Modern football might be a very different game to the one Vinnie Jones played in the 1980s, but he thinks there’s one person in the Premier League who still has some of that ‘Crazy Gang’ spirit: Steven Gerrard.
Footballer-turned-actor Jones called the Liverpool captain “the last of the dinosaurs”, claiming that the “corporate” and “soft” Premier League needs more players like Gerrard.
“The paying public can’t get near the players these days,” Jones said in an interview with Radio Times. “I went into the Liverpool dressing room before a pre-season friendly and had a good chat with Stevie G. He’s like the last of the dinosaurs because you can have a laugh and a chat with him. But the rest of them all had headphones on and kept their heads down. It really shocked me.”
Jones was the ringleader of The Crazy Gang, Wimbledon FC’s 1988 FA Cup-winning side of football hard men. BT Sport have made a film documenting their antics which will air on Boxing Day at 9pm.
Jones said his meeting with Gerrard in the Liverpool dressing room showed how the game had changed since his playing days: “I said to Stevie, ‘Where’s the banter, the ghetto blaster and the craic?’ and he just said, ‘This is the way it is now, Vin. They’re all in their own world.’ For me, it’s all a bit boring. The Premier League could do with a bit of that ‘Crazy Gang’ spirit to liven things up.”
In the interview, Jones also revealed how he once locked up teammate Dennis Wise in the boot of his car, and dished the dirt on the Crazy Gang’s unique “initiation ritual”.
“It’s all gone too corporate and soft,” the 49-year-old said of today’s Premier League.”In my day, you could dig your team-mates out and give them a bit of a gee-up with no questions asked.”