Snakes On A Plane – Berahino, Sterling & Delph Deserve Sledging – Stan Speaks…

What is it with some young footballers these days? I was recently asked, “What would you have been like on social media as a player?”, and it sent a shiver down my spine.

I speak my mind, I’m political, I’ll happily defend my point and willingly offend people who go out of their way to offend me first, so I can understand how easy it is to get dragged into an argument with someone who has an axe to grind, who are trolling or just being plain offensive.

However the “Mile High Club 3” have done themselves no favours in the last few days and have teed themselves up for some pretty unsavoury sledging at Anfield, Villa Park and the Hawthorns respectively. And they deserve it.


Players in 2015 are mentored by lawyers and media specialists, as well as warned by managers and their clubs about social media use. So Berahino, Sterling and Delph all have known, probably for 6 or 7 years now, that everything they write or take a picture of, especially when its directly having a pop at fans who paid your wages, has an effect.

And therein lies the difference between an argument or saying something silly to someone on twitter, which we all do, to Delph and Sterling going out of their way to embrace the “snakes” jibe on Instagram, and Berahino essentially telling WBA to “F off” by suggesting he won’t play for their club again whilst having a comfy seat on a private jet.


We all have silly moments on Twitter, I’ve had plenty, but…

if you go out of your way to have a pop at the punters who pay for your Bentley and mock Tudor mansion, don’t expect them to stay quiet

…when you come parading your skills at their home from home, of which some have been attending for 50 years or more.


What a cracking achievement by the Welsh. I remember doing a Wales U-21 game around 6 years ago and saying on air, “This is the best technical performance from a British Isles side I’ve seen in 20 years”, and you know what, the bulk of that group now stand on the cusp of history as they look to cross the finish line in qualification.

Cyprus Wales Euro Soccer

Many will say, “Ah well they have Bale”, but it wasn’t Bale who kept the clean sheets of late, most of the credit for that go to 2 men who I’ve been hyper critical of in the past, and I’m delighted that in this qualification process have proved me wrong.

Wayne Hennessey was a skinny, unsure kid several years ago at Wolves who, to me, didn’t look as though he would be physically strong enough or nasty enough to be a top quality keeper. In this tournament he’s looked assured, calm and has guided his back four well in some tricky games.

Ashley Williams I felt was vastly over-rated when some were talking of a £10m move to Liverpool or Arsenal several years ago. Prone to an error, lacking that little burst of pace a top class central defender needs, I thought that those two clubs could do better, but you know what? I’d rather have him than Lovren right now, and id rather have him than Mertesacker too.

He’s lead an exceptional Swansea side to better things in recent years and as the only central defender in Wales lineup (alongside him are converted fullbacks), its been a masterful effort to keep so many shut outs.

Rooney v Charlton

I know in columns and papers and TV shows we have to have debate about the football issues of the day but the length some will go to to make the “new kid’ seem better than whats gone before is ridiculous.

Take Bobby Charlton v Wayne Rooney.

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - England v Slovenia - Wembley

Chartlon was acknowledged as the equal to Beckenbauer, Pele, Cruyff, Di Stefano etc… in terms of his ability to take the game forward, to innovate. He was the first real barn storming forward who ran at players, took defenders out with a burst of pace and fired cannon balls in the back of the net.

So why seriously are we making comparisons with Wayne Rooney for comparisons sake?

Yes, both had 49 goals in 106 games but there are facts and there are stats, damn stats, and the latter can be extremely misleading.

Charlton did it for England when it mattered. Tournaments. Rooney scored 1 goal in Brazil, in a game we didn’t even win.

We can dissect friendlies, goals to minutes ratio, opposition strength etc… all day long folks but…

football historians in 100 years’ time will still have Sir Bobby Charlton in the Pantheon of World greats

…who innovated, scored and won the big one. I honestly don’t believe Rooney will be. And there lies the important difference.