A season of prima-donnas

by Michael Somerville

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Where have all the players gone?

Petulance, stupidity and immaturity are words that are used in conjunction with Premier League footballers, by pundits, journalists and fans, but this season we’ve seen a new so called wave of prima- donna behaviour from highly paid football stars. Starting at the bottom of the pile we have the case of Amir Zaki, whose loan spell at Wigan this season has certainly brought to attention some of footballs biggest clubs (following enquiries from Bayern Munich and Manchester City in January) after making a brilliant start to his season scoring 7 goals in his first 8 games. You would think that Wigan would have been wise to let him go in January, as he hasn’t hit a goal since the 28th of December, and his constant bad timekeeping has seemed to have wound up Steve Bruce to new extremes, with Bruce calling him the “most unprofessional player he has ever worked with.” There’s no excuse for Zaki, who has turned up late 4 times from international duty, although the sunny home comforts of Egypt would most certainly be a more enjoyable alternative to rainy Wigan.

It’s most likely that a lack of motivation is playing on the strikers mind; coupled with his fantastic start to the season the pressure to score every other game must be playing on his mind. Hopefully he won’t be referring to his Wigan move as “My Wigan nightmare.”

Another heavily built striker has gone AWOL in recent weeks, and surprise surprise it’s Adriano. Once considered one of the best strikers in the world, with his pace and power feared, he seems to have gone completely off the radar. And Inter boss Jose Mourinho has expressed his disappointment and sadness in Adriano who has “gone off the rails.” Apparently, police spotted him at a favela party, which was attended by team-mates, friends and lady boys. Maybe Amir Zaki was in attendance, you never know! Adriano’s excuse was that he thought he had the day off, before strolling into training four days late. Good one.

Finally, another Brazilian, and this is strange as I thought Brazilian’s were supposed to love the game and put all there lives into becoming world beaters and the like. Judging on Robinho’s conduct during his stay at Manchester City, who after loosing to Hamburg in mid week, looks to be a short one. Robinho is another wonderkid, prodigy whatever you want to call him, but has looked short of form recently, and is looking more and more like Laurent Robert by the minute. A fantastic player on his day but lazy most of the time, Robinho has yet to fulfil his potential. Although he has hit 11 goals this season, he also went AWOL, jetting off to sunny Brazil without manager Mark Hughes’ permission. Rumours have persisted that they have a poor relationship but Hughes told BBC Radio 5 Live that “The truth is it’s a lot closer to being a lot calmer than people would imagine.” I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t fill me with the greatest of confidence.

Do players just not want to play football for 100,000 grand a week anymore; is it not good enough for them? Or do strong disciplined managers such as Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce, simply do not get along with foreign exports and never will. I’ve a feeling that we’ll be seeing some bitterness and public feuds come the summer

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  • Darren

    Why is it that all Brazilian footballers like ladyboys? Adriano was spotted at party with loads of them. Ronaldo was into Trannies. Very strange!

  • Tef1on

    Not to mention Robinho is a ladyboy

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    oh yeah, forgot about that!

  • Matt Quinn

    Its a difficult one. Most of the Brazilian players have come from the most impoverished beginnings to being thrust into unimaginable wealth. They are only human beings and, as such, some get their heads turned. Its to be expected really. The same would be the case with Zaki— who i believe lives with his mum in Wigan and takes her everywhere so he doesnt feel homesick. (Homesickness could be the reason he’s always late returning from international duty)… not the image of a prima-donna really.

    Adriano appears to also have some degree of mental problems too. Depression etc…

    I havent got a clue what the solution is but if you take a cross section of any employment group (no matter what theyre paid) you are going to get people who dont conform and who are less than professional. We seem to demand that because these footballers are paid a fortune to play the game we love that they should be mechanical, emotionless robots who conform by the book.

    Yet then we regale the drinking stories of Paul McGrath, Gazza, George Best, Clough etc… and moan how the modern game is lacking characters.

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