Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The wave of euphoric student unrest that recently rocked secondary schools across the nation brought to the fore pertinent disciplinary issues that for so long the administrative hierarchy has attempted to sweep under the carpet.

The spiraling act of revolts is not anything new though. If my memory serves me well, during our days there used to be agelong traditions that every final year student felt compelled to observe just after sitting the last paper. It came in the form of showing open defiance to the school authority and quite often, the object of this hostility would be the extremely despicable Deputy Headmaster - the discipline master on most occasions.

Ideally, your average chap would deliberately engage in some kind of a misdemenour then blatantly refuse to take the punishment that came along with it. The more adventurous and daring fellow would go as for as partaking the forbidden ritual of setting ablaze all his documented literature in the full glare of his bemused teachers.

Of course all this was done on the presumption that the four year stint at the educational facility had been irrevocably terminated. But woe unto him who was not lucky enough to score good grades and found himself in the same institution a few months later seeking readmission!

A few weeks ago when former Arsenal man Alexander Hleb publicly lambasted his coach Arsene Wenger, his wayward actions bore a striking semblance to the rebellious attitude of these hotheaded secondary school misfits. Perhaps, Hleb too couldn’t resist the temptation of engaging in one final notorious escapade before setting sails for the Nou Camp.

But then, this being the unofficial holiday season in Europe, Hleb has found himself in the good company of other like minded comrades in crime that include the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonel Messi and Emmanuel Adebayor. It’s the season of high drama and everyone wants to provoke the authorities by doing something really whacky.

Take Adebayor’s case for instance. Though it may have escaped your memory, we are talking about the same player who only a couple of years back openly disregarded the stern warnings of his former club, AS Monaco, to link up with the Togolese national team for a training camp in the run-up to the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Predictably, not before long he was rocking Togolese apple cart too by challenging the authority of his Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi. A word of advice to the Gunners - cut loose the tether quick and let the guy become a problem to his new handlers wherever he chooses to go; the sooner, the better.

Then there is the saga of Hleb, who it seems can’t stop raving and ranting, in a deliberate effort to disparage his former club at every available opportunity. What I find most obnoxious is his attempt to lure other players to ‘follow’ him out of the Emirates stable. And what more, all his best friends now happen to be former Arsenal players.

Cristiano Ronaldo too has done tremendously well to estrange himself from a club that as recent as two months ago was alluding to him with all adjectives imaginable for his unprecedented heroics in the Premiership and Champions League campaign. How the times have changed! But they say a woman is the source of every man’s trouble. Ronaldo is no exception here. His steamy love affair with his Spanish heartthrob Nereida Gallardo seems to explain in part his current predicament.

His doublespeak too has also been quite phenomenal. At one moment all he wants is to be shipped off to Real Madrid because it’s the team he has always wanted to play for. The next minute he isn’t interested anymore apparently so because he is upset about his girlfriend’s alleged past involvement with his teammate to be Sergio Ramos.

Luckily for those who love scandals, the Ronaldo-Nereida drama has proved to be a timely and juicy rendition to the popular local soap Chinedu & Akinyi that has steady gained prominence in the box office since it premiered a while back.

Finally, I wish to put the big debate to a conclusive end. While everyone else is busy shopping, one team by the name Arsenal, that purports to be perpetually broke, seems to find it honorable to proclaim that they are a ‘selling’ team. Sell all you can but spare your longsuffering fans the emotional trauma of pretending that you can win the Premiership next season. Lest you forget, the issue has always been whether you guys can challenge Manchester United and Chelsea to the title. Ever wondered why? Just a food for thought to diehard Gunners.

No comments: