Rock and roll football is dead. Not since Eric Cantona has the Premier League boasted a truly original anti-hero. These days we're stuck with odious money printers who behave like the spoiled offspring of repugnant celebrities.
It took Charlie Sheen's unravelling to really bring it home. Here's a man who's done some outrageously bad things, yet still manages to captivate at least 90% of the world's social media population.
Sheen might be a crazed, drug-addled lunatic, but at least he's entertaining. 'I give people fun in their otherwise boring lives,' he said of the epic cocaine binges he shares with his choice companions. And who could say the same for Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney?
Cole's latest trick, shooting the hired help with an air rifle at Chelsea's training ground, might have been amusing had he been roaring drunk or fighting off an intruder while he copped off with a supermodel. But he was dull and sober, and his victim was a work experience student.
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And then there's Rooney, who chose a crude elbow on James McCarthy for his latest act of endearment. In the good old days players used to square up and chin each other, but now they get they sneaky blows in without giving the other man a chance to react. Cheap shots indeed.
For Rooney it added to a rap sheet that has never come close to rock and roll. There was the overage prostitute, another prostitute, and quite a bit a stroppy teenage angst throw in for good measure.
Cole's CV is similarly devoid of cool. The affair with a hairdresser, the text messages he said were sent by accident, the student shooting. Where, in any of that, is something even vaguely approaching a brand of behaviour to appeal to the rebel in all of us?
That's the problem with footballers these days. They have all the time and money in the world, but absolutely no imagination when it comes to misbehaving. Maybe Sheen should pay a visit to England and preach the art of 'bi-winning' to our most celebrated ball kickers.
Sometimes I like to imagine the likes of George Best and Stanley Bowles on £200,000/week. They wouldn't have wasted their time with air rifles and granny prostitutes - they would have drunk the best champagne, slept with all the best women and still had the energy to score a hat-trick at the weekend. And if they didn't like the defender who was marking them, they would have decked him.
Rooney and Cole are fortunate to be blessed with considerable talent. If only they'd take their footballing imaginations to the scene of their next embarrassment.