Daily Mail Attacks Manchester City’s Joe Hart And Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere For Following Its Health Tips
HOW football journalism works, with the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton. Before the World Cup, on May 20, 2014, England were at the Grove Hotel for the Lions and Roses dinner. The charity event hosted by the England Footballers Foundation “raised £362,000 in a night for charity… and even Premier League stars were surprised at that amount of money!”
One bidder paid £10,000 for a round of golf with Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Ashton notes:
In an era when it is so easy to casually criticise the players, this event, in football parlance, could be described as ‘a leveller’. Every member of that squad, from captain Steven Gerrard and vice-captain Frank Lampard to Southampton trio Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, understood their roles and responsibilities.
They sat on tables of 10 and were allowed, with the permission of the head coach Hodgson, a glass of wine or a glass of beer with their meal. They behaved impeccably.
Wilshere is holding a cigarette and a cigar in the pool, puffing away without a care in the world. His career is threatening to go up in smoke.
A ciggie can ruin your career – just ask Jack Charlton, Jimmy Greaves and lots of other England “heroes” what smoking did for them. the marketing-led bilge is that players are “role models” whose every action is a call to action aped by impressionable kids.
Just as the nippers will buy fizzy, sugary drinks peddled by Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker’s fatty crisps, they will think smoking is ok. Footballers are no longer parts of the society they live in but a breed apart whose every action must further the moral code and keep the proles in check. Just as one bigoted comment will lead to a race riot; a cigarette will set the health movement back decades.
Ashton then sticks his knife between Hart’s shoulder blades:
The FA continue to maintain that this is all part of a special plan, that this group of players are on the verge of something special. No, they are not.
They are young men, many of whom are ill-disciplined and ill-advised, no better illustrated than by the latest round of party pictures.
What happened to “behaved impeccably”?
At the Lions and Roses charity dinner on May 18, England’s head coach Roy Hodgson allowed his players to have a couple of drinks.
“A glass of wine or beer” has become a “couple of drinks”.
On one table, Gerrard and Lampard had half a glass of red wine poured for them and did not touch a drop. On another, far more boisterous table, Hart drank bottle after bottle of beer at a remarkable rate.
Number of mentions of Hart’s alleged drinking in Ashton’s first story: none.
Sitting on the same table was Luke Shaw, a young man who cannot even drive yet, at his first official England function. At the time he was 18. What an example to set a kid,
He’s 18 and can’t drive. Luke, mate, you can pass your test at 17. Maybe he doesn’t want to drive. Maybe Luke Shaw doesn’t want a drink. Maybe he has a mind of his own. Maybe he hasn’t read the Mail’s good news that beer is the health drink of choice:
And for Hart, who advertises cures for flaky scalps on the telly, great news:
Maybe Hart and Wilshere are impressionable lads who get their health tips in the Daily Mail? Fingers crossed Shaw doesn’t read it….