Last week there was an incident of the kind that really makes my blood boil. These incidents happens from time to time and I ask myself, every single time, why? I´m talking about the ”arrest” of James Collins outside a night club at 3 am in the middle of the week. Sure, this one was a mistake, he hadn´t done anything wrong, he had only been to a restaurant with his wife. The police let him go on the spot after they found out about their mistake. I´m happy that it was a mistake but I´m not particulary pleased that he was at the scene in the first place (at that time, 3am, in the middle of the week, during season).
This isn´t the first time we hear about players going out during the season getting into trouble. That makes me think that it´s probably quite common (they can´t end up in trouble every single time, can they?). Why? Why don´t the take their carreers seriously enough to sacrifice such things during the season during their relatively short carreers? Why don´t they do everything in their power to become as good as possible like so many other athletes would have done (at least in individual sports).
James Collins might not have been drunk and he might have been in the neighbourhood with his wife just to grab a nice meal but at 3 o´clock in the morning?
I´d really like to see a change in mentality of the pro footballers. A couple of years ago, when David James played in West Ham, he was asked if he´d done anything to improve since they´ve seen him raise his standards the last couple of games. He told them that he´d been of the "boose" since New Years Eve or something like that. He did it to enhance his game and be a better goalkeeper. I think it was before the world cup. How come he didn´t realise this sooner in his carreer (and why didn´t he continue? He might have, I don´t know).
I guess this has something to do with individual sports vs team sports. In a team sport you get away with it when you in individual sports don´t. When there´s 11 players on the pitch you can get away with a lesser performance. When only you are in focus you won´t. Why don´t they make the best of the great opportunity they´ve received by being good in a huge sport like football?
I hope Zola took the opportunity to talk about principles and morale and how to behave like an elite athlete when he got this golden opportunity. If so, then something good might come from it. I don´t want to read about incidents like this every other month. I just want the players in ”my” team to behave like professional athletes in the future. Is that to much to ask?