A MESSAGE to Aaron Ramsdale and Harry Maguire should they be reading this in the England team hotel before turning out to face Malta tonight.
BBC Bitesize has a dedicated webpage on ‘how to deal with embarrassing parents’.
YouTuber Raylee, aged 13, gives the inside track on how to deal with your cringey mum and dad when you are making the move to secondary school.
It’s claimed most professional footballers have skipped that part of education but that is beside the point.
What is important is the realisation that your folks can turn you red as a beetroot at any age – but there is help out there.
Back in September, Maguire’s mum basically went to war with the rest of the country over the stick her son was getting because he wasn’t playing very well.
Admittedly, a lot of it was over the top, unjustified and personal. And in the former Manchester United captain’s defence he stood ready to face his critics in public.
Which must have made it even more excruciating when Mrs M went full rolling pin and declared the level of abuse her son was receiving as ‘totally unacceptable in any walk of life’ and ‘seeing him go through this is not OK’.
Then this week, Aaron Ramsdale’s dad has picked up the baton of sour grapes and let rip at Mikel Arteta for not putting his little boy in the Arsenal team.
Talking to ‘The Highbury Squad’ podcast, father Nick moaned: “The way it’s been done in my eyes, it’s wrong. But it’s the decision.”
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Raging Ramsdale Sr adds that that nasty Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta did not give his lad advance warning that he was going to sign another keeper: David Raya from Brentford – and that competition for places was being racked up significantly.
In today’s media-savvy world, elite footballers tend to have a team of advisers keeping them abreast of anything that is written or posted about them, often pre-empting debates by carefully placing stories.
So are we to assume Messrs Maguire and Ramsdale knew full well that their parents were getting out the soap boxes? Or are they just as surprised as the rest of us?
Either way, it’s hard to picture the brutes of yesteryear recruiting their nearest and dearest to fight their battles for them like today’s namby-pambies.
Roy Keane and Duncan Ferguson were too busy breaking bones or spending time at Her Majesty’s pleasure in a Scottish prison to go running to mum and dad because things were a bit rough at work.
The modern phrase for what was once casually labelled molly-coddling is ‘helicopter parenting’.
Where every aspect of a child’s life is monitored to the 'nth degree by paranoid parents who can’t bear to see their offspring suffer even the slightest setback.
It’s generally restricted to the Home Counties where enraged tiger mums or apoplectic pushy dads tear up the driveway to their offspring’s public school in a monster 4×4 because he or she HASN’T been awarded a gold medal, OBE or Nobel Peace Prize that week.
It’s hard to picture the brutes of yesteryear recruiting their nearest and dearest to fight their battles for them like today’s namby-pambies
Professional football is a rough, ruthless business. The clue might be in the fact that the players at the top level where it’s most cut-throat are paid an extortionate amount of money compared to Joe Public.
Managers make unfair decisions because they are selfish – they have to be because it’s their neck on the line if things go t**s up.
An old mate who coached at the highest level once told me: “When you are a manager, 11 players think you are brilliant. The rest think you are a c**t – and so do their wives, girlfriends, children, parents, aunts and uncles’.
Fans are horrible. They will seize on the slightest weakness or dip in form and use it as fuel for the most unpalatable banter and for dishing out stick.
That’s how it is and if you don’t like what I’m saying I’ll get my mum on to you.
ANYONE eating their lunch when reading about Andros Townsend’s brainwave to extend his career may struggle to keep their food down.
The Luton winger, now 32, reckons eating chicken feet is a marvellous source of Collagen that could provide him with the 'marginal gains’ needed to keep him viable as a footballer at the top level.
It reminds me of that fad some years back whereby footballers paid a fortune to rub horse placentas on injuries at a weird clinic in Serbia.
Apparently, the stench alone made them jump back up on their feet and scarper to get out of the room thereby curing any knocks.
Collagen is also a must-have for many thousands of menopausal women struggling with ‘the change’ just as Townsend is – although his are very different to those poor Mrs D is experiencing.
So while it may help Townsend run a bit faster or cross a ball a bit better, he may also experience massive mood swings, tendency to gorge on chocolate and a lack of interest in sex.
But at least he could become the only player at struggling Luton to get a sweat on.
AS ENGLAND draw up logistical plans for their trip to the Euros in Germany next year, here’s an idea.
With so much sports greenwashing around, why not Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate and the Football Association take a brave step and travel to the finals next summer by train?
International tournaments, the Champions and Premier Leagues are directly and indirectly responsible for so much climate-changing CO2 that it would be great to see a major football nation buck the trend of making excuses for flying and go by greener-rail.
SAD to see Cray Valley Paper Mills succumb in their FA Cup first round replay to Charlton.
It means that the oldest and still most tantalising cup competition in world football is running worryingly low on genuine non-League minnows.
The only two games that really capture the imagination in the second round are Alfreton v Walsall and AFC Wimbledon v Ramsgate.
There’s a serious chance that there won’t be any Davids left to face a Goliath in the third round come January. Boo.
WIMBLEDON ON ANOTHER LEVEL
THE ALL ENGLAND CLUB suffered a big setback this week with plans to expand its vast complex into neighbouring Wimbledon Park.
Having seen their application for more courts and a new stand approved by the London Borough of Merton, next-door Wandsworth has served up a flat refusal to see 73 acres of land given over to the poshest sports tournament in the world.
The wrangling is now set to drag on and from reports this week, the case is heading all the way up the political food chain to Michael Gove – the UK’s Levelling Up secretary.
Levelling up? Isn’t that about providing the entire North of England with the odd train or finally getting electricity to Cleethorpes?
Not sure Wimbledon, where it cost a whopping £11.20 for a pint of Pimms last summer, really falls into that category.
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