Why rebels without a cause Morrison, Welbeck and Sturridge need a sense of perspective
According to the latest statistics, the number of 16-24 year olds out of work is 1.043 million.
That means 22.3 percent of that group in the United Kingdom are unemployed.
It is the highest, the grimmest figure since records began in 1992.
Bad economic news comes in a blizzard nowadays. These numbers might have eluded you.
Almost certainly, they would have bypassed three young gentlemen who fit inside that particular age bracket.
Danny Welbeck, Ravel Morrison and Daniel Sturridge.
Three footballers of immense promise. Yes, promise.
Welbeck and Sturridge have full international caps, but to say either is an established England star would be pushing it.
The potential of Morrison, 18, is virtually untapped. He has made just three first team appearances.
But it was reported on Friday that he wants £30,000-a-week to stay at Manchester United. That’s £1.5million-a-year to remain at one of the world’s most iconic clubs under the tutelage of one of the game’s greatest-ever managers.
United have offered him £12,000-a-week – a staggering salary for a teenager, especially one who has courted little but trouble away from the field.
Morrison denies he has rejected an offer but it is clear the club and the player’s advisers are some way from agreeing a deal.
He has advisers, naturally – hell, he has played a couple of Carling Cup games, don’t forget.
What on earth can the issue be, other than cash?
Apart from getting a caution for assaulting his mother and using his mobile while on the substitutes bench, Morrison has done nothing to command an annual pay packet in excess of £1m.
He is clearly a talent – Sir Alex Ferguson has privately said so on more than one occasion. But he is lucky to be at a club which prides itself on carefully nurturing precocious ability. And United are hardly going to pay him buttons.
Just as the weekly forty-five grand reportedly being offered to Danny Welbeck is not buttons.
Yet it might not be enough, it seems. Welbeck is approaching the final 12 months of his United contract, putting him in a strong negotiating position. But there should be nothing to negotiate. Welbeck has started just 14 Premier League games for United, scoring six times. That he got the call from Fabio Capello was as much a reflection on England’s striking issues – and to make sure he resisted the advances of Ghana – as it was on his undoubted prospects.
United will make him an instant millionaire, he can continue to develop his game alongside a world-class player in Wayne Rooney and Ferguson can carry on smoothing away Welbeck’s rough edges.
If Welbeck did not remain at United for the sake of a few grand a week, it would be a damning indictment of his character – and of the characters advising him.
Sturridge, 22 years of age and on £80,000 a week, is a different case. And not one about money.
Having scored ten times in 16 Premier League starts for Chelsea, he is believed to be concerned about a lack of opportunities in his preferred central role. Yet it is clear Didier Drogba will be on his bike and if the struggles of Fernando Torres continue, the Spaniard might well decide his Premier League experience is over.
It is called patience.
Having proved very little, there are too many young players out there who want it all and want it now. With agents whispering in their ears, they demand more… well, because they can. Whatever differences Welbeck, Morrison and Sturridge might have with their clubs, their futures could still lie with United and Chelsea. They should.
But if not, there will always be the consolation that they will not be swelling the number of 16-24 year olds out of work.
Of course, the haunting unemployment situation amongst the nation’s youth is of no direct relevance to the eye-watering demands of promising Premier League players. None whatsoever.
Just gives a bit of perspective. That’s all.
It must be difficult, but I’m sure organisers will resist the temptation to ask David Beckham to light the Olympic flame.
Now, Stuart Pearce must think long and hard about selecting Beckham for the GB football team. He has made it clear he would love to be captain and for his unswerving support in the bid process, Beckham deserves acclaim.
But entering an Olympic team on home soil is a landmark decision.
Pearce has to select the best players available to him. If one of them is Beckham, fine. If not, tough.