England manager Gareth Southgate has shut down plans for a gaudy ‘WAG’ documentary to be filmed for Netflix during this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The proposal has been met with near-universal condemnation from managers, players, and fans for its dated premise and unnecessary subject matter. England captain Harry Kane stated that the documentary would be a complete distraction and would take the players’ focus off winning the trophy.
The recent ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial brought footballers’ wives back into the public consciousness for the first time in several years and was most likely the inspiration for this terrible idea. Southgate said the proposal ‘wasn’t his cup of tea’ before adding that the very term ‘WAG’’ was archaic and offensive.
As if the proposed ‘WAG’ documentary didn’t annoy me enough, I had the misfortune to witness a few clips from the recent Paul Pogba documentary. The controversial midfielder was captured dismissing a £290,000 a week deal with Manchester United as ‘nothing’ - a statement that has garnered a boatload of criticism. The French international has been described as being ‘removed from reality’ and an ‘overrated egomaniac’ by social media users - a diagnosis I very much agree with.
No Place In Football
The ‘Pogmentary’ premiered in Miami earlier this week and its star was captured wearing a flash suit and designer sunglasses, undoubtedly purchased via his ‘nothing’ salary of almost £300,000 a week.
These vile documentaries have no place in our sport. Despite what the media tries to tell us, football is not show business and its players, agents, and managers aren’t characters.
It’s a shame that icons like Jack Charlton, Brian Clough, and Jock Stein are no longer with us as I’m sure they’d share my outrage over the current state of football. Back in their day, footballers were men’s men and more akin to warriors on the field. There was none of the diving, extortionate contracts, and flimsy political gesturing there is today. Tackles were tough, pitches were muddy, and fans could actually afford tickets.
Our national sport actually had an air of relatability back then. I felt as though I knew the players personally and that they could relate to my life. Not anymore.
Pogba A Mercenary
I find players like Pogba to be the perfect example of this. Whilst there’s no doubting his talents as a player, his legacy in the sport has been tarnished due to his inconsistent performances and aloof attitude. The documentary, presumably made to show his side of the stories about him, will only turn people off even more and confirm their suspicions that he’s nothing more than a mercenary.
Paul Pogba certainly isn’t alone and is far from the only footballer with these qualities, yet he’s the most famous example of how out of touch the 21st century footballer has become. The United Kingdom, the region where Pogba plays, is currently embroiled in a cost-of-living crisis and many of its citizens are skipping meals, selling their valuable family heirlooms, and not heating their homes. The last thing they want to see is a multi-millionaire footballer discarding a £290,000-per-week deal at the biggest football club in the world as ‘nothing’. They’re also probably not very interested in the pampered lives of the England players’ partners. Even I, a wealthy man, found Pogba’s comments to be borderline insulting and impossibly removed from reality.
Football sold its soul a long time ago and now its demise is being put on camera. It goes without saying that I have no interest in either documentary, and will instead be watching clips of Stanley Matthews on Youtube as I remind myself of better times.
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