Well hello there, Jack Wilshere.
I see you’ve been caught smoking again. I’ve been caught smoking, too. But there is one very important difference between you and I in these situations. I look suave and debonair while doing it (as I do whenever I do anything), whereas you look like a truant schoolboy who tells his parents to shut up whenever they say hello to his friends. This is part of the reason why you get in trouble for these things and I do not.
There are three ways to avoid facing a tiresome backlash for having a cheeky smoke, Jack. One, is to be The Berba. I’ve even done a magazine photoshoot in which I smoked a cigar and the only newspaper headlines about it read, “DIMITAR, PLEASE HAVE SEX WITH US RIGHT NOW.” This is my gift. What can I say, other than it’s wonderful to be me.
But since my effortless Continental elegance is beyond your uncultured reach, you will have to focus on the other two methods to avoid smoking scrutiny: perform well enough on the pitch that people don’t care if you spend your personal time desecrating priceless works of art (side note: be careful when making love in the Louvre) and do not claim that you don’t smoke.
That’s what you said the last time you were caught, Jack. But when you reveal that you do something that you’ve publicly stated you don’t do, it only makes the situation worse. After all, many footballers have been caught smoking since it became as frowned upon as walking off the pitch during a match to give your phone number to a particularly attractive fan of the opposing team. Zidane, Wayne Rooney, even virtuous cherub man Lionel Messi. But none of them got anywhere near as much criticism as you since they have achieved greatness and were never foolish enough to tweet “I don’t smoke!”
For a professional footballer — a finely tuned athlete who has had his or her body scrutinized from a young age — the occasional cigarette or hookah is a small act of rebellion. It ultimately doesn’t harm much more than the public’s whimsical ideals of untainted physical perfection, but when you’ve been caught repeatedly even after being told to stop by the manager, it becomes a symbol of a larger, problematic indiscipline that could hinder one’s career.
I had a psychiatrist who I met at a yacht party write that. Monaco is delightful, by the way.
Digressions aside, I’ll wrap this up since you probably lost interest in my insightful words of advice as soon as you realized that they wouldn’t be presented in the form of a hip-hop song. So in closing, Jack, play better, be honest, and for the love of mayonnaise don’t try to be me. Because The Berba is not a role model. I am what role models wish they could be. Ha-HA!