James Shield: When footballers really can leave you speechless

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NOT every Premier League footballer is completely divorced from reality.

Didier Drogba has used a chunk of his fortune building a hospital in Africa. The Craig Bellamy Foundation works tirelessly promoting social development.

Even Rio Ferdinand, whose ‘Tweets’ appear to have been afforded the same gravitas as a State of the Union address by certain members of the press, does some fine work advising kids on the mean streets of Peckham when he isn’t pontificating about latest events in Lebanon or Libya.And then, every so often, something happens that reminds you many of their colleagues just don’t have a clue. That, in their world, money grows on trees and diplomacy is a designer label.

Think I’m being overly cynical? Then revist Adam Johnson’s comments following Manchester City’s victory over Sunderland which breathed new life into their push for a top four finish.

“The chairman Khaldoon spoke to us on the Sunday morning,” he gleefully revealed. “He outlined what getting into the Champions League would mean to this club and, I think, spurred everyone on for the victory.”

Young Adam seems like a nice chap.

But really.

If he needs to take lessons in the history of the beautiful game from a billionaire Sheikh who, just a few years ago, probably couldn’t tell Sporting Lisbon from Shakhtar Donesk then, quite frankly, the boy needs to get out more. Or, to be blunt, think before he opens his mouth and spews forth more of this clichéd clap-trap.

With City just four days away from one of the most important matches in their recent history, should Roberto Mancini assume that young Adam needs a quick refresher from the owner and his pals about the FA Cup?

That winning it would see the whole ‘City project’ become one of substance rather than style?

Hopefully not. But there are times when you do wonder.