Following the actions of one Carlos Tevez this week, I thought it was about time to weigh up those players who really have caused their clubs, and their fans, nightmares. Tevez’s actions are just the tip of the iceberg of player power going a step too far in the modern game….
First up is the Argentinian himself. The striker was told by Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini to come on when his side were losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but following a heated discussion, Tevez refused to take the pitch. Although the Argentine has said that it was all a misunderstanding, and that he wasn’t actually refusing to play, it is a little hard to swallow given the very public statements Tevez has made about wanting to leave the Manchester club.
Just being able to play the game should be enough for any footballer out there, regardless of where or who you play for, an ideal clearly lost on the striker.
Wherever Craig Bellamy goes, trouble seems to follow. Although cleared of an initial charge of assault in 2006, he was again charged and released on bail for another occurence in 2011.
Throw into the mix the altercation he had with a pitch invader back in 2009, and you begin to get an idea of Bellamy’s volatile nature. Perhaps most shocking however is that during his first spell at Liverpool, a club famed for it’s lack of off and on-field controversies, a drunken Bellamy attacked the mild-mannered John Arne Riise with a golf club as his side prepared for a Champions League clash.
Although frequently on the back pages for his excellent performances, Joey Barton makes the headlines for much worse reasons on a regular basis. He has been charged with assault twice and is one of the few English footballers to have spent time in prison.
To add to his previous manager’s woes, Barton’s violence was not just concentrated off the pitch, and Barton was given four months suspended sentence for commiting actual bodily harm on teammate Ousmane Dabo, during his time with Manchester City.
Although not such a recent example as the previous three, Tony Adams caused all sorts of problems for managers such as George Graham and Arsene Wenger. As a result of his addiction to alcohol, Adams was involved in repeated fights, arrests, and even a car crash.
Whilst he did serve time in prison for his repeated offending, his alcohol addiction and troubled private life continued well after his sentence. Despite being one of the great English centre-backs of all time, the prospect of what could have been had he not had his off-field controversies, is truly amazing.
Despite not being quite in the same league as some of the others in this list just yet, Mario Balotelli makes the cut purely for the fact he has racked up quite a list of misdemeanors at the tender age of 21. Although his career started brightly, the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan did not sit well with the young Italian, and he soon found himself suspended from football for a number of disciplinary issues.
Add to this that he appeared on Italian television wearing bitter rivals AC Milan’s shirt, he did nothing to endear himself to either Mourinho or the Inter fans. Given his already controversial start to his Manchester City career, don’t expect for the rest of Balotelli’s footballing career to be the definition of ‘professionalism’.