A teenage English soccer player on vacation on a lively Spanish island with friends. There was only one way this was ever going to end: in the tabloid.
Look, there’s promising Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish lying sprawled on a Tenerife road surrounded by cigarette packets. Has he been drinking? Has he been smoking? Especially with two months until the start of the next season, the right question is probably … Who cares?
I mean, what are young guys supposed to do in Tenerife? Spend the day hiking in the mountains and the evenings playing chess? When beer is only two Euros?
But no, apparently the right question is do Grealish’s SHAMEFUL actions TEAR at the very FABRIC of SOCIETY?
So the club, according to a statement, “will be meeting with the player but any action will remain an internal matter.” At least he wasn’t inhaling hippy crack from a balloon this time.
Times have changed at Villa, where during the 1990s, one of the club’s best-ever defenders, Paul McGrath, didn’t just drink on vacation, but on matchdays. “There were probably about 10 games where I played after I’d had a few drinks, and maybe just a couple of games when I was really drunk,” he told FourFourTwo.
Grealish is still deciding whether he wants to pledge his international loyalties to England or Ireland. On this evidence, the 19-year-old would fit right in with England, where being papped doing something normal in your time off is a rite of passage.
Just in the past couple of years:
- Jack Wilshere (shisha)
- Raheem Sterling (shisha)
- Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Cole, Wayne Bridge (smoking)
This is why Theo Walcott’s England career has been patchy to date. He hasn’t been pictured urinating in the street on the Costa Del Sol, high on nitrous oxide with a shisha pipe in one hand and a pint of lager in the other.
With the English Premier League’s stars only midway through their time off, we can doubtless look forward to more vacation-shaming later this month. Stay vigilant, Twitter.