Ivan Toney Finally Opens Up About His Ban & Reveals His Preferred Future Team! | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Ivan Toney Finally Opens Up About His Ban & Reveals His Preferred Future Team!".
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In May 26th you did a famous tweet. I'll speak soon with no filter. You ready to speak? 100%. I'm a Tony! I'm a Tony! I've been Tony handed an eight-month ban. Seismic news for the Premier League. That sounds it all! Football is brutal. That 15 being rejected at Leicester, 18 have got to rules. Got a squad number, took the pictures. I don't know where the club said, "I'm not looking to sign you no more." You have scouriosus in your back. It hasn't affected your game. Tony! I'm a Tony! I don't feel like as hard work beats talent when talent does a work card, I'm build different. Ivan Tony has won his first England cooler. You missed out on the final World Cup squad. Do you know why? Allegations, somebody's out to get me to stop me from playing for England. Ivan Tony has been suspended for eight months with reaching it, letting rules. I read the whole FA report. You acknowledge that you lied in that meeting with the FA. I didn't lie, I just couldn't really remember. You admit to 232 breaches? Short of those, I didn't do, but I took responsibility. So the whole process could get cleared up. The better that I just struggle with is that using someone else to do the best, you'd say, "You've made, I can't have that one in my name." Best for your team to lose. It's a bigger story. What impact was it having on your life? With me, I never saw nothing, I know, so I've been times. I've just, I'm in a room on my own, looking to fit in there and just... Yeah. When I'm back, I'll do the talking while I feel. I'm gonna get back to football. Clubs are gonna come knocking. The next club I'll go to, if I was to move, it would be... Before this episode starts, I have a small favor to ask from you. Two months ago, 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. So if you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel, can you do me a quick favor and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know, and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. I always believe that to understand a person, you have to understand their earliest years.
Ivan Toney'S Football Journey And Career
What Made Ivan Toney? (02:02)
I kind of see our earliest years as the like, oven that we're formed in. So far, if you take me back to your earliest years, what do I need to know about you to understand the man you are today? What were the characteristics of that environment that shaped you? I just out the front of where I live is like, on the front is a park. And like, the older guys will just be out the front playing and it's me at like seven, eight, trying to get involved in these guys at like 15, 16. And they're all playing rough. No matter if you're eight, nine, 10, trying to play with them, they're gonna be rough. So that kind of helped me into today's game, how I am now progress a lot quicker. And like even when I was like 16, breaking through in Northampton, I kind of had that bashing around at a young age by the older guys. So being 16, getting bashed around by men, let's say, I was kind of like you suit. What about hard work? What was your, were you a hardworking man at that age? In terms of running and I never liked running. I was always the lazy one at the back of the group 'cause I knew when it stands to get on the pitch, our school goes. But like we all know hard work beats talent when talent is a work hard. So it's like kind of like, if you got the talent and you can work on the hard work and put them both together, then you give yourself the best chance of becoming a top athlete. - And you put the work in to improve that part of your game and attitude? - Yeah, I had to. 'Cause there was, when I was training, like when I was at Leicester, I got told I was getting a scholarship there. So then I went to, I didn't really wanna play football as much 'cause being rejected at Leicester, it's kind of like, okay, let me just chill for now, but then like my parents just like, go to, go to Northampton. 'Cause that was the game that we played Northampton when I was at Leicester. And then I think Northampton said, if anybody gets released from them, let us know. I think Leicester must have put me in touch with Northampton and I was kind of like, I mean, I don't know about going, but then I ended up going and it was kind of like, everybody's playing for a scholarship. And then it was like on the last day, everybody already knows they're getting a scholarship and I was the only one that wasn't told. So everybody's in the dressing room talking, "Ah, you've got a scholarship scholarship." And I'm there still on trial thinking, when am I getting told? And it wasn't 'til the next morning, I'm meeting, like the first meeting with all the scholarship players joined up. I got a phone call and said, "He's got a scholarship. "He'd like him to come down." And I think that point was kind of like, "Okay, I got a scholarship. "This is my chance now."
