30 year old Stoke Football Club winger Matthew Etherington has denied criticism for his current seasonal poor form and talk of his bad performance being affected by his former addiction to gambling.
The addiction which caused Etherington to lose over 1 million pounds in the past has lifted its head again and still continues to bear a heavy burden on his shoulders.
Matthew Etherington was tipped for an England National team call up last season, following a strong form and series of great performances as his club progressed through to the Football Association Cup final and finished on the top half of the Premier League ladder.
Despite this, his 2011-2012 seasons as of late have not been going so well. The former West Ham and Tottenham player has been consistently disappointed during this campaign, managing to only find the net 3 times, causing much frustration amongst the player himself as well as the fans.
“One thing no-one can accuse me of is not working my socks off every week. That's what I do.”
“I am not doing anything differently and my personal life is still brilliant as ever. I have no problems on that front, but it is just not happening for me.”
“I suppose that's life. You get on with it and, hopefully, this goal will give me a bit of a boost.”
Etherington, amidst rumours of his former demons returning to haunt him has quickly denied the accusations with much disgust and disappointment at his past problems resurfacing and throwing his name deeper into the mud.
“I have heard a few things being said. People put two and two together and get five sometimes.”
“Just because my form hasn't been as good as it has been for the last two years at this football club doesn't mean I am gambling.”
“I don't think I have been awful this season, it's just not happened for me for one reason or another. I still think I am putting in performances, but not at the level that I was previously.”
Stoke City is set to face a tough match on the 10th of March, 2012. They will be playing away to Chelsea FC.
His addiction had previously caused a stint amongst his former club, West Ham United. During his gambling escapades, he reportedly received a 300,000 pound loan from the club after he had accumulated a debt of over 800,000 pounds. As a result of this, he spent time at the Tony Adams’ Sporting Chance Clinic in an effort to recover from an addiction.
The sporting chance clinic was established by a former alcohol addict and football professional, Tony Adams, and helps professional sports players and athletes to recover from personal and professional problems and illness.