Football or the weather? Nemanja Vidic and priorities

Nemanja Vidic’s postion at Manchester United would seem to be in jeopardy. Like Ronaldo, and even Alonso at Liverpool, this is one of those media stories that has appeared and reappeared across both tabloid and broad sheets alike, and simply refuses to go away. Which may mean bad news for Manchester United fans – particularly when taking into acount Sir Alex Ferguson’s reluctance so far to talk about the subject.

Vidic and his wife have often made revealing comments concerning the lifestyle in Manchester (along the usual lines of the weather is bad, the food is bad, and all people do is watch tv) but usually, have moved to distance themselves in the immediate aftermath.

Crisitano Ronaldo reportedly craved the Spanish lifestyle – afternoon siesta’s, late meals, and, in the summer time, glorious sunshine – and there have been a succession of footballers in the past who have made their decisions based on these considerations, but, isn’t that wrong? As David Beckham has found to his detriment in LA, a move facilitated, almost certainly, at the behest of his wife, surely the style and quality of the football should be the only consideration for a footballer when making decisions about a footballing career.

You might say Ronaldo was looking for a new challenge, having won every competition there is with Manchester United, that Vidic may be looking for a new challenge (and should a transfer to Madrid go through, that would likely be the line), and that David Beckham really wanted to take football to America, but there is a discrepancy between the style and frequency of comments to the contrary and what the players say when the finally go.

Surely, in a career so short, and one with such exorbitant financial recompense, sacrificing an ideal lifestyle until the day you retire in your early to mid-thirties should not be such a hardship. Part of the problem may be that multimillionaire WAGS are sitting around filling their days with beauty treatments and shopping, and given too much time to ruminate on their surroundings. The riddle: what does the average WAG think about on a gloomy day in northern England? Sunnier climes has to be at the top of that list.

But in the case of someone like Ms Vidic, or any other foreign wife who has taken a dislike to the English climate, surely for what it is worth in the long term, compromising on location for just a few years, should be worn not as an act of damaging high charity deserving of martyrdom, but as a prerequisite for having a husband with an incredible job and the will to succeed on the biggest stage. And this, of course, is more true for the footballer himself.

Jose Antonio Reyes, the former Arsenal winger, who had an excellent start to his career with the Gunners, soon waned and left the club citing homesickness and blubbing at missing all things Spanish. His career has since spluttered and taken a nose dive (notwithstanding a brief cameo in Real Madrid’s title win a few years ago) and one can’t help but feel that the inability to look beyond considerations outside the realm of actual football may be evidence of a mental fragility that has cost him so far.

If Nemanja Vidic or any other footballer wants to move to another club, because they genuinely feel that they have gone stale and need something different to motivate them, then that is fine, but for a footballer to command a multimillion pound fee and cause player upheaval at clubs because of a dislike of the weather, then something is very wrong with their prioities. Vidic has an excellent platform at Manchester United to continue to test himself against some of the worlds very best players, in the worlds most watched football league, so why the long face?

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  1. BD Condell 6 January, 2010
  2. Paul W. 6 January, 2010