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Jeers and Booze

Robbo Robson | 13:27 UK time, Thursday, 14 May 2009

So Harry Redknapp is taking all the booze out of the players' bar at Spurs on the back of Ledley's lunacy the other night.

Harry Redknapp!? As true-blue English as a pearly king morris-dancing over a pint of real warm ale with a song in his heart and steak and kidney puddin' in his belly? Telling footballers that alcohol is forbidden?

What next? Elected parliamentary representatives of our great empire using public funds to play the housing market?

And has 'Arry got a point? The only one to come out against him thus far is Gazza. The lad may be turning things around a bit right now, but he's not exactly the best poster boy for the Footballers Can Handle A Drink lobby.

Of course, as many of you know I often pen this particular piece of prose from my favourite hostelry. Actually, thinking about it, for 'favourite' read 'closest'. I have been diligent in my attempts to mix the ball and the beer, although that half-time pint does take the edge off me game these days... not that I'll be swapping it for the full-time half in a hurry.

(I have on rare occasions opted for that, but only when I have been labelled with the worst two words in English football - no not 'gelled tumbler', or even 'Chelsea's millions', but 'designated driver').

Up until the late 80s I reckon a bit of booze-riddled blowing off of steam was pretty much obligatory amongst football clubs, not to mention the management. That's probably why many former players ended up owning and/or running their own pubs - they'd have been in there any road so they might as well get paid for it, eh?
Harry Redknapp
Nowadays your average Premier League footballer could buy up a pub chain and still have enough cash left over to pay his legal fees at the end of the week. It doesn't matter how stinking rich you are, it's no guarantee that you can hold your drink.

Ledley and Cashley have got into terrible bother - and the apologies ring a bit hollow too. Nicklas Bendtner was another quick to say sorry: "I want to apologise to the club and the fans for letting them and myself down." Never mind the standard of your finishing this year, Nicklas, just apologise for letting your trousers down, son!

Of course one of the things them pesky foreigners have brought into the British game, apart from (and here I dive into my Hansen Thesaurus of All-Purpose Football Phrases) power, pace and penetration, is a sensible attitude to grape and the grain. I mean, damn their eyes, some of them don't even touch the stuff!

You'd never get in our team on that basis. We had a mazy left-winger who once asked the barman for a St Clements and ice and he was benched for three matches 'til he came to his senses.

But Redknapp's right, isn't he? Usain Bolt may be able to get away with a fried chicken diet, but your average footie player these days needs to monitor everything he puts into his body (I'm avoiding any smut after that remark, but God it's difficult!).

Clearly getting half-cut on a Wednesday night is going to leave you less well equipped to deal with an important game than the mid-European puritans in the opposition. Being professional means eating pasta and sipping mineral water and, well, being very dull indeed.

I would suggest it also means that, like every other professional athlete, you are available for a dope-test at all hours of the day. Why football should consider itself immune from the investigations of the World Anti-Doping Authority is beyond me.
I mean for those of the rest of us who have reasonably regular jobs, how hard can it be to inform someone where you might be for one hour of every day?

Clearly, if testers want to have a guarantee of where top pros might be then I suggest they trawl the bars of Soho and Manchester of a Saturday night and they're bound to be able to collect two or three hundred samples in an evening. What they probably would be best avoiding is asking some of the players' missuses where they might be.

WADA has a job to do. There are so many sports that we watch with a cynical eye these days and not just 'cos of the rule-bending antics of writhing international forwards. The successful Jamaican sprinters, anyone who suddenly and surprisingly improves: all of them have to deal with comments behind the back of cupped hands 'cos of what has gone on around them.

It'd be nice to think that our self-serving footballers could embrace the idea that proving themselves and their sport to be clean is a good thing. Sepp Blatter's called it an infringement on their private lives but it does seem, particularly in financial terms, a tiny price to pay for a bit of integrity.

And if it all helps improve the image of our footballers, especially the British lads, then I'll drink to that.

Comments

  • 1. At 2:03pm on 14 May 2009, HoldenIBM wrote:

    Cannot see the point of the debate, or the fuss it has caused. How often does a Premiership footballer get caught "one over the eight" these days? Not often. Not in public, anyway. Gazza was high profile, but he stopped playing years ago, as did Merson and Adams. Thinking about it, this season I can't recall any revelations of drunk footballers before the Bendtner/King stories broke...

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  • 2. At 2:07pm on 14 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 2:13pm on 14 May 2009, Gradel97thMinute wrote:

    I'd be done for libel if I tried to write a blog involving Ashley Cole, and I don't even dislike him THAT much. Fair play.

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  • 4. At 2:16pm on 14 May 2009, Neil wrote:

    No mention of the Boro today then?!?!?

    To be fair, if you offered me thousands of pounds a week to play football but be "dull" and not get smashed for 20 years, i'd happily do it! I'm sure when they "retire" at the grand old age of 35 they can get as smashed as they like if they so choose!

    The problem with the King story is that whilst Bendtner was merely leaving a bar (only shots he's had that were near the bar rather than 20 feet over it) late with his trousers down, King is up in Court for some pretty serious charges - a big difference! That's what the "fuss" is about!

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  • 5. At 2:20pm on 14 May 2009, Neil wrote:

    P.S. I do of course mean both Marlon and Ledley!

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  • 6. At 2:27pm on 14 May 2009, Carlth wrote:

    Is the "gelled tumbler" also the "designated diver"?

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  • 7. At 2:37pm on 14 May 2009, EdinburghPremFan wrote:

    Will we look forward to you blogging from the championship next year then Robbo??

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  • 8. At 2:41pm on 14 May 2009, EuroPaddy wrote:

    #6
    Stop being so clever ;-) and I don't know whether to laugh or cry at your comment...

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  • 9. At 2:42pm on 14 May 2009, Scottishscouser wrote:

    Ashley Cole? Was not Steven Gerrard's fracas in a posh boozer - though there's nothing to say that the midfield dynamo wasn't on fizzy pop all night?
    --------------------
    Can't talk about Gerrard mate, he'd be prejudicing his trail!


    It's the Northern Europeans that have the drinking culture, the intro of the mediterrainean guys has helped. I can't see nowt wrong with a glass or 2 of rioja now and again.

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  • 10. At 2:49pm on 14 May 2009, vanhako2 wrote:

    nothing about Middlesbrough? i thought they were your team Robbo? and are you done with slagging off Newcastle now that you lost to us?

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  • 11. At 2:53pm on 14 May 2009, MoneyTalks wrote:

    Jesus, Robbo works for the BBC and his comments been moderated. At least the mods are consistent...

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  • 12. At 3:02pm on 14 May 2009, mightymuk wrote:

    it would be good if the booze was banned, then footballer would concentrate more on the game, ratherthen the booze after it.

