Football has changed since he first arrived in England, says Seamus Coleman. It not the style of football, the huge amounts now spent on players or the sharper media focus which Coleman highlights - it's how players are treated by clubs. "Mollycoddled" as he puts it.
"I came over as a 20-year-old, spoke when I was spoken to, cracked on, got my head down, tried to do the best I possibly could in training," the Ireland captain told iNews.co.uk.
"Football was everything. Now I don’t know if young players have got that same — it’s not level of respect as they are respectful — they’ve just been mollycoddled a bit through the academy, it’s all they’ve ever known: good food in the canteen, state-of-the-art gyms, their kit washed for them, their socks put in their kit, grown men having to do their laundry after games for them, they get all that done for them."
The 29-year-old believes clubs have a responsibility that along with ensuring they get the maximum from players on the pitch that they are also moulding good people, individuals capable of making contributions to society if they don't make it in football.
I just feel like you’ve got a hell of a lot of footballers, hell of a lot of academy footballers who probably all believe they’re going to make it, but the reality is they’re not, you hope you’re building good people that if they don’t make it they go on and do good things in their life and career.
It’s just the way the game’s gone. It’s hard to stop it.
Coleman feels it is that type of rounded individual, one not adverse to confrontation, which is needed in the game.
"When the going gets tough in football you need good characters. I hope that side of the game, where if you get beat 2-0 you and your team-mates can have an argument and then you can leave it there, doesn’t stop.
"Nowadays you see less and less of that happening which is disappointing."
Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile