Roy Hodgson admits to having a puff

England manager Roy Hodgson has played down Jack Wilshere’s latest misdemeanour – being caught with a shisha pipe in his hand – by admitting that even he has had a blast on one in the past.

In what is possibly Hodgson’s most interesting utterance during his time as the England boss, he effectively implied that the matter is one for Arsenal to deal with:

“It won’t occupy a lot of my time with Jack when I see him because we have a football match to win.”

And, in terms of his own experiences with shisha:

“As an ex-cigar smoker, when I tried it I thought it was a complete nonsense. I couldn’t understand who would do it. Apart from a faint fruity taste in your mouth, that was about the end of it. I thought tobacco was smoking and shisha pipes were water with flavour.”

Clichéd or not, this is our opinion on the matter.

Football players must often feel trapped – that their every move is being scrutinised and judged – they are only humans after all, with human desires and the thirst for new experiences.

But they are also among the most privileged people in the world. If they have to avoid smoking in order to have a positive influence on the millions of people who worship them, and indeed fund their exquisite lifestyles, then it’s a small price to pay isn’t it?

Whether he likes it or not, Jack Wilshere is a role model. Pictures of him smoking could directly influence thousands of young Arsenal and England fans to pick up a fag or a shisha pipe and set their lives on an entirely unhealthy course.

Footballers really should think about this before they give in to their momentary urges. Either that or they should go and play Sunday league for no money and smoke as much as they like.

What do you think about this one? Should footballers be criticised for smoking in public?

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