#Behave (Originally on YAMA)

Posted on May 26, 2012


After the mushy mushy stuff I wrote about interacting with the Arsenal community and publishing that poll, I decided to take a look (briefly) at how the players use social media, and not just the fans. I’m also getting sick and tired at some of the attitudes on display from our young players, mainly Frimpong and Craig “Nando’s” Eastmond. It’s getting beyond a joke, when you look at some of the players that Wenger has reformed and some players who epitomise professionalism, you have to wonder how players who conduct themselves so poorly have made it near the first team. Can’t they be more sensible like Chambo and Jack?

Let’s start with our Twitter showboater and #DEEEEENCH advocate, Emmanuel Frimpong. All over Twitter, Mr Frimpong is recognised as a bit of a comedian, what with his “trolling” of Nasri’s money-grabbing ways, his arguments with Piers Morgan and his laughing at Sp*rs by tweeting “it’s so quiet at the lane” after Wolves (who he was on loan to at the time) drew with them at White Hart Lane.

But has all this gone too far? I know he’s injured and has a lot of time spare, but recently Emmanuel tweeted (posted) a picture of a dead, naked African man with his brains hanging out – grim. Shortly after posting the picture, he took it down. But in its wake was a Frimpong hate party. People were suggesting that he should be sold; others were a little lighter on the issue and said he should leave Twitter. I thought it was stupid, and maybe he should take a break from Twitter. No matter what anyone thought of the photo, it was clear that Frimpong lacks discipline. On the pitch, he is very aggressive, which is good. I admit his performances have given good reason for him to be in the squad. However, off the pitch he seems more focussed on promoting his DENCH brand and hanging out with Lethal Bizzle, than improving his game. He is however, a nice person, he has been known to drive youth/academy players to training to make sure they make it on time, gestures like that don’t go unnoticed and are largely appreciated.

One year. That’s all that left on Frimpong’s contract, and if he doesn’t change his ways then I’m afraid he’s gone. I’d love him to stay as he has an undying love for the club; he’s been here since the age of nine. The 20-year-old has also said he wouldn’t leave Arsenal even if he was dragged kicking and screaming.

Now’s the time to really prove his love for the club.

I know it’s hard to do because of the long-term injury. But for the time being he needs to stop acting like a complete and utter delinquent.

Cue another avid Arsenal tweeter: Henri Lansbury. He’s proven himself to be a determined and gifted individual, and off the pitch he seems like a nice and sensible guy. But this is after his “return” to Twitter. Before, on his first account, he used to tweet about pulling girls, going out and other such outgoing activities that professional footballers shouldn’t be sharing with the public via social media. Since then he’s changed his ways, and only talks about normal footballyish things like hourly visits to Nando’s, banter in training and what not. Craig Eastmond does similar, but in a much more annoying way, I think it’s something to do with his £20,000 a week wages which could be better spent elsewhere.

Although it’s nice interacting with the players and seeing what they’re up to all day every day, it does make me wonder how much it affects their focus on maintaining or improving their footballing talent.

This is where I bring Dennis Bergkamp into the equation.

Dennis kept himself to himself. I know he was playing for us long before social media came about, but my point is, he kept his mind on his game. He was never known to be out partying with the other players – he was all about the football. Obviously nobody is going to emulate his greatness by quitting Twitter or behaving a little more sensibly, but the professionalism of some players must be brought into question and scrutinised during the pre-season by Wenger and his reshaped backroom.  Look at Szczesny and Rosicky; they’ve both seen themselves improve over the course of the season. Our towering keeper seems to be reaping the benefits of quitting Twitter. On the other hand, our Little Mozart has always been a quiet one, and seems to focus on his game. Rosicky is a very professional player, and his professionalism aided his recent performances, and has seen him awarded with a new contract, after a return from a long injury lay-off.

Wenger’s man management has come into question sometimes after his players have completely lost every sense of discipline on the pitch. The most memorable incident was Gallas’ strop on the pitch during our 2-2 draw away to Birmingham, the same match Eduardo broke his leg. As a result, he was stripped of his captaincy. The most recent fiasco was last season’s 4-4 disaster against Newcastle when Diaby threw Joey Barton onto the floor, then proceeded to push Nolan in the chest. What on earth was he thinking?! Bendtner’s no better, he seems to think he’s modern day Messiah of football.  His attitude disgusts me, if he had unrivalled skill on the pitch, then maybe I could comprehend with his behaviour. Last season he was overplayed and overpaid. Now he’s just the latter. We need to get rid of him, but even that’s going to be difficult with his high wages and behemoth ego. Regardless of his intentions to leave Arsenal, every club will see him as a liability after his night-time antics during his loan spell at Sunderland. Smashing up cars with Lee Cattermole isn’t cool and doesn’t go unnoticed. Here’s something else stupid he’s done.

Obviously Wenger’s man management is good, and he has transformed the attitudes of some of the club’s favourite players. The most noticeable being our skipper who has gone from being a bit of a “badboy” to the slick, polished goal-machine we have today.

On balance, I think the players who are here to play for Arsenal Football Club need to have a conversation or two with those who are more interested in being celebrities. We can’t be dealing with more Bendtner-like players in the future (and no I don’t mean immobile, inconsistent strikers).