Thursday 26 April 2018

Peter Bills RWC Diary: Is this guy just plain thick?

Mark Cueto
Mark Cueto

I woke up this morning here in Auckland and couldn’t believe what I was reading on the internet. No, I don’t mean that the Libyan tyrant was dead – he had it coming to him. I wonder if his ‘friend’, Tony ‘Phoney’ Blair will be attending the funeral. Well, they’d become quite chummy, hadn’t they?

Anyway, it wasn’t that which left me gob-smacked. There was an interview with England wing Mark Cueto saying that the British media had “spoiled my whole World Cup experience” by their nasty reporting.

Honestly, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, is this guy for real? Or is he just plain thick?

I wouldn’t know where to begin to list the series of misdemeanours of the England squad at this World Cup. They were abysmal off the field, abysmal on it.

By their behaviour, they revealed themselves to be an arrogant, cocooned lot of spoilt, immature brats, several of whom should have been sent home in disgrace.

Only the mysterious refusal by Martin Johnson to take a tough stand saved them from that fate. The whole rugby world was appalled by their behaviour.

It just shows you though what a privileged bubble these guys live their lives in. They drive to training in sponsored cars, train behind locked doors, stay in luxury hotels, play matches, go home in their sponsored cars and collect vast pay packets for doing so.

To me, that is their problem. Unlike rugby players in the amateur era, they have no relationship with the real world and ordinary people.

I remember one former England international telling me that whatever happened after an international, whatever he did on a Saturday or Sunday night, he had to get up and go to work by tube on the Monday morning. And cop the comments and (often) criticisms of his fellow commuters.

These days, it’s all so different and guys like Cueto clearly can’t see the wood for the trees. Is the guy so dumb that he doesn’t understand ordinary England punters were incensed at having shelled out thousands of pounds to travel across the world to support this team and then see them perform like clowns….on and off the field?

Doesn’t he get it when media guys can’t believe players would be so stupid to insult women in hotels, or get hammered in public? If he doesn’t, he must have no brain cells whatsoever.

You only had to see the withering abuse Cueto copped from comments at the end of the story to know that it wasn’t just the media who were furious at the England players’ behaviour. The supporters were rightly irate.

You would have thought England’s failed players would have gone home and crawled under the nearest shed for cover. But Cueto apparently thinks it’s alright to lambast someone else for the crass behaviour of some of his team-mates during the tournament.

It is the most depressing thought that this guy must be so clueless he still cannot actually comprehend what all this was about. That is the saddest thing of all.

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