It is shocking that the media (and possibly the FA) tried to spread that Ryan Bertrand left training and was eventually left out of the Englandsquad because he had a “sore throat”. This can be taken as either a massive understatement, a radical twisting of the truth or even a lie.
Bertrand was forced to pull out of the England squad because he had swollen glands, chronic headaches and was, in general, extremely ill. Now I don’t know if it was the FA who told the media that he had a “sore throat”, or if they chose to report it on their own. Either way, it’s disgraceful, and the various journalists that reported it that way should know better than to spread something that is quite clearly untrue.
I do wonder what would have happened if it had been Hart, Rooney or Gerrard with this condition. Would they have a “sore throat”? No. Absolutely not. In their cases the whole truth would have been told, and everyone would know the seriousness of their illness. Can you imagine headlines saying “Rooney pulls out of San Marino match with a sore throat”? Neither can I.
This leads me to build a little on what I said about Terry in my last blog. I said, then, that there was no conscious agenda against Terry or Chelsea as a whole. Well I do wonder if I’m going to have to reassess that. If Bertrand played for any club but Chelsea, do you think he would have been made to look like this? This situation I find us in feels all too familiar. That is all I shall say on this for now.
I feel sorry for Bertrand because a story such as this makes him out to look like a dispassionate and cowardly individual, when he is actually the complete opposite. Anyone who knows him and has watched him play knows he is not afraid of the big games, nor is he the kind to let the national team down. I’m pretty sure that he has been forced to shut down his Twitter account – I can’t access it any more - after the vast amounts of harsh criticism he has received because of this. Not before he thanked Chelsea fans for their support, however.
His initial response before shutting down his account, though, was tactless, even if what he was saying was fair. He told everyone to calm down and that if they thought he was pulling out with a “sore throat” then they were crazy. Sadly he swore as he said it, and even though it was not used as abuse, he should know how nutty everyone goes over a little bad language on Twitter. He had every right to say what he said, and it frustrates me that he had to apologise, but he should have been a little more tactful with the way he said it. He could have got across what he was trying to say without cursing.
I would be interested to see if anyone else agrees that this would never have happened to anyone but a Chelsea player? It certainly seems that way to me. With all the bad press surrounding the club at the moment, I feel like the media couldn’t wait to pounce on this, as if they believe every Chelsea player is either a liar, a cheat, a racist, a man being controlled by a playstation controller (although a pundit said that) or a weakling. If I can read that Bertrand had a “sore throat” and immediately know that it was ridiculous, only to be proven right hours later, then you can bet your bottom dollar that every journalist knew it too and chose to report it anyway. The big question is why, and the only reason I can think of is the one I have already put forward.
Published with permission from CHELSEADAFT - A Chelsea fans blog..