It is not the norm to be rewarded in business after failure, but, as we know, Premier League football is far from normal. The crimes and misdemeanors that premiership footballers have got away with are just too vast to mention here.
Footballers seem to be so immune from the laws that govern the rest of us, that it would not surprise me if in the near future one of them committed a war crime and still got away with it. I’m not saying West Ham’s defeat by Aston Villa is equivalent to a war crime, but it is criminal that they get a holiday after it.
Of course, Sam Allardyce does not call the trip to Dubai a holiday, he calls it warm-weather training! West Ham’s display in the 2-1 defeat at Villa Park was abject. Their only game-plan was to lump balls into the box for Andy Carroll.
Aston Villa had not won in the Premier League since a 3-1 win against Liverpool on the 15th of December. But goals from Christian Benteke and Charles N’Zogbia soon changed that statistic. Even West Ham’s solitary effort was an own-goal by Ashley Westwood.
Now forgive me if I sound like a hard taskmaster, but I would have suggested some sort of punishment was in order. Maybe training in Iceland for a week – not a holiday in Dubai. What message does that say to the players? You have failed abysmally, so we have decided to make you forfeit snowy London and make you train in the sun?
But as we know, Allardyce does not call it a holiday, he calls it warm-weather training, and he has a good reason to justify it. “When they are in gloves and hats, it is hard to keep them warm. It is not an ideal environment.”
Let me be the first to shoot that justification down in the flames. Training in a cold London is an ideal environment because, guess what? West Ham’s next fixture is amazingly going to be in a cold London when they return. If anything, the warm-weather training (holiday) is going to have an adverse effect.