Why do players always have to have the last word?

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When players leave a club there is always a risk that there will be some bad blood between both parties. Most players can leave their former teams in a dignified manner, moving on to the next challenge quietly whilst others see the unexplainable need to have a pop at a former employer after they have left. But just why do players criticise their old clubs?

Jose Enrique’s move to Liverpool was on the horizon a long time before the move was finalised earlier this month. The controversy surrounding the departures of their best players and his decision to criticise the club on Twitter meant the whispers about his exit from St James’ Park were getting louder. But after eventually completing his move to Merseyside the Spanish defender had one last dig at his former club. Enrique was quoted as saying,

“It is not settled like it is here at Liverpool and I think that is why everyone is leaving Newcastle. I think Joey Barton will leave soon and Andy Carroll left in January and it is really, really hard for Alan Pardew.

“You want to be as high as you can in the table but maybe Newcastle don’t think the same and that is why they sell their best players and that is why everyone moves.

“I’m worried not for the club, but more for the fans because they are amazing. They are like here, it’s really similar. I have a lot of friends in the dressing room and they are a little bit nervous because they don’t know what the club is going to do.”

Enrique’s sense of frustration is understandable in what has been a difficult summer for Newcastle but what bemuses me is why Enrique feels the need to voice more direct criticism at a club that has served him well since he arrived in England. Few had heard of Enrique before Newcastle took a chance on the defender, signing him from Villarreal in 2007. Enrique has shown commendable loyalty when staying with the club through relegation to the Championship but his outburst seems extremely uncalled for and very unhelpful to his former club, including the fans and players.

Manchester City’s new signing Gael Clichy made a similar parting shot at his former team Arsenal earlier this summer when he was quoted as saying,

“After spending eight years with Arsenal it would have been easy to sign a new contract to stay there because they’re a fantastic club that will always be challenging for trophies. But it got to a point for me where I didn’t just want to challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.”

Arsenal’s trophy drought is a well-documented problem with their hunt for silverware this season also taking many knocks over the summer but why must Clichy, another fantastic servant to a club that developed him into the player he is today, criticise Arsenal and indirectly manager Arsene Wenger when he could quite easily take the dignified approach and move on quietly.

But are Clichy and Enrique just making public what everyone is thinking? The problems at both Newcastle and Arsenal have been hot topics over the summer but when former players with inside knowledge come out and criticise the club it only makes the problems worse.

Both players were probably right to look for a move and a new challenge this summer after enjoying successful spells with their former teams but they show a lack of respect by feeling the need to have one final dig at the clubs that gave them their first opportunities in England.

Written by Jenny Kerwood for Do you think Enrique and Clichy were wrong to criticise their former teams? If you want to read more of my bite size, 140 character views and thoughts follow me on Twitter @jennyk5 are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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