GLENN Hoddle has taken a calm and composed look at the problems engulfing some of the best young talents in the country… Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere and Jack Grealish (pictured above), who have been swamped with unsavoury headlines around their private lives.
With all the wisdom of his experience in the game, as a player and manager, Hoddle believes today’s brightest kids need good advice, probably from their formative days in the club academies, rather than being condemned by the tabloid press and the unforgiving, all-seeing world of social media.
Hoddle, the former England manager, knows the pitfalls only too well, but would tell all three players in the spotlight: “You need to think about maximising your talents. How you go about that is the key to your futures.
“Whether you are caught taking laughing gas [Sterling], or caught being blotto in the street [Grealish], it all depends on how you deal with the consequences – and whether you take it from there.
“There are only so many times you can get away with it, before it takes its toll, so you cannot continue to do it.
“But this is not something peculiar to the modern generation, it has been happening since back in the day.
“In every era there have been those players who have been close to the edge.
“The problem with the modern era is social media. It catches you out, whereever you are, whatever you are doing.
“But some of these kids have gone through a lot of hardships in their lives to get where they are, so we shouldn’t be sitting in our lofty positions passing judgement. We should, however, make them aware of their responsibilities.
“Its human nature, kids want to let off steam, so we shouldn’t get carried away saying it’s worse than it has ever been, because it’s no better or worse. It’s in their genes, young kids do silly things, but it’s how they learn from those experiences that counts.
“So make them acutely aware of the hurt this sort of thing does to their parents, how they will be feeling about it.
“These kids do have a lot of money, but it’s not about the money or how much they earn – or whether they have too much, too soon. It’s about the opportunities they have and how not to waste those opportunities… how to maximise those opportunities, to get the best from their talents.
“There has to be an awareness of how much they want it, to get to where they want to get to, and to be the best you can be.
“And what they are going through should be something for the next generation to take on board.”