Bouncing Back from Rejection & Going to Newcastle (04:57)
- But there was a moment there where you were, because of the rejection from Leicester, you were considering doing something else with your life. - Yeah, I feel like nobody likes rejection. Like being rejected is not the best feeling. And it being like, basically you're not good enough to be playing football. How I saw it, you're not good enough to be playing football. Even though I'm not good enough for Leicester, I might be good enough somewhere else, somebody else might value what my qualities are a lot more than Leicester did. - Hard to see that in the moment though, isn't it? - Yeah, it's very hard, it's very hard. - How old 16 is it? - It's like 15. - 15? - Yeah. It's kind of like, you don't really want that rejection again. It's like a kind of fear of getting that again. Then one of the, like I said, one has got the scholarship and it was new. It wasn't happening again. - 'Cause your journey through football just generally has been a real climb. You know, it's been a real real climb. Like, and also reflect on the fact that most, so many kids at that age, 16 years old, they get a rejection and they don't bounce back from it. And if they don't make it to the very top, they'll often take that badly and pursue a different career path. But you were rejected at 16, you persevered, you got into the team at Northampton, you made a good impression there. And then eventually you end up at new car, so like what, 19? - 18. - 18 years old. How was that experience? - It was crazy. First time I went from home at such a young age, 18 is like, and as well, you thought you was a man. Like from league two, those talks, were you going to a Premier League team? I would never in the function changing, feel like I was a man, like, there was talks going on, but nothing's done until it's done. So it was kind of like, actually before I was going to new class, I was supposed to go to Wolves. - Right. - But I got there, I got to Wolves. I've met everybody when in changing rooms, got one's number on, took the pictures, then it come to the contract side. And then I think that was a bit of talk with my agent and the club on certain things, and then related back to us, and I was all just confused, me and my family, didn't know what was going on, and then I don't know where the club come out and said, we're not looking to sign you no more due to you having scoliosis in your back. So it was so confused from getting the squad number, meeting all the players, meeting all the staff, and then for them to come out and say, your scoliosis in your back, we're not looking to sign you, it's kind of like, is that really the reason? Is there more behind it? But then, from going, having to go back to Northampton, like I've said, my goodbyers at Northampton, and I'm supposed to be going to sign up at Wolves, then the next day I'm back in Northampton and training with the boys. Everybody's like, what's happening? And the man had just sat them down and said, listen, don't dwell on that. I'm sure other things will come into place, and I think a few weeks later, new class will be interested in. I went there. - Scoliosis in your back? What is scoliosis, and were they aware that you had scoliosis? - I thought like there was a where, because before we set up to see a specialist, because they were, they, I feel like, they wanted to know what was going on, how bad it was, because I think, certain scoliosis, it stops you from walking at a certain age, and just gets worse and worse, but I feel like, I thought we did see a specialist, and she said you'd be lucky to be walking at 28 still. - Really? - Yeah. I don't know, I was just, like, it doesn't really register, like, you think at the time at 18, I'm thinking, well, I'm fine now, I'm enjoying football now, so it's not really registered, but being 27, like, closer to 28, you kind of think, well, I'm strong, fit and healthy, touch food continuously, so. - What is scoliosis? - Where your back's not straight. It's like, got a slight bend. - Bend, yeah, yeah, bend. - It has an effect that you're game? - I don't feel like it has. And yeah, going back to moving to Newcastle, it's like, going from league two to Premier League, it's crazy, like, it seems off, since I went there, I know, fancy, you get recognized, but it's not crazy. I then go into there, Newcastle, I'm in the hotel, everybody's recognizing me straight away. It's like a crowd outside the hotel waiting to see me, and it's kind of like, at 18, this is what happened so fast. - You're away from home as well? - Away from home. - Bam. - A long way as well. - What are you feeling when Newcastle make that phone call, and they say they're interested in you, and then you move there? What does it feel like as an 18-year-old? 'Cause I can only imagine. I was always playing football when I was younger, I was always hoping a little bit to be a footballer. I knew I wasn't good enough, you know. I'm going with that whole got injured at 16, but whatever. - Yeah, it is crazy, it is crazy. It's so excited, like, you wanna tell everybody, you wanna say, I'm going here tomorrow, yeah, I'm going here, I'm going here, but with me, how I am, nothing's done to this done. Especially after the rules of stuff. Like, that was on the back of my mind, so I'm thinking, right, it's way into its little sort of thing, you can tell everyone. When I'm so excited, I wanna tell this person, that person, this is something. So it was, yeah, it was crazy, my head was all over the place, I'm thinking, I'm actually going to the Premier League, like, I've made it, I'm here. But, little did I know it was, I far from I made it. What happened?
