The return of the Messiah?

8 Mar

This post was originally about unexpected news at Reading Football Club this morning, but led me to debate, once more, the worrying state that the game is in.

I awoke this morning to the news of a loan signing for my beloved Reading.

Glen Little, who left the club after relegation last summer, has returned after just 6 months away from the Madejski Stadium.

Glen, who is described by many Royals fans as the ‘White Pele’, could well be the make or break moment in the club’s bid to return to the promised land.

At first I was overjoyed, as Glen is one of the most talented and technically gifted players ever to grace the hoops, however the move did get my mind thinking.

Glen is one of many footballers who has made a move away from a club, and returned within a short space of time.

Jermain Defoe is another, who left Spurs for Portsmouth just to make the trip back to London soon after.

Robbie Keane, another of the mass exodus from White Hart Lane last summer, returned after an unsuccessful spell at Liverpool.

It got me questioning how much these footballers really think about the transfers they are involved in?

Do they just see the big pound signs in their eyes and sign on the dotted line?

Does loyalty to a club still exist in this day and age?

Or are there more important things influencing our professionals?

How rare is it to see an example of a player who has stuck by a club through thick and thin?

At Reading just one player springs to mind, Club Captain Graeme Murty, but other than that loyalty is a rare commodity.

In the Premier League, how many players can you name who have stuck by their club for years? Other than a very select few, namely Ryan Giggs, there are very few willing to spend their careers at one club.

In English football at least.

We frequently see players turning down huge money moves abroad, to spend their days at the club their hearts lie with.

Brazilian trickster Kaka, for example, turned down ridiculous amounts of money so he can follow in the footsteps of the likes of Paolo Maldini and end his days at the San Siro.

Argentinian wonder kid Lionel Messi is another example. Constantly linked with moves away from the Nou Camp, Messi has signalled his clear intentions to finish in Catalonia.

Closer to home we see players who are synonymous with the clubs they play for, Steven Gerrard for example, seemingly ready to throw away his heritage and boyhood dreams, just for that big money move.

Pascal Chimbonda is another shining example, after moving to newly promoted Wigan in their first season in the top-flight, Chimbonda made a name for himself, and on the last day of their inaugural season in the Premier League, he told the manager Paul Jewell and the rest of the players that ‘he wanted to play for a bigger club’.

With international players even paid to play for their country in the major competitions nowadays, it does make one question the motives of footballers, with it becoming a rarity to find someone who just enjoys playing football.

With millions of aspiring youngsters willing to give anything to achieve even a fraction of some of these footballers’ success, I wish some would come down a notch and start acting just a little bit humble.

To quote Mike Bassett in his inspirational half-time speech, “If you don’t want to wear the shirt, then f**k off! There’s f*****g thousands of kids out there who would f*****g die to put that f*****g shirt on!!”

His words, not mine.

But too bloody right, Mike, too bloody right!

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