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  • 13. At 3:05pm on 14 May 2009, Istanbul2005_4eva wrote:

    Robbo- one question that remains unanswered, is your faith in southgate still there? and should he be there next season. If he is the surely Gibson is not the right man for the job either as he certainly not got The boro's best intrest,

    intersted to know your thoughts

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  • 14. At 3:09pm on 14 May 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Inclined to agree that footballers should be subject to the same level of testing as any other athlete... As for Blatters remarks about an invasion of privacy... That is ludicrous, a group of blokes getting paid thousands of pounds a week, should be willing to do on the spot urine tests 24 hours a day in public... better yet on the Britains got Talent stage with Cowell, Holden and Piers judging their samples and making benign and contrived comments about their wee, and making three loud BUZZ noises if found positive, followed by choruses of "off, off, off" from the crowd...

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  • 15. At 3:13pm on 14 May 2009, suavejohn wrote:

    I think, with regards to the Ledley King situation, less should be made of the state he was in (as we've all been in that state at some stage in our lives, we're only human) but more should be made of the racist language he used.

    When Rio, Emile and Cashley were subjected to racist chants in the Spain match the whole of England (FA, Media, Joe Bloggs, etc) were calling for fines, suspensions from comptetitions, points deductions, exclusion from the world map for the Spanish but lo and behold when an English footballer uses racist language, more is made of the fact that he was pissed. Talk about your double standards.

    My guess is the spanish fans using racist chants in the england match werent exactly sober. Doesnt that make it ok then?

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  • 16. At 3:16pm on 14 May 2009, Neal Richardson wrote:

    Harry is right. I hope this is another good step towards making the UK a less boozy culture.

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  • 17. At 3:20pm on 14 May 2009, sneakyprice07 wrote:

    #14 - not sure I agree with your comment. ( I laughed at the Britains Got Talent image though) -
    Footballers should not have to let people know where they are 24 hours a day just because they earn a shed load of money and we are all jealous! They should just not cheat and use drugs as a performance enhancer which is why random tests are okay and should be encouraged.
    If thoses tests bring up traces of enhancing drugs, ban them. Don't bash them for the recreational drugs because that is not performance enhancing but a problem - get them help instead.

    Alcohol should be down to the individual club which i imagine it is anyway and the club can then deal with it as they see fit.

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  • 18. At 3:22pm on 14 May 2009, Zell182 wrote:

    # 2. s At 2:07pm on 14 May 2009, Robbo Robson

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.
    ---------------------

    lol pwned?

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  • 19. At 3:29pm on 14 May 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Fair point Sneaky, i just feel that if it is not to much of a problem for a shot putter who also works as a brick layer to pay his bills to be subject to the WADA rules... For Sepp Blatter to say it is infringment of privacy for a wealthy (and already in the public eye) footballer to do this is a bit well...rich.

    On the subject of perfomance enhancing drugs... a view I have held for a long time is that if enough athletes are willing to take Performance enhancing drugs they should stage an alternative "drug Olympics"... Imagine it, javelins being flung far in to the distance, the 100 meters in 4 seconds, weight lifters with busses held over their heads, high jumper leaping over buildings... If athletes are willing to damage their bodies by taking the drugs, I for one would be willing to sit watching in amazement at the freaks, munching on popcorn sipping a beer... This would also remove the use of Performance drugs from honest competition... As i am sure the super-freak drug olympics would rake in more from corporate sponsors...

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  • 20. At 3:31pm on 14 May 2009, cheeryontop wrote:

    Fair play Harry has got a point but his however is coming from a man who let Best come to Bournemouth... not to play football but just so he was near Ringwood bitter

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  • 21. At 3:35pm on 14 May 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    Jesus, Robbo works for the BBC and his comments been moderated. At least the mods are consistent...
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think he dared to mention the BBC messiah Stevie G in a bad light

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  • 22. At 3:45pm on 14 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    i propose that, as a bit of a public service announcement, England roll out an all-boozer 11 to play in front of a stadium full of youth hopefuls.
    the likes of Stevie G, crazy Joey, King, etc. will be required to down several pre-game ales (1 1/2 Zima's for Cashley) to demonstrate how rubbish football is under the influence of sauce... but it could backfire when they all realize how endlessly entertaining the whole exercise is, thus creating a far superior league: the English PreBeer League.

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  • 23. At 3:51pm on 14 May 2009, Paul bain wrote:

    when footballers start out in there teens they would have to give up there wknd goin with there mates and drinking so they should be used to it. although it mite have been tough they would do it beacause it was more important to them be a professional footballer! it seems now they have nothin to loose!

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  • 24. At 3:51pm on 14 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    # 19 - the all-drugs Olympics did happen, on a Saturday Night Live skit.

    i believe it was the late Phil Hartman introduced as a Polish weightlifter attempting a clean jerk of 2000 lbs... arms ripped straight out of the sockets, Kevin Nealon making some hilarious commentary... good stuff.

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  • 25. At 3:53pm on 14 May 2009, Richyburger wrote:

    To be fair I think that it would be more drugs of the "recreational" kind than the performance enhancing kind that footballers would come acropper with.
    Sepp Blatter does like to look after his poor little fottballers though doesn't he first the are "like slaves" who can sign a four year contract and walk away when they feel like it but MUST be paid if they decide not to bother.

    Now it would be an infringement of their privacy to let the drug testers where they are going to be, strange then that many of them have no problem hanging out in places where the paparazzi are going to photograph them.

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  • 26. At 3:56pm on 14 May 2009, gunner-zp - Jack Wilshere is God wrote:

    lol robbos comment deleted what next?

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  • 27. At 3:57pm on 14 May 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    SNL... God bless them! Getting you-tubed right now... Cheers!

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  • 28. At 4:11pm on 14 May 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    It must be differentiated between recreational and performance enhancing drugs. Even though a pint or two in a while, when it doesn't affect the next game in hand is no big deal, these numpties should know better than to make utter fools of themselves.
    If you cant handle it, stay away from it.

    The way a bloke conducts himself on pitch tells you a lot about how they go about their lives off it. Of course, the booze only loosens them up.

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  • 29. At 4:21pm on 14 May 2009, lordSUPERFRED wrote:

    Spot on from Robbo , old red face one of the biggest artists in his era when you forged team spirit at the bar , a bit like letting Hanibal Lecter dish out critisism at a meat eating contest.The clever but snidy thing this the tottenham manager tried to do was tar every player with the same brush when most are solid proffesioanal athletes , put your own house in order old son before you get on your high horse and try to clean up the game , when it surely dont need it, or a lecture from one so shallow

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  • 30. At 4:25pm on 14 May 2009, ukctstrider wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 31. At 4:27pm on 14 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    All right, now this is just getting plain silly: Robbo can't comment on his own blog without being censored? Good heavens, why not just post a non-politically correct, truthful account of what we can and cannot say such that we can all just save time and patience? My current impression, having been 'moderated' several times is as follows:

    1. No comments on Phil McNulty
    2. No latent 'racist' comments or questions as to how most of the people writing for the BBC managed to get their jobs.
    3. Sparing usage of the noun 'England' and its adjective 'English'.
    4. No indication of any actual facts relating to point 2.
    5. No passion of any kind; no comments addressing why passion or the lack thereof of a highly- and often-titled columnist may account for his wife's whereabouts.

