Role Models Wanted : Apply Within

The disgusting chants from the terraces marred what was essentially a great game for both sets of fans with the Gunners faithful leaving the most disappointed.

The next game between these sides will now be under a great deal of scrutiny.

The chants were cruel, nasty and completely uncalled for but I find it very difficult to completely blame those select few. Its obvious the individuals who speak such foul and abusive language are barely worth the headlines they are generating but I think the current state of the game has a lot to answer for.

Anticipation has all but gone now only to be replaced with expectation, a very high expectation from the fans centered on money, glory and silverware. Today’s players continue to show disrespect for the managers, the referees and on occasions their own fans. This is a shame and is surely sending out a negative message to the fans from the start. Am I wrong? I would like to hear an answer to suggest otherwise.

Now I’m not going to harp on about how the massive financial input the Premiership has seen in the last decade is the source of the problem. That much is glaringly obvious and the effects that it is having on the players especially the young player is all but clear to see.

Weekly wages have grown to astronomical proportions and so the diva footballer is rife amongst the sport. The money invested is increasing the fans expectations. Spending £100 million on players would suggest major success is a must and so the fans sit and wait. And when it doesn’t happen the fans turn, managers lose their jobs and players are sold. The frustration is growing minute-by-minute creating a boiling pressure cooker that eventually spills onto the pitch.

Players refusing to play, storming off the pitch after being substituted and public confrontations with their bosses is generating the wrong attitude for our young generations watching. I have coached for years in schools across the south where I have had the honour of teaching children how to play sport, understand their responsibilities, work together and ultimately have fun.

It may or may not come as a surprise to you to but I can see Premiership behaviour at these very low grassroots of our beautiful game with the children mimicking their tamptrum throwing idols. It’s a shame and its something I enjoy clamping down on and highlighting where things go wrong for these professionals but it could be prevented.

In all honesty it could be said for any sport really but these guys have a responsibility to be worthy role models and the disappointing thing is that they know they are watched by millions every week.

My kids showed me this week that they can easily copy the player’s attitude and behaviour on the pitch but they also proved to me that they could change and re-establish their enjoyment for the game and work together. Despite early rumblings of the game they witnessed at the weekend and the much talked about Man City issues, my kids had the best week they have ever had and displayed all the qualities I want to see in the future of our game.

The professionals could learn a thing or two from my lot. Any volunteers?

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