Sooner of later, after someone has pushed an agenda or opinion past its logical endpoint, there comes a point where that person has to look at themselves as having the problem.
Hot on the heels of the news that England captain Wayne Ronney had been having a drink comes the news that fellow England players Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson had gone on a 220 mile round trip to a strip joint on their night off.
This isn’t intended to be a post about public interest in certain stories deemed newsworthy. It is about the fact that Rooney, Lallana and Henderson have been the victims of a witch hunt for basically enjoying themselves. Like so much in football at the moment, such as players not being allowed to celebrate with fans who are not allowed to drink a beer in the stands of a football stadium unless that football stadium is showing a game of rugby, it seems like rules are made to suck the enjoyment out of it.
Let’s take Jordan Henderson… He is a player hailed by managers past and present as being a fantastic professional. Former captain Steven Gerrard lauded his conduct on and off the pitch when outing Henderson as teetotal. Even an opposition manager has told his young players to use Henderson as an example and follow in the footsteps of a man and player who has gone from being villified as an expensive flop to captaining his country in the absence of Rooney.
Yet here he is, sharing column inches at the front of a newspaper rather than the back of it for doing something distinctly un-newsworthy.
Those of us who are not footballers, or not footballers at the top of their profession, are able to go about these normal activities (although I get that strip joints are not exactly everyone’s cup of tea) without being lambasted for it. Yet now, people in glass houses feel free to throw as many stones as they like safe in the knowldge that the action they are criminalising is only wrong when it’s done by others.
The fact that the strippers noted that Lallana was “slowly sipping on a beer” while Henderson stuck to water has been missed in the hyperbole.
The other fact that Rooney was never slated to play the next friendly game against Spain three days later, Henderson played 90 minutes as captain and Lallana scored before being injured was also missing. The only bit really of note, to me, was why Lallana and Henderson went 110 miles to see boobies and 110 miles back. There must have been geographically closer boobies in Hertfordshire.
In the case of Lallana and Henderson, these are young men who have gone on a night out, not done anything wrong and broken no laws. Considering most people’s opinions on professional footballers, is that not the most newsworthy part of the whole affair? And is actually the people who write these stories and complain of these actions who have the problem?