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Seamus Coleman Superbly Explains Everything That Is Wrong With Modern Football

Conall Cahill
By Conall Cahill
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Reading any Seamus Coleman interview, it is easy to see why he is one of the most popular Irish sportspeople around. 

The Republic of Ireland captain's humility and down-to-earth nature shine through in everything he does. Even as he has evolved into one of the best right-backs in the world it doesn't appear as though he has changed much from his time growing up in Killybegs. This was never more evident than at his post-Euros homecoming when he stayed up into the early hours, signing autographs and chatting to young kids who wanted to meet their hero.

And, in a quite brilliant and very revealing interview with Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, the value Coleman places in humility was expressed by the man himself in quite entertaining fashion. He also talked about the struggles young Irish footballers face when they head to England to try and make it as professionals:

I think a 15 or 16-year-old coming over from a place like Ireland really needs help. They need someone protecting them or looking after them.

It's a big bad world out there in football and it's easy for a young footballer to be sucked into a certain way of life.

If I see a footballer with a Louis Vuitton wash bag I wonder what that does to others. If you are the only young lad in the changing room without one then you feel that pressure that you need to go out and get one. Even if you don't want one or even like one.


It clearly isn't just an old-fashioned dislike of wash bags that Coleman possesses - it is a keen awareness of how it feels to be a newcomer in an intimidating money-dense and ego-filled environment like a Premier League dressing room:


That's what I think is wrong with football. It's completely wrong. Your job is to train well and play well on Saturday and do well week in, week out. That's your job. Your job isn't to be going out and buying the best of everything just because someone else is.

But they feel they all need to have the best because of the pressure. They think they need to look good on their Instagram pictures. They think they have to follow the leader but they are just kids — boys.

They need protecting, good people looking after them. Parents and agents and people who have their best interests at heart. But sometimes it isn't the case.

How do you change it? I don't know. I just hate the thought of a young player in a dressing room feeling worried because seven of the lads have something that he doesn't have.

Ladyman discloses that Coleman takes young players under his wing to the extent that he will invite them to his home for dinner with himself, his wife Rachel and young daughter. But while he sympathises with young players and thinks they should be guided through their early days, don't mistake that for soft treatment. Coleman thinks that his upbringing in Ireland, "where I grew up being told that I was doing things wrong", was part of what made him the player he is today. And he believes players now shouldn't be mollycoddled:

Then when I got here (to Everton) David Moyes was tough with me too. Really tough, but it was the best thing for me. If you make a mistake, you need to do better. If a manager criticises you then he's doing it for a reason.

The game has probably changed a little in that lads don't like being told but the fact is that you have to be prepared to take it and get on with it.

And he pulled no punches when discussing his intolerance for young players getting above themselves.

To this day I don't believe in a young lad coming into a scene and being Billy Bigtime and thinking he knows everything and everyone.

I know my place at Everton and I knew my place at Sligo. I spoke when I was spoken to. I was a young kid who was just trying to do well.

Nowadays some young lads are too much the other way. I don't agree with kids who haven't done much in the game being ahead of themselves. It's not me and I don't like to see it.

I was always someone who respected every manager and I didn't want to be the young lad chirping all the time. I was 17 but none of that meant I couldn't play football.

Brilliant stuff from Coleman ahead of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier away to Moldova on Sunday. You can read the full interview here.

(Daily Mail)

SEE ALSO: A New Irish Captain Was Born Tonight And His Name Is Seamus Coleman


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