High-Paid & Mixing with the Wrong Crowds (10:59)
I feel like when you take that step, you get, you get noticed more, you get more money, and you just do silly things, like, like, you get mixed in the wrong crowd, going out, here and there, buying things you wouldn't normally buy. Just a bit naive, and so as well, being away from my family, although they kept on telling me, don't do nothing silly, look at us, your money, this and that, you kind of think, okay, but they're not here to control what I've got, hold it right now, I can spend it on this, I can spend it on that. Like, you just do things, like I said, things you never normally do, like, we get in personal shoppers to come to the house, and you don't think I'm, go to the shop and buy yourself and stop doing one to do that. So it's like these kind of things. But yeah, I think it didn't come at me fast, I wouldn't say that, I'd say, just like a surprise kind of thing, like, like I said, I thought I'd made it, so whatever happens, I'm fine, I'm in the Premier League. - What was the advice that you needed at that point that you didn't get?
Advice to Your Younger Self (12:15)
Like, if you could go back now and have a chat with Ivan and say, "Listen, bro, you arrive at Newcastle that day, "you get a chance just to say a couple of things to him, "what'd you say?" - I'll sit down and have a long chat with him. He'll be a long chat. Now, I think I'd just say like, this is where the hard work starts, it's not finished, you can't put it on cruise control, you gotta go to extra gear. Like, yeah, I'm out of Premier League club, but I haven't played yet. I'm not got continuous games under my belt to be saying, "Okay, I'm out of Premier League player now." So it's like, I'd say to a younger Ivan or anybody that's in that situation, going, doing such a big jump to say that's when the hard work starts. - Were you in cruise control, do you think? - Yeah, if I even was moving, I'd probably put a handbrake on. Yeah, I just thought, I'm Premier League now. And as well, you've seen all the big boys, like literally trading there. It's like, you know, I'm here now. And you played two games, but when they loaned you out. - Yeah, I can't answer the bench. That's why it's against United and Chelsea.
The Disappointment When They Loaned Me Out (13:28)
- And then you went on quite a long loan spell. Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Wiggan, Scunthorpe. When you find out you're getting loaned out, how do you receive that as a player? I've always wondered this. When you're a young player in the club, big, you're in the Premier League, 'cause I think that's a lot about Manchester United as a big fan, we always loan out our young glads. And I wonder how that's positioned to you as a player and how you receive it. - It's not the best feeling. - Okay. - 'Cause at the time it's kind of like, "What do you know, aren't me here?" Like, "I'm here now you want to send me away." - Yeah. - And you got the personal shopper coming over. - Exactly, yeah, yeah. So I need to sort some things out to me. - You got me in Shrewsbury? - Yeah, I don't think you're chubbing that far. But now, yeah, I feel like it's at that age, you don't really think what you're gonna loan for. I mean, first team experience is probably the best at that age as well. And knowing like, 'cause I feel like, no disrespect to you, you've seen football is cool. Like, take a tackle, pretty football. Then go into League One, like I said, on loan, you're gonna get bashed around. So you need to be ready for that physical battle. And I feel like going online, definitely. Help me looking back now, it helped me a lot, but at the time, I was thinking, I don't need to go online, I'm ready to be playing in the Premier League. I feel like from young, I've always had that, that my dad always told me, no matter where you are, if you have that mentality that you're a Premier League player, but at the moment, you're just gonna leave one. That's fine. But if you don't have that mentality that, I'm a Premier League player, so I don't need to try it here, then it's not gonna work out. So it doesn't matter where you are, if you have the mentality, I should be playing in the Premier. But right now, I'm playing here. That's fine. And I feel like you go a long way to the where I am now. I'm filming the player and that bit of the advice that my dad gave me was very key. - When you went off online, they say, okay, you're leaving Newcastle now, does that take you out of cruise control and into like, right, I got something to prove again? - It should, it should have. - But it didn't really, 'cause I always believed that, no matter what happened where I went, I'm going back to Newcastle. So no matter if I played, didn't play at all or played rubbish, I'm going back to Newcastle, back to the Premier League, but not knowing the effects that could have, what it did have in the end. Even though, I think all the clubs I went to, bar one, I left, I got a schooler. But it was like, I could have, looking back, I felt like I could have went that extra step further. Yeah, a good spell as well.
