Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

Diplomatic Football Talk

August 12, 2009

How many times have you heard the new signing at your club talk about how happy he is? How it’s a lifelong dream to play for your team and he’s on top of the world? I guess it’s player diplomacy at the end of the day. Wherever they go, even if it’s just another stepping stone in their career, they will always make it seem like it’s the ideal transfer. Well, thanks to a friend who gave me the idea (cheers bishri), I went back and did some research on Darren Bent’s signing interviews tracing back to his Ipswich days where he promised he wouldn’t leave… then jumped ship to Charlton… then promising Charlton he wouldn’t leave… then to Spurs… finally to Sunderland. He’s had quite a busy 5 years.

It’s all in the quotes:

December 2004. Leaving or staying at Ipswich?

I’m happy here, I know everyone here, I grew up through the academy and it would be silly to leave, especially with us being top and there being a chance of me going to the Premiership anyway… I don’t think there’s anywhere else I need to play“.

A few months later:

June 2005. Signing for Charlton Athletic

“As soon as I met Alan Curbishley and Richard Murray I had no doubt whatsoever that this was the club I wanted to join… I have been hugely impressed by their plans for the club, both on and off the field, and I am convinced Charlton can go from strength to strength… I very much want to be part of that.”

Speculation in the summer:

July 2006. Leaving or staying at Charlton?

“I am delighted to bring to an end all the press speculation about my future… Richard Murray knows that I am committed to this club (Charlton) and although I am flattered to be linked with the biggest clubs in the country I owe Charlton a lot after they gave me my chance in the Premiership and the fans have been right behind me since I joined… I have a good feeling about this season…”.

One year later out the door:

July 2007. Signs for Spurs

“Tottenham have a lot of young English players and it’s a young squad, it’s a squad going forward and that’s the direction I wanted to take… It’s exciting times for me and Spurs and hopefully I’ll show what I can do… They seem to be getting better and better every season and I would love to be part of that (see June 2005 above).”

Twitter-gate leads him out the door to the Stadium of Light:

August 2009. Signs for Sunderland

“Now it’s all about Sunderland. They want to make big strides. Sunderland have the potential to go beyond Spurs (ouch – where did the diplomacy go?).”

So is it player diplomacy at the end of the day, or just “give me my money and I’ll say what you want to hear”? You be the judge.