Downing tools. This is what I define as when an employee in whatever line of work, loses interest in his or her role and doesn’t appear at work and if they do, they clearly are demotivated as they lack the ambition and drive in the job that they are currently.
In every day, normal walk of life, this isn’t tolerated and rightfully in my humble opinion, he or she who does this is duly sacked. You get paid to do a job, you sign the contract to do the job, and then you should do it, right?
Well, in the world of football, the rules appear to be different. Footballers, rightly or wrongly get negative press. Appearing to be disconnected from the outside world due to their astronomical wages is one reason and the downing of tools is one of many others, some can argue.
Although no footballer would admit it, I and my father both are in unison in this, when a new manager comes in and there’s an upturn in form, it’s because they stopped playing for the old manager.
It’s hard to say if this is 100% true, but I am adamant there is some scope for this argument. That aside, I want to discuss specifically about player’s downing tools. So, yes that will mean referring to Peter Odemwingie.
Then with West Brom, he tried to force move QPR by driving outside the ground! Odemwingie, a Nigerian international at the time if my memory serves me correctly, was left red-faced as a transfer didn’t materialise.
The two clubs weren’t able to agree on a fee, and the rest was history. Sadly, this isn’t the sole incident of a player downing tools and ultimately forcing through a move. Although not the most common example, I would use that of Harry Kane.
England captain Kane, who was linked with Manchester City, appeared to want to leave Spurs after an apparent gentleman’s agreement.
That agreement wasn’t honoured and although Harry Kane, took some time off and didn’t appear for training when everyone else was due to report back, he ended up staying at the club.
There were two reasons for this, one was due to Man City not willing to stump up the cash required to prise Kane away from Spurs and the appointment of Antonio Conte, who appears to have persuaded him to stay.
William Gallas, who did a tour of London with the clubs he played for (Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea), famously threatened to score an own-goal if he wasn’t allowed to leave Chelsea, his club at the time.
Gallas would move to Arsenal and would even become their club captain, but his time in North London, for me would be marred by the breaking down and being close to tears in the middle of the pitch against Birmingham City.
Frenchman Gallas isn’t the only Arsenal player to feature on this list. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is the other. The Gabonese striker, formerly of Milan, St Etienne, and Borussia Dortmund, got his career off to a flying start whilst playing for The Gunners.
Sadly for the now former Barcelona player, he would disagree with Mikael Arteta and duly leave the club, which reportedly was done by Aubameyang boarding a plane to Barcelona against the club’s wishes, and sealing a move to The Catalans.
You see Peter, that’s how it’s done. Other examples are that of then Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, who would leave Manchester, and go to Argentina only to return six months later. Although Tevez would play for City again after such rebellion, the end was near for the now-retired Argentine.
Carlos Tevez would move to Juventus thereafter, in what turned into a sour end to a very fruitful move to City from rivals Man United. Tevez wasn’t the only player to go abroad in an effort to force through a move.
Chelsea striker at the time Diego Costa was another, he stayed in Brazil for a prolonged period as he tried to force a return to his former club Atletico Madrid. Costa was able to force that move, but in hindsight, he probably now wishes he didn’t as he struggled to replicate his old Atletico form.
Diego Costa is back in England these days, playing for Premier League side Wolves. All the players I have listed, are Premier League based. Maybe there are some European-based players, but here I want to list the players who are Premier League based.
One of the most famous instances of a player downing tools, which isn’t something usually you can say about the man, is that of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has been famed for being an elite professional throughout his whole career.
CR7’s second spell with Manchester United, although it started well at the beginning, ended on bad terms with first Ronaldo leaving a friendly early without permission, then walking down the tunnel in a game against Tottenham.
What would be the final nail in the coffin for the Portuguese captain would be when he did the now ill-advised interview with TV host Piers Morgan. A short time after that, a move to Al-Nassr was completed.
The last example of players downing tools, that I want to mention is that of Brighton winger Leandro Trossard. The Belgian attacker who can play down the middle and out wide, scored a hat-trick at Anfield this season.
A disagreement with Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi has seen the 28-year-old, leave England and move to Belgium. Not to join for a Belgian club side, but to essentially go AWOL.
Reports have been circulating that Trossard has agreed to join Arsenal. If true, although not the right way to go about it, the story of Belgian Leandro Trossard is going to have somewhat of a happy ending.
This is a sad state of affairs in the professional game. Football players are adored by millions, if not billions. It’s times like this, you wish they realised how lucky they are.
Are there any other players who I have failed to mention? Do drop your thoughts in the comments.
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