There’s been quite an uproar after Jack Wilshere was pictured smoking on holiday. Thousands of Arsenal fans that think they know best have been quick to judge the 22-year-old’s supposed malpractice, but none have the same knowledge that I do.
In my 20 years as a non-professional footballer, I’ve accumulated as much knowledge as the likes of Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola. I train at least twice a month, and I’m in peak physical condition. Do I party? Of course – I’m clearly a fun person to be around, so I get invited to loads of blowouts. Do I get offered the odd stogie? Obviously – and I accept them more often than not. The reason is simple: image.
Being a successful footballer isn’t about ability or fitness – it’s about image. You have to look the part, and the part description goes along the lines of ‘hateable badass’. Look at David Beckham. He has covered himself from head to toe in tattoos. Not only do they make him look like a total badass, but they also prevent him from giving blood. It’s that sort of despicable ‘I’ve got more money than willingness to help the needy’ attitude that has made him what he is today.
As for Wilshere, he already has the tattoos, but he needs to build on those foundations. Smoking regularly is how he should do so. And to the people who use the old ‘it’ll affect his performance’ line – get with the times! Cigarettes are harmless. If anything, they improve your fitness. Think about it – if you’re breathing in harmful fumes all day, your lungs will have to strengthen to cope. In many ways, smoking is just a healthier version of swimming, as you are able to improve your breathing without the risk of drowning.
Whenever I hear people going on about the ‘dangers’ and ‘health risks’ of smoking, I laugh. I’m not even quiet about it. I’ve laughed out loud at least five times this past week after reading silly tweets from outraged fans. The thing that boggles my mind is how vague people are when they try to list the disadvantages of smoking. They say that doctors don’t recommend it – well ask your doctor what they think of this next time you see them (I’ve just blown smoke onto my computer screen while flexing my right bicep muscle).
At least use facts if you are going to try to condemn smokers, not some wishy-washy folklore. One of my mates knows a professional footballer who smokes everyday, and he is playing brilliantly for his club. See – that is a cold, hard, fact. What do you have? Answer: nothing.
I think I’ve educated you enough for one day. As my Grandfather used to say: ‘Smoking is harmless, so stop worrying about it.’ He doesn’t say it anymore, he died of lung cancer, but you get the idea.