    As for the article, the first one in some while without a hint of wit in sight, the reason why footballers shouldn't have to inform anyone as to where they might be for an hour on any given day is indeed a matter of privacy; they should be held accountable during the season on match days, otherwise, their lives should be their own.

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  • 32. At 4:46pm on 14 May 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Biggest load of sense I have ever seen you write.

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  • 33. At 4:53pm on 14 May 2009, noblesensible wrote:

    go back a few years to the other robbo, not only did he play for england, but nigh on drank for england as well as the rest of his team. basically they had their own"home internationals" in bars and pubs and clubs within th manchester area. they never won anything of note.

    come fergie and wengerera.look at the trophies between them. drunken exhibitionists should not be tolerated but disciplined. the disciplinary process is about putting them in the right frame to complete a days work.in every day life booze and work (its their job) do not go in .harmony ask the nurses and doctors in hospitals

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  • 34. At 5:12pm on 14 May 2009, rodders77 wrote:

    There is absolutely no harm in having a glass of wine with a meal, but it can cause all sorts of problems if you're downing ten pints in a night. Not only would you be affected physically, you'd also be mentally shot. I'm not sure how the clubs could enforce such a ban - normally there would be no evidence left in your system after having a couple of pints the night before - and there are probably some human rights issues that would need looking at (freedom to drink).

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  • 35. At 5:12pm on 14 May 2009, Atif_10 wrote:

    Lmao Robbos been sacked... i mean moderated.

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  • 36. At 5:23pm on 14 May 2009, palace_mark wrote:

    #6 - Genius comment

    As for Herr Blatter, to be fair, the man has no idea what he is doing!
    i think that all professional atheletes, no matter what sport they are participating in should be randomly drug tested, whenever!
    #17, this does not mean a "big brother" culture where they have to account for their whereabouts 24 hours a day, just the ability to take an hour out of their ridiculously busy schedule to provide a sample!
    I know i could manage it, even with the hours that i work, and i am sure that you could too!
    If these overpaid, underworked primadonnas had nothing to hide, they could manage it too!!



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  • 37. At 5:24pm on 14 May 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Wait 4 days to hear about what Boro are going to do next and what do we get?

    Boring rubbish about drinking!!

    And I didn't even get to see the moderated comment!

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  • 38. At 5:41pm on 14 May 2009, madeiraman57 wrote:

    Good blog Robbo, hope you aren't locked up or has your typewriter tape been clipped by Mods..?
    I agree also with #33, very few of the real 'achieving ' Teams over the past 15 years at least have been peopled by boozers and the sprinkling of players other than N Europeans in the squads has definitely helped.
    The problem is where will the boys meet the Wags. I recommend, as they are rich beyond our dreams , why not go back to college and get an Education ??
    Sorry, that's going too far !

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  • 39. At 6:01pm on 14 May 2009, RefereeSoccerDude wrote:

    First booze then what celibacy? You have some very young men who are inexperienced in life and given more money in a year than most of us will see in a lifetime. They WILL find something stupid and embarrassing to do, no matter what.

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  • 40. At 6:11pm on 14 May 2009, Neal C wrote:

    Tales about boozing players from a bygone era are fast becoming tired and indulgent. What does the drink till your drunk attitude say about you. That you don't care. What a rebel. More like you had a problematic passage out of adolescence or indeed that you are still having difficulties getting out.

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  • 41. At 6:21pm on 14 May 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    Nothing bout Boro this week?And did Robbo get modded?Highlight of my 606 existence!

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  • 42. At 6:24pm on 14 May 2009, Ian Bittiner wrote:

    I agree that the players shouldn't have to provide their location for an hour a day. Those who say that they are paid a lot of money to do so do not take into account that all workers must have at least 28 days holiday per year (based on a 5 day working week, more if it's a full 7), and these tests probably violate that. That aside, I still don't agree with it. Just say at any training session they could be tested.

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  • 43. At 6:42pm on 14 May 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    The boozing shortened not just George Best's career but also his life and there is the greatest but also most extreme example.

    The booze culture is sick, a tour of the emergency rooms on a Saturday night should be mandatory for all apprentice footballers (all kids for that matter).

    There's a big difference though between booze and performance enhancing drugs. That's cheating. The fact that we all see many players cheating on the pitch what on earth makes anybody think that some won't happily cheat off it? It's a cultural shift, all part of the generational demise. For the most part the business comes before the sport these days, let's not kid ourselves. Honesty takes a back seat to results for the morally or ethically challenged, win at all costs. The fact that some of these lads are putting stuff in their systems to help enhance match day performance is tragically ignoring the likely long term side effects. Good examples of players to be looked up to used to be abundant, not so nowadays lads.

    I also noticed the absence of any Boro reference Robbo but I'm sure you're working on a suitable piece (an obituary perhaps).

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  • 44. At 6:53pm on 14 May 2009, Graeme wrote:

    I think Robbo's comment was removed while we wait for the results of his humour-enhancing drug test after being suspiciously too funny.

    Clearly, I'm not at risk :)

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  • 45. At 7:01pm on 14 May 2009, Faz wrote:

    The reason the BBC love Steve Gerrard is that he's the worlds best midfielder. Of course they love him! I'm sure the French media loved Zidane, the Argentine press Maradona...etc.....etc...

    Bring on the flaming!

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  • 46. At 7:02pm on 14 May 2009, boils wrote:

    1#

    Obi Mikel has been found drink driving his year.

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  • 47. At 7:39pm on 14 May 2009, unseenforces wrote:

    congrats robbo....first time a whole blog without mentioning boro....

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  • 48. At 7:40pm on 14 May 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    Robbo's finally lost it!Early doors on eurosport.com and The Fifth Official on soccernet.com is way funnier.

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  • 49. At 7:50pm on 14 May 2009, ancientscrunty wrote:

    Great article, particularly the last bit about doping, WADA and whereabouts. I think it's a total travesty that these overpaid prima donnas can get away with not being tested because it infringes something or other. Did anyone see cyclist Mark Cavendish's interview with Gabby Logan on that Monday night programme? Tested 60 times since November wasn't it? Cycling is the only sport that's really trying to do something about this and that's why now they are all considered dopeheads by the man-in-the whatsit. What about tennis players and rugby players and just about every other sport? If footballers are happy to get the obscene amounts of money they do get then they should take this as a given. When will we hear of a Ferguson or a Wenger insisting on full in-house random dope tests? That's when we might start to get a little bit of respect back for these overpaid clowns.

