Former Sheffield Wednesday star Carlton Palmer has said it’s about time some players earned their money.
Palmer, who made 286 appearances for the Owls during three spells with the club, claims that average players are being paid too much money and that not enough are working hard to get every ounce out of their careers.
The 47-year-old told The Star it’s a player’s responsibility to make sure they’re impossible to drop from the first team.
He said: “When I was playing the other lads used to laugh at me for not looking at the team list on a Friday. They asked me why I didn’t look.
“But I never had any doubts that I’d be in the team because no manager would ever drop you for working hard.
“Managers like Ron Atkinson used to accept mistakes. If you worked hard during the game and then during the week you’d play.
“I look at the game now and it’s still the case that the top players earn the top money, and rightly so.
“What you have now, though, is average players who are still getting rich.”
It’s fair to say that Palmer consistently confounded his critics to forge an impressive career that earned him 18 England caps.
And it’s not just modern players who Palmer is critical of.
“I used to be on a Matt Le Tissier all the time at Southampton when I was there under Dave Jones,” he said.
“You play football to get into finals and win things, to be the best you can be.
“I said to Dave he needed to drop Matt, but Dave said they’d sack him if he did that. I said, Dave, they’ll sack you anyway.”
Next year Palmer will take up a coaching role at an English school in Shanghai, China.
Before then he hopes to see an upturn in the Owls’ fortunes. He thinks Wednesday can improve but need more consistency.
“They beat Reading and were fantastic but then lose badly at Derby. If you look at the league table they’ve drawn eight matches. Make those a couple of wins and they’re mid-table.
“You can see the ability is there.
“Stephen McPhail is someone I was with at Leeds and he’s a fantastic player.
“What they’re lacking is someone that is going to go ‘bang’. I look at their team and no one excites me.
“JJ (Jermaine Johnson) on his day, yes. But when is his day?
“There’s no consistency at the moment.”
* Palmer is fronting the Carlton Palmer 10K Charity run on Sunday November 24. Visit cavcare.org.uk/Carlton for details.