Well Enough To Visit A Casino, But Too Sick To Play For England?

James Maddison hasn’t achieved enough in his career so far to be considered Mighty, and if this is the level of commitment he has, then that’s never going to happen.

You may remember that Maddison withdrew from the latest England squad due to an illness. Or so he said. But on Friday, while England were losing 2-1 to the Czech Republic, he was spotted playing poker in a casino in Leicester, and not looking particularly ill at all.

This has to be one of the dumbest moves of all time by a player still trying to establish himself as a regular in the England squad. If that really is his ambition, then this won’t have helped!

In the age of social media, it’s become clear that prominent personalities, including footballers, can’t so much as go to the shops without someone photographing them. So with that in mind, to say that this was an unwise decision by the player is an understatement.

If he was that desparate he could always have played at an online or mobile casino instead. There are plenty to choose from, and they’d all be only too glad to take his business. Then he could have stayed home and avoided what is undoubtedly a major PR blunder.

When you’ve told the manager you’re ill, the last thing you want is to be caught having a night out on the town by the Sun!

This is highly likely to affect Maddison’s England career. The manager Gareth Southgate has made no secret of the fact that he values loyalty, honesty and team ethic very highly. He won’t appreciate being lied to by any player, neither will be be too chuffed at the lack of respect and/or crass stupidity of this move.

There is simply no way to explain this one away. All he can do is apologise to the manager, the fans and his teammates and hope it all blows over soon.

There are too many examples of promising young players who make bad career choices and fail to live up to their potential. Some careers have been ruined entirely by stuff like this, others have just seen a player end up being average when he could have been great.

With paper talk of a move to Man Utd recently, you’d think the player would have been concentrating more on his football and less on his gambling. Nothing wrong with playing in casinos by the way, just that it’s a case of picking the time and circumstances to do it in.

So next time you feel like a bit of casino action James, try staying home and playing on your mobile instead. You tend to get photographed a lot less that way!