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  • 50. At 7:58pm on 14 May 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    I'm intrigued Robbo, is the blog to distract from the relegation torture? I think it was pretty decent read and the cut back on the funnies made the difference, more impact were it was funny

    English chaps should take the lessons of Henry, Bergkamp etc. I suspect they too like a beverage, they have the sense to never get caught doing it!!!

    Don't give up on the Boro, Villa are all over the place at the mo, Hull have garnered less points that a compass recently and only a one eyed Geordie would back the Toon against Fulham.

    Granted you may need to play you reserve right back up front to look potent, but hey its more exciting than being Wigan or Spurs.....

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  • 51. At 8:29pm on 14 May 2009, mesmerizingmaverick wrote:

    I am eager to see how witty Robbo will still be when Boro get relegated, if they do. ;P

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  • 52. At 8:52pm on 14 May 2009, SR819 wrote:

    #31, it's a good thing that latent racism is not tolerated. There are a lot of comments on other BBC blogs made by people who disguise their prejudiced comments in a myriad of impressive looking vocabulary to give an air of respectability, when in fact their overall point is a poisonous one.

    Excessive censoring is never good, of course, but I get the feeling that many people who moan about "PC gone mad" do so without exploring why their posts have actually been censored. Freedom of speech is great, but it's not something people should hide behind when pulled up on discriminatory or otherwise offensive remarks.

    From my experience the BBC perhaps are a bit too hasty censoring when some writers are criticized (although at times the criticism is an ad-hominem attack rather than a proper critique of the article, in which case you can see why they block those comments) and should hold off a bit more, allowing proper debate. However, I cannot see your point about them suppressing any mention of "England" or "English". Are you implying the BBC have an anti-patriotic liberal bias? I haven't seen any real examples of that.

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  • 53. At 9:12pm on 14 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    Ha ha i had to laugh a song on Eurovision reminded me to post on here, it was a line in the song by hungary "I will beat you on the dancefloor". Seriously though what is it with England Internationals beating up women while half cut? GAZZA famously did and so did Stan Collymore and now King, Im sure theres a few that have been left out but the excuses made by the likes of GAZZA is "theres huge pressure on the stars today" oh yeah thats a great excuse lets get jarred and beat up a few women??? there were a few more at it and filming videos of other nasty stuff!

    Ban the gargle theyre a joke over payed under performing so and so's

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  • 54. At 9:15pm on 14 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 55. At 9:45pm on 14 May 2009, Malicious_Whistle wrote:

    No 2.

    I always knew drink would be Robbo's downfall ... I tried to warn him (I forgot whether it was in my dream) but he wouldn't listen. (Belch) Barman, hand me another ...

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  • 56. At 10:32pm on 14 May 2009, B_Ri wrote:

    'Arry is another example of english people over reacting to an isolated incident, and therefore having people call for something which spoils fun for the majority 'cos of an individual.

    Whether it's violent films or video games supposedly being the reason behind a stabbing, or some idiot getting wrecked, people always blame the tool and not the person.

    Fact. The MAJORITY of people go out drinking and don't get into trouble. By the same token, most footballers go out and don't get into trouble. Just like millions of people play grand theft auto and don't go robbing and murdering.

    One idiot goes too far, and now it's threatening to ruin something for everyone else.

    These are people who should be able to relax as they see fit. If they can't do it responsibly, deal with the individual!

    Final point, what was the big deal with Nicolas Bendtner? So, he came out of a club with his pants falling down. I've not heard one person say he was wrecked or anything yet. The lad is young, let him have his fun while he can. If he wasn't a footballer then his mates would be saying "Remember that time you came out of the club with your pants down? Ha ha ha ha!"

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  • 57. At 11:01pm on 14 May 2009, andie99uk wrote:

    Drink is unfortunatly a legal drug.
    Its in the same class as fags. Players over the last few years have known that drinking to excess will shorten their career (Gazza excepted) and amount they can earn.
    If 'Arry bans booze down the lane, then they will just have a crafty pint at home.

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  • 58. At 11:37pm on 14 May 2009, Arctic wrote:

    If they don't want to give up boozing they could always get a real job and play football at the weekends for their local pub. No one is forcing them to accept a couple million quid a year to play a game.

    Not sure I really see how being told to give up alcohol is such a hardship anyway. It's just drinking, it's not like they're being told they have to give up free speech or the right to vote.

    Every year this game gets more competitive and if you want to last as a professional footballer you need to take your fitness seriously. That means eating the right food, doing the right exercise and not putting poisons into your body in the form of tobacco, recreational drugs or alcohol.

    If Harry had banned smoking the only astonishment would be that some of them actually smoke. If he banned substance abuse no one would understand why they were stupid enough to do it in the first place. Alcohol is just legalised substance abuse when you consider it in the light of fitness, and while some types of alcohol can be beneficial in moderation, no footballer has managed to garner a reputation for taking things in moderation.

    Fact is if these guys did drink 1 glass of wine with their pasta at home, no one would notice or even care. But they won't do that will they? They'll drink the bottle, then start on the tequila and finish off down the nightclub chugging drinks that come with an umbrella.

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  • 59. At 00:13am on 15 May 2009, Teiam - problem solved wrote:

    Moderated again Robbo? You've sunk to our level pretty quick! No mention about the Boro? I think it's for the best that your lot go down 'cuz I don't think Newcastle could handle it financially, I think you'll be back up in a season anyway, shame you'll lose the likes of Tuncay, he's a class act, i'll never forget the hattrick he scored against us on Rooneys debut! All the best to Boro Robbo.

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  • 60. At 00:31am on 15 May 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    Robbo, well done on getting yourself "modded" by the BBC "libel squad".

    ...and I only thought it happened to people like me when I try to quote BBC articles by BBC journalists.

    Do you think you will now be re-classified by the BBC as a "new" blog-contributor like me (despite me having been here for two years) and go through lots of "pre-moderation"?

    It could be worse, maybe they might send you on a PC "education-course".
    :)

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  • 61. At 01:39am on 15 May 2009, Valderramas_boots wrote:

    ROBBO GOT MODDED.

    FAN-DIDDLY-TASTIC!

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  • 62. At 04:11am on 15 May 2009, Gangsta Agger wrote:

    Post #6

    Pure Quality!


    LMAO!!

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  • 63. At 04:31am on 15 May 2009, aussieferret23 wrote:

    no mention about how wrong you were about chelsea winning the CL?

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  • 64. At 06:58am on 15 May 2009, Smudge wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 65. At 08:31am on 15 May 2009, mark the mad wrote:

    how do you get modded?

