Wednesday 30 March 2016


Talent is a wonderful thing. It can earn you loads of money, fame and adulation. A talented person is the subject of many conversations, arguments, and disagreements and can be the source of joy to many as well. If only I was talented. :)

Despite these, lots of knowledgeable people have commented that talent alone can get you so far. Talent requires a few bolt on. Application is my favourite one. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t apply yourself, you are unlikely to achieve your true potential. Other bolt - on that can potentially accompany talent are charisma, luck, judgment, and probably the right mentors to channel you in the right direction.

Footballers in the current age are very lucky. Averagely talented players can become multimillionaires before their 21st birthday. Those who are able to apply their talents can become rich beyond imagination.

No doubt John Stones is talented. He is young and some might say good-looking. He looks supremely comfortable with the ball at his feet. He appears to be a natural footballer and we have heard lots of comparisons to Franz Beckenbauer and Rio Ferdinand.

John Stones has come a long way in his somewhat short professional football-playing career. He came through the Barnsley academy and signed his first professional contract as a 17 year old about 5 years ago. He made his debut for Barnsley the year after signing his professional contract and less than 11 months later he left for Everton for a transfer fee of £3m. 2 years later some money miss road wanted to pay £50m for him. If you have a money-printing machine at home, I doubt if you can turn £3m into £50m in less than 2 years. I digress.

You can see young John has achieved so much in such a little time and I wish him continuing success in his footballing career. However I genuinely think he is a spoilt child.  Many commentators have complained about the side effects of young players in England having it all too early as it negatively affects their football development. It is clear to me that John Stones is one of these young players whose success has gotten into his head.

I suspect he has read all the headlines and news column comparing him to a genuine great like Beckenbauer. He has probably lapped up all the salivating comments about him been the future of English football and a nailed on future England captain. As far as he is concerned, he has arrived.

I hope I am wrong but I am convinced I am right. If John Stones is not pig headed, why hasn’t he cut out this silliness disguised as ball playing out of his game? I listened to the first 5 minutes of the England match versus Netherlands last night on radio and the commentators were appalled about his ball playing in the England penalty area. What pig headedness. In the first 5 minutes for God’s sake. After the flak he has received this season. SMH
I watched the remaining 85 minutes plus on TV and was disgusted by some of the moves he attempted in defence especially the slip leading to Netherland’s first goal. In life and often in football, not everything is right or wrong. Mostly the things that come off justify the action you took before hand. Conversely if the results are negative, it evidences the fact that you perhaps made the wrong choice. John slipping yesterday directly resulted in Netherland’s equalizing goal. He was at fault for that goal although Danny BLOCKBRAIN Rose didn’t help matters.

Stones is a player that has been roundly criticized by many of his own fans this season for his dangerous ball play in his own penalty area. He has lost his starting position to a frankly average central defender in Funes Mori and this is despite the fact that Stones is clearly a favourite of his Club manager. Roberto Martinez has taken him out of the firing line and saved him from the ire of the Everton fans. You will think he will learn TIME & PLACE.  No. First 5 minutes.  I despair.  

John Stones’ promoters in the media have been out in droves, defending him, egging him on. Pointing out his contributions to the Vardy goal and another pass to Walcott that almost came off. Good luck to them. They obviously know more about football than I do. But one thing is clear for me and to me. If your redeeming feature as a central defender is your assist or goal scoring record, you need to contemplate a change of position on the football field.  As a defender. PLEASE DEFEND FIRST. Don’t create panic in your penalty area.

I saw Roy’s reaction after England conceded their first goal and knew he was very upset. I’m not sure what he was upset about. I hope he is the safety first manager that everybody thinks he is. If so, he should drop John Stones from all of his future plans right away. He is a disaster that will happen time and time again if he has his current mind set. John is young enough to play a role in future England set up with Roy’s successor and this is only if young John cuts out the pig headedness and silliness in his play especially the dangerous play in the penalty area.

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