If his players still perform, then it appears that Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t care less about what they do away from the pitch. As long as it doesn’t affect their performance, then apparently they can be as free and easy as they so desire. Ancelotti said:
“I’m not interested in the private life of my players. It’s not involved in our job. I think private life has to be private life. John Terry was able to keep his private problem outside of the training ground, and for that reason he remained captain of Chelsea.”
Does he have a point? Certainly in terms of a boss of a group of employees, their private life should be irrelevant. If they continue to do their job to a level that is satisfactory to their bosses, then that is as far as the issue goes within that environment. The area becomes a murkier shade of grey with professional footballers because they are in the public eye, and considered role models, especially to impressionable children.
On a personal level, I decided a long time ago that my opinion of footballers as people, and how I follow them on the pitch were two different things. I am under the impression that I would have very little in common with most players and probably wouldn’t get on with them very well, but that doesn’t mean I don’t will them to do well on the pitch (I should stress this all depends on the individual and the team they play for).
For example, as a Chelsea fan, I count my lucky stars that we have Ashley Cole, who, no arguments please, is the best left-back in the world. I also however, think he is pretty moronic, and believe that he has truly messed up a good thing in regards to his marriage and personal life. It doesn’t stop me wanting him to do well for Chelsea and England, and if he chooses to live his life in that way, then that is his choice to make.
I also don’t believe – perhaps slightly naively – that there are vast numbers of young men who live their personal lives in homage to Rooney, Cole and Terry. People have their own morals, and don’t do things because Wayne Rooney says it’s ok. I don’t know if the recent allegations about Wayne Rooney’s infidelity are true or not, and I’m not that bothered either way, partly because my name is not Coleen, but mainly because it has no personal effect on my life.
The moment that John Terry’s form dipped during the media furore last season, was the moment I started being bothered by the whole situation, and the moment I felt like I had been wronged in some way. I can even remember thinking we were going to lose out on the league as a result, thanks to that outing at Goodison Park, when Terry had one of his worst games in a Chelsea shirt. Am I being selfish, maybe a little.
I don’t think I am alone. Most fans want their team to do as well as possible at all costs. After last weekend’s stories about Wayne Rooney, people will either not believe them, or ignore them. Very few fans of Rooney will have changed their opinion of the man over the last week. If you asked England fans whether they would have wanted Rooney to be dropped for the game against Switzerland, the silence would have been deafening.
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