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  • 66. At 08:36am on 15 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    Cannot see the point of the debate, or the fuss it has caused. How often does a Premiership footballer get caught "one over the eight" these days? Not often. Not in public, anyway. Gazza was high profile, but he stopped playing years ago, as did Merson and Adams. Thinking about it, this season I can't recall any revelations of drunk footballers before the Bendtner/King stories broke...

    What are you smoking? Steven Gerrard was drunk and disorderly as was ashley cole as was john terry as was marlon king, Stan Collymore was an england international when he beat the head off ulrika Johnson in a pub! theres loadsa people who were arrested for drunk and disorderly that have fallen off your radar here dont forget that West Brom lad bout 4 years ago who was done for killing someone while drunk driving and how many footballers have been caught over the limit.


    One poster said its only a few who ruin it for the rest of us and that people drink to moderation! thats a load of you know what! you know England is in the grip of a drink epidemic what with all the binge drinking its your culture, No one goes out and has two pints in two hours and thats it, thats drinking in moderation! no most go out and drink 8 9 or 10 of a friday of saturday or both so dont come over all im a good drinker! its a drug and its being severly abused at the moment. its the bigger picture and footballers shouldnt be seen to be carrying on like this and setting this type of example, especially England Internationals!!!!!!

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  • 67. At 08:38am on 15 May 2009, Haythnasr wrote:

    hahahah.... Robbo you got a post removed for breaking the house rules. Brililant.

    If supporting Boro isn't giving you any cred at least getting your post removed will.

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  • 68. At 08:39am on 15 May 2009, Edinburgher wrote:

    I had my post removed as being against house rules in a blog last week about Michael Jordan when I wrote something similar to you Robbo? Is it becasue you're better looking than me or do the BBC operate double standards?

    You wrote:

    "WADA has a job to do. There are so many sports that we watch with a cynical eye these days and not just 'cos of the rule-bending antics of writhing international forwards. The successful Jamaican sprinters, anyone who suddenly and surprisingly improves: all of them have to deal with comments behind the back of cupped hands 'cos of what has gone on around them."

    I suggested the same and named the same Jamaican athlete you mentioned earlier in the blog.

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  • 69. At 08:46am on 15 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    Alcohol and football shouldnt be mentioned together i hate hearing people on match of the day saying cheers, its an imediate referal to alcohol, while all of you think im jumping off a huge PC building its just kids look at this they are out new footballers and its important they learn that alcohol has no place in football and will only harm their development, everytime a report on MOTD is done theres the lads talking and then CHEERS Lawro cheers Lee cheers martin,


    Wont somebody please think of the children ha ha

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  • 70. At 08:48am on 15 May 2009, Diogenes wrote:

    'Being professional means eating pasta and sipping mineral water and, well, being very dull indeed."

    Are you suggesting that you can have fun only if you are as a skunk? That is after all the prevalent attitude. "We had a great night out. I can't remember a thing!"

    Britain has a constant drinking habit, itself a centuries old vice, and look where we are on the scale of sporting success.

    Was Stanley Matthews dull?

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  • 71. At 08:50am on 15 May 2009, Diogenes wrote:

    P.S. Middlesborough, Hull City and West Brom are going down. Unless Hull City beat Manchester United in the last game of the season. No, I don't think so either.

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  • 72. At 09:17am on 15 May 2009, Whiteoutloud wrote:

    If Spurs start next season with four wins on the bounce, what's the betting a whole host of other clubs will follow suit and ban the booze.
    The days of having a swift whisky from a hip flask and a fag at half time went out the moment footballers became such high earners and clubs charged half your weekly wage for the privilege of watching the team play each weekend. Once this happened, the public demanded value for money and committment from players to show they're worth their wage. Why should we pay so much each week to watch a player underperform and be a liability because they are feeling the effects of the night before. It is unacceptable.

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  • 73. At 09:57am on 15 May 2009, DisneysDreamDebased wrote:

    You OK there Robbo?
    Very quiet today.
    I see you dealing with Boro's imminent demise through the medium of semi serious journalism.
    We all tuned in to read your comments on Monday nights game. It won't just go away if you ignore it.
    Let it all out man. We're here for you

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  • 74. At 10:01am on 15 May 2009, DisneysDreamDebased wrote:

    #6 brilliant. Up there with the gelled tumbler. In fact i prefer it.

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  • 75. At 11:45am on 15 May 2009, craigray wrote:

    Personally I think all this talk of banning alcohol is nonsense. The problem is not alcohol but the amount that is drunk.

    A bottle of wine with dinner on a Saturday night after a game really isn't going to affect the performance of a player on the next Wednesday. Get real, these are superfit young men. Blimey, I'm 55 and whether I drink a bottle of wine on Saturday or not doesn't affect my squash playing the next week (I'm still crap)

    However, drinking heavily (as some of our footballers appear to do) is going to affect them.

    It's not a ban that's required, it's education.

    If they can't do their job because they're suffering from drinking too much it will be obvious and then you take appropriate action.

    I wonder if any players will be put off going to Spurs if they think they'll be banned from drinking any alcohol during the season?

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  • 76. At 11:47am on 15 May 2009, craigray wrote:

    Oh and #6 - brilliant :-)

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  • 77. At 11:52am on 15 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    '#31, it's a good thing that latent racism is not tolerated'

    Yes, I agree, but I deliberately placed 'racism' in inverted commas, meaning that the BBC's interpretation is different from my own.

    By far the most rascist comments I have ever seen on the BBC were part of Bose's article on Poland. This piece was pure manipulative drivel, touched in with some poor research and contrived anecdotes; even the attempted qualifiers had a note of utter falsehood about them. In my response I attempted to point out that honesty should not be confused with racism. I also wished to state a fact that very few of us would have cause to know as a means of stating that considerable advantages had been put in place to prevent discrimination; the fact was simply this: as a doctoral candidate I was able to apply for a single scholarship in my field, whereas had I been 'a visible minority' I would have been eligible for 45. The reverse discrimination has bothered me ever since, particularly when I hear how hard it is to get ahead in the 'UK' when not of English origin or descent. This is decidedly untrue, to the point where, were the weight of the argument reversed, it would actually be considered illegal even to suggest. I received the scholarship, but it always troubled me that others like me simply wouldn't. The BBC 'moderated' my comments not just once, but twice.

    As for the 'disguise their prejudiced comments in a myriad of [sic.]impressive looking vocabulary to give an air of respectability, when in fact their overall point is a poisonous one' comment, I'm not even sure how best to respond. In relating the fact above, my point was that this imbalance actually creates the very feelings that lead to prejudice, and that I could empathise with those who were simply tired of hearing the same excuses over and again.

    In today's society, patriotism is often seen as racism by those who feel no allegiance to any particular homeland (Almunia, etc.). You need only look at today's headlines on the BBC to see that the adjectives denoting nationality have all been removed. There's no such thing as an 'England footballer'! My issue is that today we simply cannot repeat the accurate phrase without raising that all-pervasive eyebrow of 'racism'.

