I’m torn about Michail Antonio speaking about his footballing future on The Footballer’s Football Podcast. On one hand, when you hear what he says, he’s not said he wants to leave, nor has he said that he is unhappy at the club.
Every player who isn’t playing week in, week out will naturally attract attention from other sides who can perhaps offer something better or different. And players like Michail want to make the most of their footballing career. He doesn’t want to simply sit on the bench and take the money.
He speaks lovingly about what he’s achieved at the club, how much he’s enjoyed his eight and a half years at West Ham, and actually how tough it would be for him to leave. On the other hand, I find it difficult to understand how he has been allowed to have a podcast in the first place because of the ripple effect it can have.
Stories can be run with quotes without the full context or sometimes not saying anything creates headlines, and both can cause a rift with his fellow teammates and fans. I get that driven, determined and passionate people are always on the lookout for a new job and challenge.
But footballers need to remember they are different to you and I. Our every word isn’t being printed in national newspapers. I don’t begrudge him exploring other options, I just think there’s a different way that someone in the public eye has to go about it compared to us mere mortals
He didn’t have to discuss any of it on the podcast and that’s what irks me.