A new fashion seems to be developing. by Dan Smith
More and more young players, and not only from Arsenal, are giving candid interviews going into details about troubled childhoods. At a time when transfer fees and wages are substantial, these stories give an alternative viewpoint. We often label footballers being motivated by greed, not being able to relate to the day to day worries the average person in the street faces.
While I wouldn’t wish poverty on anyone, accounts from the likes of Lukaku and Sterling should inspire youngsters around the world. Futures that could have turned out differently were saved by natural talent. Families becoming rich due to their sons chasing their dreams. The have the day to day struggle and suddenly there is light at the end of the tunnel.
When you hear accounts of having to drink the same warm milk from the day before, of having to share a bed with your brothers, of growing up in estates where gang culture is rife, can you blame that individual for fighting for every last penny. Growing up in that environment stays with you, every contract discussion those are the things that play out in your head. If you been born into such an environment it be difficult not to become ruthless/even selfish, with a desire to earn as much as possible to support your loved ones.
Some will feel how does a Man United or Man City star pouring their hearts out affect Arsenal. The reality is, more of these experiences should be shared with world. There will currently be gooners who can relate to this hardship, who can use this to have hope to cling on to. Parents who battle daily to buy football boots and get their kids to training could be inspired that they might get their reward one day. The law of averages would suggest that there will be players in the current Arsenal squad with similar tales.
The more that can be shared the better for the game.