    Yes, words are important, but rather than look at those that supposedly mask 'racism', perhaps it would be better to challenge those that create it under the auspice of respectable journalism.

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  • 78. At 11:52am on 15 May 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Acklam must be a dreary place this week Robbo. First you get turned over by the Toon when it looks like you'd found a lad that can run quicker than your fans leave the stadium with 15 minutes to go, then you get moderated by the BBC Cybermen on your own blog.

    You should feel quite good about it really. I mean, you know Newcastle are still going to go down so they're going to be feeling a whole lot worse than you at the end of the season because of their 'False Dawn' (I've met a false Dawn by the way, in the Bigg Market - they were very false), and you can also take a glimmer of satisfaction from the fact that Phil 'I love the scousers' McNulty is going to be looking a bit silly for building up Loverpool (no typo) to be the best team since the boys from Brazil at the time of the late great Bobby.

    You're going down quicker than a Ledley King pint, but at least you'll take Mr Smugness himself with you. Lucky manager, is that what he said? He's not lucky, he's just very very very smug.

    That's from a local lad too. The Toon need to go down. Reality has to dawn. See, she made an impression.

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  • 79. At 11:55am on 15 May 2009, whaddondisciple wrote:

    Dermot,your are indeed base-jumping off a PC building of supreme height wearing a handkerchief sized parachute. To say that the 'kids of today' will look at Ledley or indeed any other footballer after seeing them blurry eyed and incoherant and think that they want to be just like that when they grow up is as far-fetched as Lord Lucan winning this years Wimbledon with a frying-pan. I grant you that footballers are role models and have a responsiblity to promote good behavior and model professionalism but don't patronise people. Kids arn't stupid, niave perhaps but not stupid. They can make decsions about what is good behaviour and bad behaviour and make logical decsions about their actions, the key comes with them learning to deal with the repercussions of those actions. I'm afraid Sir, that that comment was of the typical 'Kids of today' comment ilk - which means, typically written by a middle aged, professional male concerned that this once great county is going to the dogs when its his own generation that should habour most of the blame! - Your points seem to be tainted by your personal disregard for alcohol and its effects so next time please try and post without your view 'intoxicated' by your own opinions.

    Anyway rant over - back on it

    Robbo mate, you've kicked up a bit of a fuss here hav'nt you? Footballers and thier personal habits, be it Gazza and Besty with the bottle, Merse at the bookies or Mutu and Bosnich banging Charlie up thier konks will be closley scruitinised by the general public because we think we have the god given right to pass judgement. Why? Because we put these people on a pedestol and idolise them, because they get paid a lot? or because they are good at what they do? I admit footballers as previously mentioned have a responsiblity to promote good behavior and model professionalism, But are you trying to tell me that Giggs, Scholsey or Gary Speed, who have played or about 40,000 games between have never over-endulged on the Chardonnay? They just hav'nt been caught - nor should they have been its thier basic human right as a human to be able to do so. The problem occurs with frequency , If this has been the 4th or 5th time ol' Ledders & 3 or 4 of his Spurs team mates has stubled out of a club at stupid o'Clock then fair cop , 'arry should put a stop to it, but It's the first foot wrong Leds has put wrong really - a hardworking professional struggling with injuries for the past 3/4 years dealing with the fact that he had the potential to be one of the greats - suddenly snatched away from him by a dodgey knee? I won't begrudge him a few Sherberts- Booze does unfortunately seem to be not a footballing culture but celerbrity culture , on a very regular basis I read tales in Heat, (didnt buy it I found it) of singers and actors bumping into footballers at bungalow8 and getting smashed only to be photographed trying to get home, and let's be honest that really is the only insight we have into the life of the football , through the media keyhole that can be distorted to promote any view or opinion to the masses regardless of truth of substainance, just be careful general public when being quick to make assumptions on people that just because these folks earn a lot of money, and yeah maybe we put a bit of it in thier pockets, but does'nt mean we can pass judgement on them as we do,
    they are but human, Like doctors or surgeons or polticians or bank managers or accountants - all of which also earn obscene amounts of money have important jobs and non-of which are barred from enjoying a tipple.


    Just quickly with regards to Perfromance enhancing drugs - everything should be done to prevent these things from being anywhere near sport- while the culture of a sport can be debated - there is no room for blatent cheating. Just make sure the tests arn't totally intrusive to peoples lives - 70 tests since November - Borin' Hell!

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  • 80. At 1:18pm on 15 May 2009, stracepipe wrote:

    52. At 8:52pm on 14 May 2009, SR819 wrote:
    #31, it's a good thing that latent racism is not tolerated. There are a lot of comments on other BBC blogs made by people who disguise their prejudiced comments in a myriad of impressive looking vocabulary to give an air of respectability, when in fact their overall point is a poisonous one.

    Unfortunately, in recent years the term 'racism' had been redefined. It used to mean discriminating against someone simply because of their race, now it appears to mean disagreeing with the left wing. Soon it will simply equate with being white. By bandying the words "racist" & "racism" about at every opportunity, and using them as a means of bullying and emotionally blackmailing the general public into agreeing with them, the left wing trivialise a serious issue. They also provide genuinely racist people with the excuse of "PC gone mad", and actually incite resentment against ethnic minorities. I lived in Pitsmoor, Sheffield for 14 years. All of my neighbours were Pakistani & they were fantastic neighbours. Friendly, hard working & generous. However, 10 minutes of being subjected to the BBC's hopelessly biased reporting on anything to do with immigration, or multiculturalism, was enough to incense me. Also, why is it deemed perfectly acceptable, on BBC blogs & HYS, to make defamatory generalisations about Anglo Saxons? I think you'll find that by far the most common racist comments, on said blogs, come from left wing, self styled, pseudo intellectuals, who thing that hating their own race makes them appear sophisticated in some way.

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  • 81. At 1:56pm on 15 May 2009, Ayresomeoriginal wrote:

    Robbo, definitely think you should be concentrating on where our next manager should be coming from, along with the next goal than harping on about 'Booze in the City@.

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  • 82. At 2:21pm on 15 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 83. At 2:22pm on 15 May 2009, DisneysDreamDebased wrote:

    I'm off for a 10 pinter. Being English I struggle to get it below double figures, what with us all being uncouth yobbos an all.

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  • 84. At 3:05pm on 15 May 2009, FauxGeordie wrote:

    #82

    "not so long ago I was in the hospital and had a black doctor coming towards me, and I'm sorry, but I had to ask the question: is this a competent doctor who has earned his position by dint of hard work and intelligence, or is this someone who slipped in on the tailend of the process as part of some affirmitive action initiative that few of us ever really know about?"

    Good grief.

    "By way of explanation, try reading the match columns this weekend on the BBC and judge the competence of each of the contributors. Alarming patterns form, but to note them individually would be 'racism'."

