Yesterday saw Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea getting a fair amount of stick for his withdrawal from the England team with a ‘sore throat’. I jumped on that bandwagon as well with an article entitled ''#PrayForBertrand - Chelsea defender pulls out of England squad with... a sore throat.''
Apart from the few obvious ‘not fit to wear the shirt’ yawn merchants out there the majority of the fun, I thought, was in a tongue in cheek manner. While there was a degree of irritation at what was being touted as a withdrawal based on a sore throat, an ailment probably affecting half the country at the moment, most of the abuse was with a degree of cynicism that highlights the general feeling of disappointment with football in England at this point in time.
However what happened next should have come as a surprise, but given the recent track record of footballers, and other sportsmen (sorry Lewis), with the social networking site I guess that isn’t so.
In a move that saw Ryan giving extra credence to his ‘next Ashley Cole’ claim he posted this Tweet.
‘’Do you think a 'sore throat’ could stop me being a part of a match for my club or country? #yourf******nuts this is what every boy dreams of,”
Now before the Chelsea fans out there start to give it hell toward the pitchfork club that I, assumedly, am a member I actually am in support of Ryan’s Tweet.
Sure it has some remnants of toys out the pram, dummy spitting, and supermarket tantrum about it but at least it shows a degree of passion. In fairness to Ryan nobody ever said he was out of the England squad with a sore throat. His official withdrawal was through illness, which he has confirmed, with swollen glands, chills and headaches all symptoms. With plenty of cover at left-back, with Leighton Baines and Ashley Cole available and the game being against the worst team in the world, going home seemed a logical decision.
The ‘sore throat’ came about as that was the official reason he missed training the other day. The media obviously jumped on this, as the witty journalists from the city broadsheets and red-tops and informative to the point fact-file domains combined to tell us all that his withdrawal was down to a sore throat. We bought it, me included.
While the Tweet may have offended some because of its use of profanity, then in that case, maybe the subject in that example should get a grip. It is the 21st century after all and swear words are used. He never directed the swear word at anyone, so I find it hard to deem his Tweet offensive.
What would have been offensive was placidity at the reaction from the public, but no, Ryan came out in staunch defence of himself and his profession. Clearly he would play if he felt he could make a solid contribution. So for that reason, Ryan Bertrand deserves respect for his Twitter response and not criticism.
In a week where Patrick Vieira criticised English youngsters for not having the desire to play for their country, Bertrand answered his critics by showing exactly what it means to him, albeit in not the most eloquent of manners, but we don#t expect that from footballers now do we.
But what do you think?
image: © Ben Sutherland