Four boys and a Jeroboam

Discussion in 'Columns' started by JimmyG2, May 17, 2013.

  • by JimmyG2, May 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM
  • JimmyG2

    JimmyG2 SC Supporter

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    I was surprised how sharp my reaction was to the Mirror story about four of our players and friends enjoying a night out at an expensive club this week. I usually manage to ignore such nonsense and write it off as gossip, hearsay and rumour. Or even pure invention and speculation.

    But somehow the details got to me: One Direction; £5000 pound minimum spend; Jeroboams of vodka; insulting waitresses and so on. All this in the week before a crucial game at the climax of the season involving not young fringe members of the squad but experienced players who would all be starting or at least on the bench.

    In an sudden flash of anger I thought, 'These people just don't give a toss; professional athletes my arse'. I said as much on the front page thread, then irritably confronted another poster and felt obliged to apologise. Is it just me? Have I lost it completely. Have age and senility finally pushed me over the edge?

    I some how felt betrayed that they didn't seem to care as much as the fans. Couldn't they have waited until next week. Or perhaps this is a regular event. After all they have money to burn earning more in a week than many earn in a year. Good luck to them I should be saying.

    But then it feeds into another agenda of mine the gross inequality of the modern world. They are ridiculously overpaid for the talent they have and the efforts they put in. £5000 would be an essential lifeline to many people some of whom ironically may well be Tottenham supporters.

    Johnny Haynes, a London boy, played at Fulham. He was the first £100/week player when the maximum wage of £20/week was abolished in 1961. As was quite common then he was a one club man. Haynes wages rocketed from the £1000 per year ( the average national wage in 1961) to £5000 at a stroke.

    His Chairman, the comedian Tommy Trinder had joked in 1960 that he would have paid Haynes five times the maximum wage if he could. He didn't know that the following year the wage limit would be axed. He kept his pledge. Those were the days.

    The average national yearly wage today is roughly what a Premiership player earns in a week. (around £25000). Some of our quartet will be on considerably more than than that of course. With the best will in the world I find it hard to say 'good luck' to them.

    Many players lived in the local community, drank and socialised with their fans and traveled on the bus with them to the games. Tom Finney 'the Preston Plumber' (Sir Tom Finney later) was another one club man. Like Haynes it wasn't for want of offers. He was born in the street next to the Preston ground. His father insisted he complete his apprenticeship as a plumber after signing professional forms with Preston in 1946.

    If you will excuse the diversion this all feeds into my reaction about the Tottenham Four. If I start talking about loyalty and commitment in this age of mercenaries then I realise that I will be put in a box labelled ' Harmless but hopelessly out of touch. Best ignored'. But the recent Modric Melodrama which feeds into the current Bale Babble is all mixed up in this cocktail in a night club.

    Don't we all like to imagine that our club is different despite all the evidence to the contrary? That there is a kind of family there? That winning the fair play league is an important marker? That it's not just about the money? Somehow having a night out in the week before a key game seemed disloyal. Even if training had been cancelled or it was Lennon's birthday or whatever.

    Tottenham on the verge of Champions' League again; mercenaries and one club players; inflated wages and alienation from their fan base; expensive nightclubs and rising unemployment. It was a heady mix that just seemed to stick in my throat even if most of it was exaggerated or plain untrue as I must have realised even as I read it.

    Times change clearly but not necessarily for the better. The standard of football has improved as have tactics and training. Foreign players have limited the opportunities for home grown players but have had a positive effect on skill levels. But for me some valuable aspects of the game have been lost and many of them seemed to be encapsulated in the report of the lads night out. I plaintively asked if any SC members witnessed the event. Not many obviously at £5000 a pop.

    Footballers are part of the celebrity culture now, separated from those who ultimately pay their wages and hang on their every move. There's no going back whatever the Fair play rules intend but shouldn't a few of the old values survive? OK I'm getting back in my box now. An occasional pat on the head, the odd Jeroboam and a packet of crisps will suffice.

    'You lucky people' (Tommy Trinder's catch phrase).
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by JimmyG2, May 17, 2013.

  1. CosmicHotspur
    As you said, players now have celebrity status and very wealthy celebrity status at that. They were always heroes but of an entirely different kind.

    A meal with a couple of pints or shorts in the local pubs was pretty much what most of our players used to indulge in back in the day. Of course, they did go out to clubs and nightclubs but certainly not the ultra-expensive membership ones players belong to these days.

    Their wages were above those of the ordinary working bloke but not enough to buy huge mansions (too often furnished in expensive but bad taste by today's players) or expensive cars and their wives and girlfriends were often very down-to-earth women, often whom they'd known long before they were first team players.