    Of course, how unfair to point out you mentally gauge 'competence' after noting what colour the author - you're not in any way a racist at all are you?

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  • 85. At 4:50pm on 15 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    #84

    No, I'm not in any way shape or form a 'rascist', if such a thing even exists anymore. I believe in an England that has been utterly destroyed by people like you who see only what they want to see and interpret any opposition to their views as 'rascist'. It's an easy way out of every argument, as you'll see by the fact that my comment has been 'moderated'.

    The story of the doctor is a legitimate concern due to this very type of politically correct nonsense that has gone so far as to cause the loss of lives. I suggest you read some proper papers and start putting two and two together, assuming you can handle the challenge without prejudice.

    As for the comment on the match reports, my point is that many are poorly-written to the extent that clear grammatical incompetence is displayed; this isn't a question of typos or careless mistakes but plain and simple competence. And you misinterpret: colour was not mentioned in relation to this point, but it's interesting that you would read it as having been.

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  • 86. At 5:02pm on 15 May 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    #22 - you're my blog hero!

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  • 87. At 5:03pm on 15 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    This is an attempt at 'moderating' the moderated passage at #82.

    #80

    I couldn't agree with you more. This is precisely the point I've been trying to make. 'Moderation' has perhaps become simply another word for disagreement. The posts I've had 'moderated' out of voice have had the single flaw of offering a contrary view, and I always see many more alongside my own. Bose's blogs are absolutely horrendous in that the comments that follow read like the Loyal Order of Buffalo meetings on the Flintstones. It's sensorship of the worst kind. I too have had experiences similar to yours and utterly hate to see overt displays of racism, but on the other hand, I've experienced [moderated passage] . . . so many times in modern England that at a point you simply have to draw the line and say enough is enough. But if you're white and if you're English, any attempt to respond in any way is pounced upon as being either racist or discriminatory, or often both.

    [Moderated passage kindly supplied by #84] . . .
    This is what actually causes racism in today's society, and it's unfair to black and white alike. The very word is no longer even accurate in terms of its definition (a recent OED entry actually updated it), as unless we're living under a rather large stone somewhere, it's just not possible not to have experience with other races in today's England. Maybe it just comes down to an opinion as to whether we do or don't like a particular person who happens to be of a particular race. But that's unacceptable. [Moderated conclusion, a piece of which kindly supplied by #84.]

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  • 88. At 6:32pm on 15 May 2009, SR819 wrote:

    I'm sorry, but I think it's unfair to be cynical or weary if you meet a black doctor, because you feel the main reason why he has qualified as a doctor is due to some PC thought police liberal agenda. Why would your first thought be that this doctor may not be up to standards? This conveys a bit of a prejudiced attitude, since if you were treated by a white doctor, the you wouldn't have the same apprehensions. I don't want to throw around terms like "racist" or "bigot" because I agree that they should only be used when necessary, and arbitrarily accusing people of such things is out of order. However, your point about the black doctor is showing a discriminatory attitude in my opinion.

    With regards to HYS, well, from my experience of some of these discussions, whether there is some left wing bias is debatable. Are there stereotypes of Anglo Saxons on those comments? Possibly, I haven't read many, but I'm not doubting you that they are there. However, at the same time, you get quite far right wing comments as well, and these are allowed to stand as well. In fact, I would suggest that the comments that get more recommendations are those that put forward a right wing agenda. I remember once, that the top recommended comments were those that were backing the BNP.

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  • 89. At 7:17pm on 15 May 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    So our big Ol'Arry comes in to the dressing room before kickoff and gets straight to King. "Ledley! I dont want any of me blokes drinkin. So How bout a test to know ya avent been. I'm gonna ask you a simple question and if you answer me correct, ya make the team or I must suspend you."
    King agrees.
    So Harry asks, "Okay, now concentrate hard and tell me the answer to this. What is two plus two?'

    King thinks for a moment and then answers, "4?"

    "Did you say 4?" Arry went all excited, excited that he had got it correct.

    Suddenly all the other players on the team began shouting..., "Come on coach, give him another chance!"

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  • 90. At 7:23pm on 15 May 2009, Coweslepe wrote:

    Apparently, some clarification is required. My point is that, as the earlier message in the thread discussed, there simply wouldn't be the need to have any apprehensions about a white doctor on the basis that he was employed due to preferential treatment. This is neither a right wing or a 'rascist' aggenda. I'm simply stating the fact that due to quotas and preferential employment practises that favour people of colour, a white doctor will have to achieve practically twice as much even to be considered on the same level as a lesser applicant. As I've said, in my discipline I was able to apply for one scholarship; had I not been white, I would have been eligible for 45. The truth is, it's not easy to succeed against such odds. I did, but I'm a rare exception; many of my friends did not. It's not a prejudiced attitude but basic common sense: many hospitals and labs no longer have a choice as to which applicant they employ, and this anology stands throughout our society. The apprehension is justified only because this is actually happening: were people treated fairly and with true equality, there would never be a need for such thoughts or feelings. My purpose isn't to defend the attitude but to show that there is reason for its existence, and that the reasoning itself isn't based on mere prejudice.

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  • 91. At 9:00pm on 15 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    Jeepers i had my post removed cos i said certain footballers names that were arrested and did bird for manslaughter while drink driving, Id saw BBC are worried someones lawyers and watching, It was nothing we didnt know and they were all prosecuted over jeez

    Also way to go robbo this blog has gone OTT

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  • 92. At 00:17am on 16 May 2009, Smudge wrote:

    "High profile" drunken sportsmen is not new in Australia - test cricketers have been suspended. Even the All Blacks have sent players home for drunken indiscretions - they sent a forward home in '72 for an incident in Cardiff and even last season there were accusations of a binge drinking culture within the team.
    So what's the problem ?
    RL clubs in Oz have sacked players for alcohol related incidents and some of these players have subsequently been refused visas to play in the UK because of this - mind you one is now playing in France whilst he awaits trial for "glassing" his girlfriend.
    One AFL club even lost it's sponsorship deal with a Govt agency because of the number of times its players had been involved in alcohol related incidents - primarily driving under the influence.
    Currently in Oz we've got a former player - and high profile commentator - admitting to being involved in a "gangbang" whilst on a pre-season tour whilst his brother had perviously admitted to taking drugs.
    So yes there's nothing wrong in getting the overpaid prima donnas to be regularly screened for drugs & alcohol.
    By the way I work in the mining industry and am breathtested every morning on the way to work - employee has a zero alcohol policy which is quite common in OZ.

    Robbo - have you got a map of all the Championship grounds for next season ?

