House of Payne: Do you really want to play for this football club, or are you just saying it?
Now that the World Cup is nearly over we can get back to the serious business as clubs fall over themselves to sign Costa Rica’s unused substitutes or the one of the many Rodriguez’s at the tournament who was not called James.
And when said import, or even home grown player, arrives to pose with the club scarf on the pitch they can then take place in an interview where they try to sell their credentials to a club’s supporters.
One day, it would be refreshing if someone walked on ato the pitch and said: “To be honest I couldn’t give a monkeys which club I play for.
“I was too busy playing football as a kid while you lot were watching and, as a result, I’m just interested in who is going to pay me the most.”
Robbie Keane is tagged as the player to have fulfiled most childhood dreams having been famed for arriving at a new club and saying how much it meant to him.
He certainly was particularly fulsome about being a Liverpool fan when he arrived at Anfield and a Celtic fan when he arrived north of the border, not an unreasonable combination for someone from Ireland, but the whole charade has worn a little thin with him on his ninth club.
That won’t stop others from trying.
Step forward Croatian teenager Mario Pasalic, who this week raised the bar on his arrival at Chelsea by saying: “I am a central midfielder, my favourite player is Frank Lampard and so I am very happy to be a Chelsea player.”
Quality populism which made you wonder if 19-year-old Pasalic realised the England midfielder had been released, but at his age he’s probably unaware Chelsea once thought winning the Zenith Data Systems Cup constituted a successful season.
Do fans care about this tosh?
To a small extent, yes.
Players will always say the right things to try and win approval, but if fans seriously think they share the same tribal loyalties they are very much mistaken.