    Most of today's players are pretty much removed from the supporters and some are mercenary, without allegiance or loyalty to one club as they used to be. They will go where the money is, as well as the medals.

    As long as they earn the kind of money they do nowadays, this culture will continue to exist. I can't see it changing.
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  2. vuzp
    interesting read and i can see your point and agree with it,
    i guess we are living in a world where there is the haves and the have nots,
  3. eViL
    Don't hate the players, hate the game.

    Its a non-story as far as I'm concerned. Everyone's entitled to a night out.
  4. Sweetsman
    Why is it always the English contingent who get up to this? It's the same at other clubs. One of Ferguson's first acts was to break the drinking culture at the club. I think that it does point to a certain amount of stupidity among these players. I doubt Huddlestone will be with the club next year and probably one of the others will be moved on, too.
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  5. mquinn73
    Some very well reasoned and logical arguments JimmyG2. I believe that very many fans (of all clubs) would agree with your sentiments.

    In my opinion - and from a purely Tottenham perspective - the recent nightclub incident actually reflects a problem with specific players in our squad. I got flamed by quite a number of posters when I claimed that Aaron Lennon was an over-rated underachiever and should be shipped out in the summer. I still believe that and this latest episode just cements my opinion of him. Not one of United, Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal would have him in their team.... but at Spurs, he's lauded (by the fans) and, when fit, appears to have an uncontested place in the first team. In my view, he is actually going backwards in terms of his development - he rarely has any real influence on games and his decision making (on the field) is poorer than ever.

    As for the others....

    Huddlestone - so much talent (best 'natural' passer of a ball in the EPL), I'd love to see him make it, but he's had plenty of chances under different managers and just can't seem to take the next necessary step in his development. It's time to recognise that Huddlestone is not going to make it and ship him out in the summer.

    Livermore - never rated him as a Spurs player. Lots of effort, but ran around like a headless chicken most of the time, poor technical player, gives away a lot of fouls, limited passing ability and limited scope for development. Would be perfect at Orient....

    Walker - another one with all the physical ability that you could hope for in a full-back. Needs a strong hand to get the best out of him. Imagine if he had been at United - Fergie would've made sure he was at home, not drinking vodka in some nightclub beside wannabe popstars on a mid-week night, 5 days before the biggest game of the season. Needs to apply himself if he's going to turn potential into something more tangible. Could be our (and England's) right back for the next 7 years if he removes his head from his arse and commits to being the best he can be.
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  6. tcyrus
    Quote from one of my mates a ex pro !
    Never like the game, it just so happen i was good at it.
  7. striebs
    If I didn't know better I might have thought Jeroboam was a boy band .

    These lads have been down South too long .

    What happened to the pints of gravy ?
  8. Dundalk_Spur
  9. vegassd
    It's probably worth bearing in mind that anything printed in the red-tops has almost certainly been sensationalised.

    For example, the claim of them drinking jeroboams (plural) of vodka is surely ridiculous. They are 4 litres each right? So that's at least 8 litres of vodka between 4 blokes. Not happening.

    And do we know what their training schedule was for the following day? Perhaps they didn't have to be in at all. These guys don't pull 9-5s like the rest of us.

    I would prefer it if all our players had middle-class backgrounds, families of their own, and preferred home dinners to hooters parties. But that's not the case. And I imagine that having the pressures of celebrity mixed with ridiculous amounts of spending money would make most blokes behave like professional footballers do.

    Not that I condone stuff like this, but at least they haven't been accused of gang rape!
  10. postigol
    "I usually manage to ignore such nonsense and write it off as gossip, hearsay and rumour."

    This wasn't Hear'say - they broke up ages ago and in any event were formed on Popstars. This was One Direction, who came out of X-Factor. :p

    Other than that minor point, I agree with the sentiment of this article with footballers being insultingly rich and detached from the fans in many ways. In their defence they do all have Twitter accounts to bring them closer to the public, and £5k minimum bars might be neccessary in some respects to prevent abuse from rival fans and endless gold-diggers wanting a WAG's life or to sell kiss n' tell stories to the tabloids. Finally, on the piss they might have been, but at least they were doing in with team mates, showing that they bond and have togetherness - if that be some sort of mitigation.

    And they were drinking vodka (albiet a v.large bottle at 3L+) which is good news as Thudd would be piling it on if it were pints. So long as it's with a sugar-free mixer or neat that help on the calorie front at least.

