In stark contrast to the often stoic personalities of the past, modern-day footballers are usually much more expressive. Instead of spouting out sentences that sound like the words of a publicist, players nowadays speak their minds more often, and it is always refreshing to see.
These instances bring out the human aspect of football and shine a light on the various opinions and thoughts of players. An apt example is the ‘Footballer’s Football Podcast’, available on BBC Sounds.
The show brings together West Ham United‘s Michail Antonio and Newcastle‘s Callum Wilson, the duo then offer up a footballer’s perspective on the various happenings in the Footy world. From the Handball rule to VAR, the players give their two cents as part of a frank and open-ended conversation.
The podcast, which began last year, has returned for its second season right in time for the Premier League’s opening. During the most recent episode, the pair brought up a famous bet from last season, one which engaged them in a bit of friendly competition. The duo then announced their intentions of reinstating it, and naturally, the stakes have been amped up.
Last season’s wager saw the West Ham man come on top, albeit by the finest of margins. Antonio notched up 10 goals as compared to Wilson’s 8, who notably missed numerous games through injury. The Newcastle forward made sure to state the fact while Antonio threw some cheeky jibes at him.
Wilson, who was not to be deterred, showed off his confidence as he quite literally went ‘double or nothing’. After upping the ante, the striker said, “there’s no way you end up in goals anywhere near me, that’s just me being honest.”
To back up his claims, fantasy football is brought up, with Wilson saying, “I see that on fantasy we’re both like £7.5m each. If anything, you’re probably overpriced and I’m a bargain.” In response, his West Ham counterpart offered up resounding chuckles, before stating last season’s fantasy points as a plus point in his corner.
Eventually, the conversation led back to the bet itself, and it was time for the stakes to be decided.
Wilson adamantly said “whatever you want”, and Antonio gladly obliged. The West Ham player asked for a three-course meal for him plus one guest, and also gave Wilson the choice of paying for it, or donning on a chef’s hat. And just like that, the terms have been put in place, the talking’s over, and it’s time for the action.
Users in the comments quickly sounded off, predicting their winner, and the opinion seemed to lean more towards Wilson.
This competition is competitive only in name, as it is, in the end, just a wholesome bet between two mates. And it’s one we simply can’t wait to see the result of.