There is no doubt at all that England players are incredible role models and have a very strong responsibility to act in a certain way. Unfortunately it seems that the days of common sense have gone out of the window and we are now left in a position where the Football Association is about to bring in a code of conduct to make sure that England squad members remember this level of responsibility.
One of the reasons this is a good idea is because it will completely guard against incidents similar to the Ashley Cole affair where the left back openly criticised the FA via his Twitter account. It will eradicate the possibility of poor discipline when England players are away from the squad, on club duty and going about their every day routines.
Another area where this is a great idea is with the younger players coming through and just getting involved in the England setup. It will help them to realise the magnitude of their situation and it will also make them aware of their responsibilities from a very early age. This means there is less chance of younger players in the England squad being curbed by external influences which could ultimately get them banned or fined.
“They are incredible role models with incredibly high profiles and their behaviour is extremely important. This really should have been brought in years and years ago,” said FA Chairman David Bernstein.
An area where this might not work is if one or two players start to raise concerns over feeling doctored or too highly pressured to adhere to a certain line. This is also where the common sense factor comes in because many of the older players in the team may feel patronised by such a code of conduct to the point where they are subconsciously tempted to break it.
It also raises issues over the consistency of such a code of conduct and how various punishments will be dealt with. The first time that someone breaks the code of conduct, the FA will be in a difficult position because they need to set an example to base future punishments on. This could ultimately mean that a certain player gets a mega ban or massive fine.
The reason for this high level of punishment would be to deter others from doing the same. However, at the same time it has the possible chance of disillusioning that player to the point where he may consider retirement if he is older or it could create a long lasting feeling of resentment in a younger player.
Few will initially argue against this being a good move by the FA but it is one they must handle carefully.