It’s been a interesting week for a rogue’s gallery of Premiership players whose character and behavior have come under intense scrutiny and the most controversial issue to have arisen once again is racism.
Despite the high profile campaigns to erase all degrees of the problem, it seems to have resurfaced in the Premiership in dramatic style. Firstly Luis Suarez allegedly berated Patrice Evra with racial obscenities and John Terry has been accused of racially taunting Anton Ferdinand, his England teammate’s brother.
Whatever you think may or may not have been said between these players, its clear that the accused have a common similarity. Suarez and Terry are not particularly well liked professionals in the beautiful game. Their behaviour and continued poor conduct both on and off the pitch has been almost unbearable to watch. And despite being under constant media scrutiny, they seem to carry on regardless.
This has got me thinking. Do we hate them or simply love to hate them? The likes of Suarez and Terry create a theatrical production of skill, ignorance and physicality. They along with others place themselves on a pedastal of hate through simply being themselves, showing complete ignorance to those who pay to stand and watch and display an utter lack of gratitude for their priviledged lifestyle .
Luis Suarez is the most recent addition to the elite crop of disliked players. His outrageous behaviour at the World Cup in 2010 didn’t win him many fans despite being one of the better players in the tournament. It did however land him a huge pay rise when he moved Liverpool. His ability is exceptional and he has transformed the way Liverpool play yet his conduct continues to attract attention with accusations of diving and blantant cheating. It’s such a shame that we can’t stand him but have to witness him carve out a career for himself. Is this really the attitude needed to be successful nowadays?
John Terry may just agree that it is. The chelsea Captain has had his fair share of ups and downs in recent years but surely holding the England Captaincy would be evidence that this player is a sure fire role model for the next generation; apparently not. David Beckham held the position with remarkable and humble respect.
ohn Terry, on the other hand, may well have just nicked the armband from the manager’s pocket and starkly refused to remove it. The allegations of racism don’t seem too misplaced either. He is certainly capable of a remark or two and his aggression on the pitch would be more at home in a prison game. Actually, that’s unfair. The prisoners don’t deserve to be compared to Terry.
And of course we cannot forget the player who, for all intents and purposes, has a wealth of talent and all the qualities to be an absolute legend but sadly lacks any common sense, loyalty or understanding of where he might have gone wrong.
Carlos Tevez. Tamptrums, arguments and sheer obnoxiousness and that’s all before breakfast. Tevez has become the Premiership’s most Unwanted this season. He is certainly not being much of a role model for the game and yet he is still getting millions for being a wayward nut job. Apologies again to the nut. Does his talent equate to bad behaviour? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to compound Tevez with everything that’s wrong with the game but does he actually have any idea what he has achieved and why it might just be a good reason to show a little gratitude? You have to feel sorry for Roberto Mancini; training a rhino to fetch would be easier.
Joey Barton doesn’t go un-noticed either. He likes the odd club change from time to time, a twitter rant and of course a lively confrontation on the pitch. Barton is a little phenomenon at the moment. His displays have earnt him recognition amongst his peers but his attitude has equally attracted altercations with Arsenal’s Gervinho and Wolves midfielder Karl Henry. Despite Barton being labeled as one of the Premiership’s bad boys, he’s is a misunderstood intelligent individual who deserves more credit than he gets but of course has the feistiness needed to be at the top of his game amongst the world’s best. Love him or hate him, Barton simply isn’t the problem. Ashley Cole is!
Greedy, rude, obnoxious and a real lack of common sense has elevated Ashley Cole to the top of the Premiership’s most disliked player. Need we say more? Cole’s relationship with Cheryl Tweedy has not helped him in the slightest. His alleged treatment of the Girl’s Aloud singer has blemished his image, or the little bit of image he did have. And Arsenal fans have ill-feelings towards Cole too. The Gunners dedicated a lot of time, effort and money into developing the talented left back only to watch him leave the club under a cloud in pursuit of more money.
The fact that these players stand out from the crowd in the way they do is frustrating and very disappointing. The bad boys will always be present in each generation but that doesn’t suggest they should be tolerated. The FA has a responsibility to produce a sporting spectacle and needs to act swiftly to stop the likes of Saurez and Terry from getting away with such disgraceful conduct. Only then will we see a significant change.