|A glass of Becks yesterday|
Adam Johnson is, what, twenty-one? Something like that. I am loathe to check, because it will make me feel both slightly odd and very old. He is also rich beyond his uncluttered Middlesbrough upbringing might be expected to have prepared him for. Like the tight, sharp German pils in my days, the cash is dribbling out of his ears.
The gnarled old chestnut of putting young men and big bucks together has been thrashed to bits over the years and we are all aware of the consequences. I would probably have been alongside Adam and Gareth and Joe, trying to impress the ladies and hanging out with the boys. But wait a minute. Did you say Gareth? What the hell's Gareth doing out on the bender with us? Shouldn't he be at home reading a book or something?
|A bottle of rum last week|
How many times have I said to myself either "that's the last time I drink red wine, white wine, then red wine again. And certainly no Sambuca in the middle next time" or "that's the last time I waste my money going all the way to bloody London to see them cave in feebly to West Ham yet again". What happens ten days later? Caught drunk in the precincts of the borough of Fulham on the way to watch another 3-1 defeat with a bottle of Sambuca in my back pocket. So, we are addicted to both, right?
|Thought you said you'd not be coming again...?|
This is the marvellous world that Adam Johnson came flying into. Thanks to cash and modern schooling methods, our footballers are now able to take things onto a new plane of wastefulness and idiocy. A flight to St Andrews to play golf on your day off. A student party. A student party! Well, I remember full well our dos in a shaky Hastings Road bedsit attracting all sorts of night hawks and carnivorous party beasts, but not once did I find Simon Stainrod or Mel Sterland, what might have passed for Sheffield football gliterati in the 80s, stalking our kitchen hoovering up the cans of Wards and eating slices of salami with their hands. (Mind you I'm sure Mel would have been there if he'd known about it....).
With wealth comes untold possibilities. St Andrews is suddenly a viable alternative to the pitch and putt in Timperley, a quickie to see the Lakers is as commonplace as a bus ride down to the GMex to see the Masters Soccer Sixes used to be. We live in enlightened and wasteful times, times of excess and bravura, scoffing and gagging, nothing much impressing us unless I can trump it with some other monstrous overstatement. Pink fitted Hummer? Lamborghini that turns into a hovercraft? Jetski with a bar attached? Black and white pool table with your name on it?
|Joe Hart prepares to go down the shops for a tin of peas|
Brian Marwood, another man lost in the timewarp of the 80s, made a uniquely appropriate quote last week, (just after Joe Hart had tripped the light fantastic on a bar top in Magaluf and just before he sipped the magic student broth in central Scotland) -boy, these lads can get pissed absolutely anywhere- stated, “our foreign players have educated the other players. Kolo and Yaya [Toure] are Muslim. They don’t drink. I’m hoping young players look at that, and think they’ve played in the Champions League final and there’s a player with Spain in the World Cup [Silva]. He doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, rarely goes out. Maybe I should try a bit of that.’’
Maybe Gareth, Joe, Shay and Adam should try a bit too. If the performance at Wolves is anything to go by, the whole team should stick to mineral water