Former Newcastle, Ipswich and England hero Kieron Dyer has just published his autobiography, and he wants all young players to read it as a guide about how not to behave.
Dyer is right to look back at the mistakes he made while he was at the top of his game, distracted by fame and money.
Perhaps the lack of truly great young English players can be attributed to the ‘too much too soon’ culture that they grow up in, and so I’ve established a blueprint for the future.
If all clubs were to follow my recommendations to the letter, perhaps we’ll see England win the World Cup again, maybe by 2046 or something. I don’t know, I’m not an expert!
Cap their wages
Sorry, but it’s unhealthy for 19-year-old lads to be earning in excess of £20,000 per week, no matter how talented they are.
For players under 23, a maximum wage needs to be set in place, rising year-on-year so that they can retain their hunger for the game.
No one wants to stop promising young players from earning a decent living, but massive wages should be used as the carrot and not the stick until their all-round game has been developed.
Entrench them in their clubs
In the old days, once training was over for the day, young players were expected to help out around the club.
Sweeping the terraces, painting the turnstiles and cleaning the pros boots were all part of the traditional rise through the ranks for the stars of tomorrow.
There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be brought back, with 18-year-old players tasked with (for example) finding each of the six smartphones that the club’s £65m striker has lost in the past fortnight – or maybe they can do their bit by editing the top players’ homemade sex tapes for them or liaising with the casinos where they owe eye-watering amounts of money.
Get them out in the community
Back in the day, players couldn’t afford gated mansions, with crocodile-filled moats and gun turrets so they often endured a dull existence in semi-detached houses on drab estates with the ordinary fans. Living like you and I, basically – the poor, poor bastards.
But it meant that they were part of the local community and that’s something that needs to come back.
Get the young lads out in the community, washing elephants in the local zoo or rummaging through the faded underpants of dead men in the back rooms of charity shops.
It’ll give them some much-needed backbone.
Test pioneering drugs on them
With their lithe, taut, young male bodies, it seems obvious that fledgling footballers should be recruited en masse and used as medical guinea pigs in laboratories, sometimes by deranged, psychopathic research scientists.
Perhaps they could grow new genetically-engineered body parts on their musclebound backs and chests, or have shampoo squirted into their eyes or injected into their buttocks, so that it doesn’t have to happen to beagles (who can concentrate on simultaneously smoking thirty fags instead).
It’s said that young players can’t relate to the fans who pay their wages, and many of those fans have been in prison at one time or another.
Within weeks of turning pro, the game’s young hopefuls should each be serving a minimum of three months at Her Majesty’s pleasure in one of the country’s maximum security prisons.
And if they find themselves drawn into a life of crime and are unable to get parole? Well, they were obviously never cut out to be top level footballers, were they?
Lower them gently into the nearest active Volcano
If these arrogant young idiots want to know what the real world is all about, there’s no better lesson than for them to be strapped to a metal slab that is attached to the underside of a helicopter and gradually dropped into a living hell of smoke and molten lava.
Should they survive (and it’s unlikely), it’ll definitely give them the strength of character needed for a midweek EFL Cup tie away at Port Vale.