Ashley Cole has highlighted the appalling lack of discipline which is undermining many teams as multi-millionaire professional footballers become, quite simply, too big for their luminous yellow boots.
But nothing could prepare fans of the once beautiful game for the behind-closed-doors scandals at Premier League clubs which have never made it into the public domain . . . until now.
John Terry and the M113 armoured personnel carrier
Eager to re-establish his credentials as Cobham's alpha male, Chelsea club captain John Terry reacted to the Ashley Cole air rifle controversy by driving into training in his brand new M113.
Determined to prove he has even more cash to flash than Ash, Terry has had his all-terrain, fast response vehicle blinged up with optional M5 crowd control munitions, 38 millimetre armour plating (especially useful for away games at Liverpool) and, of course, deluxe gold-leaf furry dice.
Surrey police launch an investigation after unsubstantiated allegations that a round of high calibre, heat-seeking ordnance emanating from Terry's vehicle destroyed the new shower block, leaving most of the first team naked, damp, exposed and scared.
Ashley Cole and the tungsten boxer shorts
A full two years before the air rifle outrage which dropped Ashley in hot water, Cole strutted into the team massage room to parade the reinforced underwear he had commissioned to deal with any attack from an angry Cheryl when she discovered his latest marital indiscretion.
The pants would later feature in a series of indiscreet tweets and Facebook atrocities which left several Chelsea trainees traumatised and three of them in tears when the pictures were circulated at pre-season training.
Cobham's alpha males: John Terry (left) and Ashley Cole (right)
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The Manchester United manager has a well-earned reputation for wild half-time explosions if he is unhappy with his team's performance.
But the term 'hairdryer treatment' was actually coined when a young Ryan Giggs and his regular cohort in mischief Lee Sharpe walked into Fergie's office unannounced only to find the gaffer enjoying a full blow dry and coiffure pampering so that he would look his best for an exclusive BBC television interview (an indication of how long ago this was).
To say Fergie was angry with the intrusion is an under-statement and a legend was born.
Another under-reported episode from the Ferguson early days at Old Trafford concerns the boss's famous intrusion at Sharpey's house party.
Having broken up the revellers, including a shame-faced Giggs, the manager calmed down a little when he found Gary and Phil Neville quietly playing draughts in the library with a mug of hot cocoa each.
Phil Brown and the Hull half-time talk
Many rated Brown's decision to rant at his team out on the pitch during their humiliation away to Manchester City in December 2008 as a cheap publicity stunt.
It was never revealed that Brown himself had fallen victim to an elaborate prank in which a player angry at being dropped to the reserves had filled the away dressing room at Eastlands with sheep, thus making sensible discussion, or indeed entry to the room, impossible.
I'm telling you, there's a sheep in there! Then Hull manager Phil Brown gives his infamous team talk
Steve McManaman versus Bruce Grobbelaar
The Liverpool pair squared up to each other during a game in 1993 after Brucie gave Macca an earful for a poor piece of defending and the young winger gave it back in spades.
Brucie slapped Macca but missed completely from inside two yards, prompting an unproven whispering campaign of spot-fixing.
Manchester United and the pizza
After United ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run in 2004, Sir Alex was struck with a piece of pizza thrown by a petulant, defeated Gunner. This routine was adopted as a post-match warm-down for United who viewed it as a lucky omen.
But matters spiralled out of control when Ruud van Nistelrooy injured Cristiano Ronaldo by hitting him full in the face with a thin crust pepperoni, extra anchovies, easy on the mozzarella. Experts believe the damage would not have been as severe if the pizza had not still been in an oven at the time.
Please note: no elite sporting icons were harmed in the writing of this column
A shocking week for football: Rooney, Cole, Balotelli and Fergie in shameFriday five: After Cole's shooting scandal, we remember the other Chelsea sinners.
Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe, Ashley Cole, Bruce Grobbelaar, Gary Neville, Phil Brown Places: Liverpool