Transferring to Peterborough United & Change of Attitude (16:17)
It's gunp up United. Six goals and 15 appearances. Showed a huge promise while you're on your loan spells as a prolific goals scorer. And then at 22 years old, you transferred to Peter Breenited after failing to secure a regular place at Newcastle. Now that, that must have been an interesting moment because that's kind of like another knock back in it. Goes back to like, the Leicester rejection and stuff. That's like another step down. You've made it to the prem and now you've got, got to take a step down. Yeah, it was a must, not actually not, I wouldn't say a massive knock back. It was a knock back, but it was kind of like, maybe a knock back I needed at the time. Because like, how am I sitting down with my dad and my agent at the time and saying this one. That, me and my dad are a brutal, whoever we work with, we want the honest truth. No matter if they say, we don't want him, he's not good enough for us. I'd rather my agent tell me that. But how the relationship was at the agent with my agent at the time. He kind of sugarcoat things. So, me and my dad kind of had to get out of him. What did the club say? Like, just tell us, be honest. And in his words, well, the club don't think you're good enough already at the time, at this moment in time. So it was kind of like, in my head, it was like, okay, fine, no problem. It's time for me to go elsewhere. Then regroup and restart. It wasn't like I was too old. It was just, it was just not back and set back that. Like I said, at the time probably needed to kick start my journey again. Do you think Newcastle were right in saying that? Possibly. Like, don't get me wrong, you got also a great club. They had some, they've had some great players and doing very well at the moment. But I feel like, I didn't really have a chance in the first scene. To prove if I was good enough. I feel personally anyway. I know to be fair at the time was, when Newcastle were fighting to stay up in the Premier League, when Raffa Baniya was first coming. Oh yeah. It was kind of understandable you wanted these players to try and keep them up. We wanted experience and stuff more than like, to be given, you younger players a chance and stuff, is that what you're saying? Yeah, I feel like, I mean, you can't really put so much responsibility on youth players or young players, keep you up in the Premier League. It's such a big ask, but I feel like maybe the following season, it was kind of like, could he get a sniff? And I think he kind of, what is his own players and then his own thing, which is, that's football. So if you go to Peterborough, you're close to your family at this point. Yeah, which helps. Which helps. Oh, my mum is boy at art. So I leave my mum around close. And did it change your attitude moving to Peterborough? Unlike this whole cruise control thing? Yeah, it did. And especially when I first went to Peterborough, I wasn't playing. Like the first, I'd say 10 games. The strikers that were in front of me was scoring every game, assisting, playing well. But the manager at the time, Steve Evans, was just saying, the worry of chance will come. And when your chance comes, it's up to you to take it. And your chance came? Yeah. And then took it. Yeah, I do a sense of it. You scored 24 goals in 32 league one games at Peterborough, which is insane. Yeah, I feel like, yeah, like, like, like the competitions all over the field, but especially as, as a striker, you need to, your job to score goals. And especially when the other two are scoring goals. If you get a one sniff and you don't score, you're back out again. And it gives him another opportunity. The director of football at Peterborough said, you are an incredibly hard worker. He also said you were their best defender because you headed away nine out of 10 corners. I feel like, yeah, them games are kind of had a magnum in my head. I was just, of bringing the ball towards you. But, yeah, now I think the hard work as well. Like, when I'm loved by a manager, I feel like I'm a club. I feel like, it's in me to want to give back. I want to do a lot of things. Four, like, run for a brick wall four, the manager that's wanting me in this position. - Did they become like proxy father figures to you, in that regard? 'Cause you're clearly a man that's closed your father. Do they kind of, you know what I'm saying? Is it a similar relationship, like where you want to do them proud? - Yeah, 100%. And especially when I signed, like, with, when I first signed to Peterborough, we see Bevans, like, the first time he spoke to me, he just, it was like a friend, like a normal chat. Even though you got the respect as a manager, but he was saying, "Listen, I want you to come in school goals "and go, go, go, go out higher." Like, the goal is your school for us, benefits you and us. 'Cause we're gonna go higher, and you're gonna go higher. So it's a win-win. And I think him putting an arm around me at that time, knowing I've come from a Premier League club and saying it's not really a knockback. This is where you kick-start your journey again. Having that, I think, definitely helped me. - And didn't you have a red somewhere that you had a agreement with them, like a verbal agreement, that if a bigger club came knocking, they wouldn't stand in your way, Peterborough? - That probably was a verbal agreement, but if anybody knows the Peterborough staff and the owners, then they probably have different ideas. But, I mean, yeah, I guess when I did go, that was the right time. Every player thinks when there's a move on the cards, you wanna try and rush it through, and if things aren't right, they're not right for a reason. You can't rush good things, good things aren't rushed. I think at the time, that was a chance that could have went to somewhere. I saw him rush it through, and he was like, "Oh, worry." - Oh, really? So there was offers from other clubs? - There was offers from other clubs, yeah, but-- - Big clubs. - Big issue at the time. - Okay, I tried championship clubs. - Yeah, championship clubs, and he was saying, "Just be patient. You're gonna get a better club." And I'm just there, like, "Not kicking my-- not throwing my toys out of front, just be like, "Wow, this is a chance I've moved now." He used to know what can happen, blah, blah, and then I ended up staying, and I went to Brentford, which was probably the best choice in the end. - And yet, around this time, I mean, just before then, 21 years old, you become a father for the first time?
