Coleman: The idea is to play in the Premier League, not to have a nice car
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has been quite vocal about materialism in professional football.
The money that the game attracts means that players are handsomely paid and as Coleman once said 'players 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'.
Ireland midfielder Conor Hourihane recently said that young players nowadays probably don’t work hard enough and Coleman agreed and added that he believes that young players are given too much, too soon.
“I actually read that interview with Conor and spoke to him afterwards. I thought it was brilliant. He is right. The game’s changing," said Coleman at the launch of SPAR's Better Choices Low Fat Protein Milk and Mega Milk range.
"Look, there are so many different personalities but I do think that drive probably isn’t the same any more in kids. Probably because they’re getting rewarded for not really doing quite a lot.
"They can be sorted for life before they even played 10 Prem League games. I think that’s wrong.I don’t think that’s fair on the young players. They’re not going to turn it down and you wouldn’t blame them. The whole idea of being a footballer for me is to play in the Premier League.
"It’s not to have a nice car or have a nice watch.That comes with it if that’s what you’re in to. But it’s to be a Prem League footballer, to be as good as you can be.
"There will still be some young kids who have that desire but I do think they are given far too much too soon.And it doesn’t help them because even if you don’t play on a Saturday you’re still picking up a nice wage and living a nice life. For young 18, 19, 20-year-old's, for me it’s not ideal.”
But it's not just off the field that Coleman feels that players are starting to change, it's on the pitch too. Coleman graduated to the Irish senior team through the League of Ireland ranks and Everton and he notes that players have become less vocal on the pitch now compared to when he first entered professional football.
"I find.. it might be younger players again but I find that maybe the new generation of footballers, when I came through I had people barking in my ear, older players saying 'man on right, man on left', whatever," he adds.
"Constantly talking you through the game and with Ireland, to be fair, we have Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh, they are big talkers, but in general talking and telling people what's happening on the pitch has probably gone out of the game a little bit.
"I don't know why, it's so important if someone passes you the ball and tells you there's a man behind you."
Coleman admitted that there might be a tendency for players to place complete trust in the manager's gameplan and that there is some possible trepidation against making adjustments in game. He said players don't want to be the one that goes against the plan in case someone scores and the question is raised of 'who told you to do that?'
However, with Ireland, Coleman has played with a revolving door of wingers with Jon Walters, James McClean, Robbie Brady and Callum Robinson all lining up in front of him.
Robinson is the latest wideman to join him on the flank and he said that they had to make adjustments in the 2-0 win over Gibraltar on Monday night.
"You just always want a relationship with the player in front of you, if I go wide he tucks in, because you don't play with players every week you probably don't have that relationship so sometimes you have to talk during the game, that's what I was speaking to Robbie [Brady] about, maybe when I get it come to feet or go behind, or he'll tell me, it's communication on the pitch and it's so important.
"Last night me and Callum didn't really know what each other wanted to do for periods of the first half, then we had a chat and in the second half we were a bit better together. Communication is vital, it's another thing that's gone out of the game, communication."
SPAR Better Choices ambassador and Republic of Ireland Captain, Seamus Coleman launched the new SPAR Better Choices Low Fat Protein Milk and Mega Milk.