West Bromwich Albion currently sit seven points off safety at the bottom of the Premier League – and the latest Spanish showdown shows just why they’re destined for the drop.
Four West Brom players – Jonny Evans, Boaz Myhill, Jake Livermore and Gareth Barry – have come out and apologised after they allegedly stole a taxi on a midweek training camp in Barcelona. There’s so much wrong with that, I’m not even sure where to start.
First of all, they’ve only managed 20 points from 27 games and yet, they’re being brought to Barcelona in the middle of the season.
Now, I’m not sure the essence of Lionel Messi will turn Solomon Rondon into a perennial Ballon d’Or contender, nor will an immersion in Gaudi art help James Morrisson understand the game any better. If anything, Daniel Sturridge will damage an artefact in Sagrada Familia and be out for six months with a dislocated conscience.
Secondly, after being afforded a trip to Catalonia, four senior pros with over a thousand Premier League appearances between them nip off in the middle of the night. They break curfew, presumably go out on the p*ss and in turn, set an awful example for the younger players at the football club.
That kind of leadership is exactly why West Brom are where they are – and Alan Pardew’s managerial approach is clearly complementary to this sort of behaviour. Lastly, and most importantly – they robbed a f**king taxi!
Not only is that a big no-no for a professional footballer, it’s a big no-no for absolutely everyone because it’s illegal!
If the investigation comes back and shows these four men have stolen a taxi, then they should be jailed. Considering that the four players themselves have already come out and apologised, it doesn’t look great for them.
Forget them, though. West Brom fans pay a lot of money for season tickets and travelling around the country on overly-expensive railway lines to watch their club in action.
If those in charge of the club cannot maintain such an order whereby the players whose wages are paid by the aforementioned fans, then they must be removed from their positions (oh wait, that’s already happened), or at least the price of admission to games featuring those players should be refunded.
If footballers wish to engage in more and more sponsorships and maintain their rights to ask for more money in relation to the league earnings from television rights, then they must embrace the added responsibility of being role models.
Furthermore, they must represent their employers to the best of their ability. This works from the top down. Alan Pardew organised a trip to Spain midweek, which can be looked at as a reward is poor performance.
The four lads skipping a curfew and breaking the law is appalling. The club’s seemingly soft-line stance on it is condemning – and it all adds up to one big mess.
It’s that chaos that will see West Brom relegated to the Championship – probably earlier than May, too.
There’s a complete lack of discipline at The Hawthorns and a huge overhaul in the second tier might be just what they need in order to wash away the tag of being a complete and utter laughing stock.