an open letter about Marcell Jansen and loyalty

Subject: an open letter about Marcell Jansen and loyalty
From: Joe Stephenson
Date: 18 Sep 2015

I was interested to come across the news that the German International footballer Marcell Jansen had decided to retire from football as he couldn't bring himself to play for another club other than Hamburg.

It raised a few thoughts in me that varied from respecting his loyalty, to disbelief that someone my age could comfortably afford to retire. That isn't to say that Jansen will not go into another profession or even coaching, but perhaps I am just shocked at the actual loyalty that a footballer has shown, after all it does appear to be a rarity!

It was announced that there was nothing wrong with Jansen in regards to his fitness, in fact he had received a lot of great offers from other clubs but continuing to play wasn't an "option" for him, saying:

“In the last few years I was very emotionally tied to HSV. I will continue to live in Hamburg and will always love this club. Gladbach, of course, as well. But now some new club? No, I don’t want to lie or deceive some other club or fans when I am no longer fully behind it. I can’t just suddenly kiss another badge now.”

My immediate comparison here is of Jansen and Raheem Sterling. Sterling as we all know showed very little respect for Liverpool after they had developed him as a player and the whole refusing to sign a new contract saga went on for far too long. As a manager I would've happily offloaded him for displaying such a childish attitude and a lack of professionalism. I think that at least 2/3 of the premiership players could take a leaf out of Jansen's book and if they did so then it would strengthen the Premiership even further and allow more teams to contest for the top spots on the table.

It is a shame that footballers are commonly seen as role models to our youth, yet few of them ever exhibit any characteristics that are worth emulating. If only there were more players around like Jansen. I think he is a prime example of not only professionalism but also of having a strong identity and respect for himself and the club that he has been with for the best years of his career. Too often Premiership clubs are content in signing players who come for the pay cheque but aren't willing to do the work...Angel Di Maria anyone?

So good on you Jansen! You have worked hard and been loyal and I feel you are entirely deserving of your early retirement for the quality you have shown.