Becoming a Father & Improving My Game (22:54)
- Yeah, I mean, that's as well what helps me. Keeps out my journeys as well, 'cause I feel like I've got people to provide for. I have expensive taste as well, so it's either choosing my expensive taste or my family, so if I could school goals and help both, then it's perfect, so I think that's what helped me pick things up and had to provide for people. - Does that focus you? 'Cause I'm not a dad yet, but it's around the corner for me, I'm sure. - Does that focus your priorities in a sense? Does it make, 'cause I speak to my mates who have all had kids and they almost described that moment when their baby first comes, they kind of see the world differently and their responsibilities differently and stuff. - 100%, 100%, you can't do the things you normally do. You have to think baby first, in no aspect. - Did it make your game better? - 100, yeah, 100%, definitely. - How? - It's in like, automaking proud, so when he's older, that's my dad, he's doing this, this, this, this. So it's kind of like a pride thing as well as wanting to do well for my family and have a better lifestyle for everybody, not just me and my people are provide for. - When did you find out that Brentford are interested?
Finding Out Brentford Wanted Me (24:18)
- He was actually training at St. George's Park with Peterborough and I was taught of going here there and I was kind of like, I'm gonna know him just like, yeah, when it's something concrete, then let me know. Right now, I just wanna focus on training hard, 'cause it's easy to be led astray when this club's interested in you, this club's interested yet, you hear loads of things, but then nothing's concrete, like, it's all well and good. These are looking at you, these are looking at you, but at least now I'm not a kid no more. When they want me and put a bid in, then we can start talking. Whereas hearing they're interested, what does that mean? That doesn't mean nothing. Like everybody can be interested, but nobody wants you. So when Brentford come along and I was interested, I actually put a bid in, I was like, okay, I spoke to the manager, he kind of was straightforward and said, you're gonna come and be the main man. We want you to be starting every game and school goals and do your job then, either take us up or go to a higher club. - So you get that call from Brentford, they put a bid in, you speak to the manager, Thomas Frank? - Yes. - And Thomas says, listen, you're gonna be on number one. - I think there's a no brainer, I think. I did speak to other clubs. I went up to Rangers. - Oh, nice. - I spoke with the manager there, which is Stephen Gerard at that time. - Interesting, did you speak to... - Yeah, they said I wasn't good enough. - I was gonna say I'm a hardcore man. - They're not playing. Now, yeah, I went to Rangers, we spoke a bit, but then they said I was like, two, I think there was two strikers at the time. And then they were looking to get another one in. So it would have been like four strikers, I think. And I think the formation they played majority of the time, one striker top. - So you would have been like third choice or something? - Yeah, something like this. But then we went to Celtic, we spoke to Celtic. And I think it was like the same there. I'm one of three strikers or something like this. And I think at the time when it was, I was moving, I wanted to be like the main guy. Like, I think the crucial thing for me is playing games. Even though I backed myself on competing with other strikers, but I want to be know that when I go in, but first, first look through the door, on the main man up front and it's up to me to keep my position. I feel like when I went to, well, when I spoke to the manager at Brentford, he pretty much said, you're the main guy. And I don't see nobody taking your spot. So you make sure you produce the goods and it feels really. - You've worked a lot of clubs.
