Or is it just that we read more about these goings-on as we live in the country? Either way, some players in British football do seem to lack in professionalism. This can be one of two things.
It is either a lack of discipline, or that success is going to their heads. It appears that under British managers, such actions by footballers do not go unpunished.
For example, after Joey Barton had made yet another stupid mistake in his career, by elbowing Tevez, kicking Sergio Aguero and attempting to headbutt Vincent Kompany in a game against City, he was shipped off on loan and his future put in doubt at QPR with Harry Redknapp in charge.
This is refreshing. Some managers, who come from abroad to take charge of a club in Britain, do not have such strictness.
For example, Roberto Mancini. The most concerning thing is that players are always given another chance. This is something which needs to be looked at and sorted as it seems that players are running riot in the British leagues and it is beginning to get out of control.
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