    EDIT - just to make it clear I don't watch X-Factor, nor like 1D or Hearsey (though I wouldn't kick Myleene Klass out of bed).
  11. guate
    Great article Jimmy and I'm sure there are a lot of older members on SC who agree with you regarding the survival of values that many of us consider important.
    However, as Bob Dylan said "The times they are a changing" and in today's world of the quick fix (a la Citeh and Chelski) where money literally can buy anything, including Premier league titles, most people are willing to go this route, knowing that it may only be temporary, rather than building solid foundations from the ground up.
    Regarding the 4 Spurs players at the night club, I'd like to say I don't really care what they do in their own time however that's not true either as I do care and although it's only red top gossip I wouldn't even have bothered to comment had this all taken place a week later.
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  12. ostrov
    Storm in a cup of tea perhaps but staple food for the gutter press nonetheless.
  13. jenko
    The fans spend a lot of money following them and there are that many of us that we create the problem of the player being so overpaid. Its not our fault that the money is distributed the way that it is but its been like that for so long that we know what we're doing at this stage.... yet it goes on.

    The media have made celebrity's out of them, but only because they see the demand from us fans. So we create the problem of having these famous 'stars' alienated from society. It's not our fault that they have such large ego's even though we continue to feed it all the time and encourage our kids to idolise them.... oh, maybe it is?

    These guys have a lot to live up to when they join a club. They tend to keep the company of other footballers as its difficult to mix with fans when they can turn on you so quickly for 'not being good enough' or 'missing a sitter' or just being out of form. Fans vote with they're voices and even though they only know a small percentage of a players situation, all sets of fans have a proportion that will boo and abuse players based on what they see on the pitch and hear from the media. So players know they are only loved if they're performing, and likely to be hated if they do not. So we again create the problem of disloyalty by jeering and booing the players. Not all of us, but enough. So even the players who are popular see how their friends can be treated and quite rightly think the love is not genuine.

    Add to the mix the idiots that control the game and shit on the players for even more riches and it was never going to be a healthy mix.

    So my point is, we are getting what we deserve from the sport. No less. If we think that every player should be like Gareth Bale off the pitch then we are setting our expectations of the human race way way too high. It's like me wishing all the fans had you're exact attitude Jimmy - its never gonna happen. It's still very entertaining but only because there's money in it for some rich bastard to feed off. Best to take what ye can from it and avoid analysing the big picture too much.

    Another 1000+ Gareth Bales would be nice though.... :)
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  14. robbiek
    Accidental disagree button, sorry. In fact, I agree : )

    I think the reasons are cultural. There is a binge drinking culture in UK & Ireland.
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  15. ostrov
    I can recall photos of Dos Santos senselessly drunk in the taxi and Arshavin drunk on the doorsteps of nightclub last month. It is inherent in many nations. It's a part of football culture.
  16. Pillbug
    By this logic, I shouldn't sit down to have a nip until I have personally made sure every hungry mouth in the world is fed. What a bunch of hooey.
  17. spud
    No. Unfortunately you let your critical faculty slip and actually believed some of what was being written.

    Do you think for a second that if there was anything - anything at all - to what was written that we wouldn't have seen a picture by now? This club is apparently a haunt of the paparazzi (sp?) and everybody has a camera, yet all we have heard and seen is one flagrantly anti-Spurs article.

    While I agree with you in principle, isn't this a double-standard? Movie stars earn fortunes that make footballers look like paupers and yet nobody ever complains about that or uses it as an example of the inequities of modern life. Aren't actors 'ridiculously overpaid' too? Aren't company directors? Aren't members of Parliament?

    Again, I agree. But there is also an element of rose-tinted spectacles here too. Footballers have always gone out drinking, they just did it in an era where sports journalists wrote about sport and nobody cared how many pints the centre-forward had on tuesday as long as he performed on saturday.

    Here I am, agreeing again. Football is only a microcosm of the problem though. It's society which has changed its values. Where integrity used to be important now winning is everything, and cheating is not only condoned but often encouraged and applauded.

    I share your horror at what we often see in football as well as in life generally. You got it off your chest when this so-called incident triggered it, I will probably do so at some other fabricated media 'incident'. Sometimes we forget that one of society's changes means that any fool can write for public consumption and that the truth of the story is unimportant compared to its sensationalism and how many 'hits' it generates.

    You didn't have a 'senior moment'; you vented righteous indignation. I'm glad that you and others still feel the need to do so: it means that all is not yet lost.
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  18. Oshi
    I am less and less interested in players, names on shirts etc. for me it's now just a number, players rent a shirt for a period of time and move on, the shirt and the club are the only constant.

    Occasionally a character will come along but most would abandon ship if it went pear shaped and the greatest in the world would flock if we had the cash.
  19. ethanedwards
    The article stated their was a party of ten, four of whom were footballers.
    IMO they should not have been there, drinking or not.

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