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  • 93. At 10:20am on 16 May 2009, stevie-w-21 wrote:

    Just because the Newspapers havent reported the drunken footballers doesnt automatically mean that the footballers in this country are tee-total and complete saints. Its possibly more likely the clubs manage to keep the papers quiet.
    And another thing how difficult is it too let the relevant authorisations where you'll be for one hour every day, i mean most know when they are training surely?? Sport in this country is too soft, especially football not wanting to upset the petulant stars that are too highly paid (granted not all footballers are like this)

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  • 94. At 11:06am on 16 May 2009, Dermot wrote:

    Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has urged his players to give up drinking and set an example to youngsters as binge drinking reaches epidemic proportions in the UK.
    (Full story: Daily Telegraph)

    This was my exact point there not too far back there til i was ridiculed for my comment! CHEERS Arry(oops)

    Alcohol isnt the only thing wrong in football its Homophobia Max Clifford was on Irish TV last night The Late Late Show and he said that he has a high profile premiership footballer on his books who is bisexual and that if the papers got a hold of it his career is over! now how could someones sexuality end ones career? and why arent there any openly gay footballers? Im sure there are lots that dont want the press. surely thats something that needs to be addressed.

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  • 95. At 11:29am on 16 May 2009, Gunishment wrote:

    I agree with Harry. These players are paid top dollar for their services. So I'd expect them to stay in tip top condition. If that includes not drinking, then so be it. I don't think the players are in any position to grumble with the paycheck they receive every month which should more than compensate.

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  • 96. At 12:53pm on 16 May 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    How do, gentlemen (and lasses if you've bothered to dip in). Had an internet malfunction yesterday so have only just caught up with your wily contributions - #6 'designated diver'! Dammit! 2 yards out, keeper to beat, completely missed it! why didn't I think of that?

    And no I didn't mention me beloved Boro. Why? Why the hell d'you think? There's been enough miserable drones about the team and for now, while there's still a smidgen of hope I'm making no predictions and passing no comments until the whole sorry mess is over. All right?

    Just time to get a pint in before our friendly this afternoon.

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  • 97. At 5:25pm on 16 May 2009, chrislovesbuffy wrote:

    It doesn't really matter, does it?

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  • 98. At 6:47pm on 16 May 2009, Stan_Mathews_Fan wrote:

    For No 70, well said mate, my hero was a fitness fanatic & downing 10 pints a night was definetely not included in his training scheme, he was a real athlete as well as a great footballer even getting up early to carry out his own fitness routines, this without doubt was a big factor in his performance on the pitch as well as the years he kept playing beyond the average player does today with all the modern hitech sports medicine, nutrition etc.,as my family moved to Blackpool from Bolton in '47 & bought a boarding house near central pier when I was 7 yrs old, that was the year that he started with B'pool so had the privelege of seeing him play many times as my Dad used to take me with him to Bloom field rd spion kop (just imagine if George Best had had the same philosophy to life , tragic when you think about it), but he was an exception, many other athletes in other sports have the same attitude, but in todays highly paid CL it must be difficult to resist the odd night
    out with yr mates & let it all hang out, it's just about where they do it(low profile club?) & when (after the game, not before), rock stars have the same problem but most of them perform better when they're stoned or pissed, so Harry's ban is not going to work, as someone remarked it's denying a persons human rights (to have a drink, not to get legless), as for druguse they should be prepared to be sampled any hr on a 24/7 basis, using drugs is CHEATING & all this codswallop about
    recreational drugs are different is B ___T, I live in Macae 200 k from Rio (the equiv of Aberdeen) & the effect of druguse here in Brasil is horrific, it's destroying the country, if not the world, so if you want to be a Professional Player, you have to resist or get out, booze is supposed to be a drug & it is, but its just not in the same league, just to change the subject, CONGRATS to my team !!!!!!!! it was a scrappy, lousy game but winner of the CL 2008_09 was for the year not for the last
    but one game, & think posotive for the 27th!!!!!! _ Cheers yes Cheers!
    From Derek /Brasil (also think posotive for the Magpies, they don't deserve to go down)

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  • 99. At 7:35pm on 16 May 2009, NeilG42 wrote:

    Up the barcodes !!

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  • 100. At 11:13pm on 16 May 2009, kenexpat1 wrote:

    regarding football players and booze, I don't think it is too much of a stretch to expect these very highly paid people to keep way below the radar when not on the pitch. Old saying "booze goes in, brains go out the window" and football players aint too bright to start with. As a west Brom follower (not supporter - only folks paying their hard earned money at the turnstiles have the right to call themselves that dubious honour)I can remember back in the early seventies having a pint in my lunch hour and seeing about 4 or 5 albion first-teamers having a couple of jars. Funny to think even then that they had come straight from Spring Road training ground, into a pub. Well, so was I, but nobody was expecting me to play soccer at the highest level every Saturday. Since I have been living in Canada, the "pub culture" has gone. Too far to the pub to walk. Maybe some players ought to move into the boondocks too and save themselves the temptation.

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  • 101. At 01:00am on 17 May 2009, Smudge wrote:

    100 postings and yet there's not one mention of a popular English international centre back who was banned for not providing a drug sample !! Hint: his club have just won the PL title.

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  • 102. At 5:08pm on 18 May 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    There are rumours that one Derek Robson has been fired by BBC. Know any better?

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  • 103. At 01:13am on 19 May 2009, gonnascore1or2 wrote:

    Coweslepe

    Do you know the procedure of how to become a DR? Do you know whether there is affirmative action in place? NO

    Racism is an attitude, a state of mind and comes when people form a view or condemn someone based on their race. Now the point you are making about forming an opinion of the Dr about to treat you, based on the colour of his skin, is nothing but racist.

    You looked at him, saw he was black and questioned his competence. That is racism. The same way that if you saw a young Dr coming to treat you and questioned his competence would be classed as ageist, also not allowed anymore, and rightly so.

    Whilst racist actions have now been outlawed, and are seen as a disgrace, there are still people like yourself and the other blogger who's fighting your corner, who think that just because they do not act on their opinions or views, they are not racist.

    Well the fact is, is that you are. Not being racist means not seeing a colour, only seeing a fellow human being in front of you. And you do not see this, so therefore you are racist, no bones about it. Is that simple enough for you?

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  • 104. At 12:33pm on 21 May 2009, aries22 wrote:

    Robbo, you seem to have wandered from alcohol to drugs for no apparent reason (and with no obvious link), but while we're on the subject of drugs, those pesky foreigners - to wit, those mid-European puritans - aren't so squeaky clean after all, are they? I'm thinking Adrian Mutu, sued for breach of contract by Chelsea to the tune 13 million-odd for taking cocaine, and West Bromwich Albion's own Roman Bednar, whose face allegedly appeared in the driver's window of a car outside his house in Sutton Coldfield as he was allegedly obtaining a Class A substance, not for him but for "someone else" - allegedly. Hmm, I wonder how long this post will remain here before the scaredy-cat BBC moderators remove it.

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