The Unseen Reasons why Brentford are so successful (27:17)
You've played out a lot of different clubs. Brentford are special. They're really, really special because they are, based on their resources, they are objectively overachieving in a really, really significant way. What is it about Brentford from your experience that is make, what is that magic that they have? - Hard work, playing is simple, hard work. Like we're not the best. Technically gifted team, we have some magicians in the team, but other than that, it's just hard work. I mean, and we fear nobody. We respect them, we don't fear them. So when we go to, let's say, I'm filled away or you chose to see away all these kind of games, we know they're probably on paper better than us. Got some big names and this and that, but at the end of the day, the main thing that wins the game is hard work and a little bit of quality, I guess, putting the ball in the back of the net. And I feel like throughout the club, everybody knows what the manager wants. You have to be willing to run for your teammate, plus to your left, plus to your right and the fans and everybody. And everybody knows the responsibility they have on their shoulders when they step onto the pitch. So I think that's probably what's brought us to wear and how well we're doing at the moment. And even at the moment, the team playing without me, I hear and people say, "Oh, you're gonna be like this, "now you're not playing this and that." And I'm thinking, "No, they're not gonna struggle." Because they're work hard. And when you work hard, you give yourself the best chance of winning a game. And I know deep down, Brent will be fine with or without me. - Well, you've played a lot of clubs, right? So you can kind of compare and contrast. Is there anything else other than just that work ethic that you've noticed is just different at Brentford? So you've got super hard work. Is there anything else that they've approached or things or the strategy or the way that they? - I feel like they're together in this as well. However, everybody's like, everybody talks to everyone. Now, I've been at clubs where it's like, a certain group sit there, certain groups sit there, like everybody divides, like, it's not that Brentford, everybody makes it to everybody. How you got people who are Spanish, Danish, which is majority of the club at the moment. English and everything. And everybody just makes it together. So it's not like, ah, let me wear my friends, where I should sit down at lunch. You just get your lunch, sit down here, and you talk with whoever. - And the manager. - That comes from him. I feel like he makes sure that the forgiveness and the humbleness, like there's nobody at the club thinks they're better than nobody. Like even last season, I scored 20 goals. I wasn't about nobody. I was the same. The person that doesn't really play too much. They're not less of a person than me. We're all the same. We're all in it together. So I feel like that comes from the manager and his philosophy at the club and how he wants things to be run. - What are the things that you often think with managers and CEOs and stuff like those? They have their like core principles, which you just get bored of hearing. 'Cause they say it over and over and over and over again. What are those things that he just repeats over and over and over again? - Togetherness. - Yeah. - Humble. - Yeah. - An attitude. - And I guess he police is that pretty. - Yeah, all the time. It's all over the club. It's all in the meetings. Which is probably why, like I said, we're doing so well as a club and as a whole unit. - What's the training ground dressing room culture like? - Again, I ask this 'cause I've spoken to so many players that united in particular and especially in the third year is they always talk about the like the self-policing culture in the dressing room. You know, like what's that like? Versus other clubs. - Yeah, like I said, it's good. There's other clubs I've been at as, it's been good as well, but not how it is in Brentford. I feel like Brentford is probably one of the best Justin's I've been in, in terms of everybody knows their drill, everyone knows their position, everybody's helping others. Everybody's just like their respective something's on the floor. Tidy, pick up, put it in there. Like, then kind of things is key if you wanna be achieving something big. And I feel like with that, in the change room, as well as in the gym or in the dinner hall, is it's key and everyone is up for everybody. It was like one big family unit. - 26 years old, you're named Brentford's player of the season.
Being Player of the Year at 26 Years Old (32:11)
You scored 12 goals in the first Premier League season and then you scored 20 goals in your second Premier League season, finishing third in the Golden Beat rankings behind Harland and Harry Kane. - That's big. - Yeah. It is big, it is big. But sometimes I don't really realize how big it is 'cause sometimes I'm at home, I think. Yeah, but I'm not first. In my head, if you're not first, you're lost. Then like my family said, look who you behind and look at the caliber of players that are playing in the Premier League and you're scored more than these guys. I'm always thinking, yeah, what I could have scored more and... - You think it's going more than Harland? - What do you got somewhere? It's like 30 something, 36. I mean, not... I mean, not more, but I look back on chances that should have been a goal. And I feel like there probably is like 15, 16 chances that I probably could have scored or should have scored. So if I was as clinical as Harland was, not to say I'll beat him, but I could be a lot higher than, a lot higher than 20. - England, England's football team.
Why Didn’t You Make It To the Final World Cup Squad? (33:27)
I'm sorry, I think I saw a post on your Instagram a couple of weeks ago about that being a huge dream for you to play for England. - Yeah. I think everybody wants to play for England. - Yeah, I remember screaming, like, Gerard's name and the Lampard's name, like when I'm on the field just kicking and... So when that opportunity was around and I was in talks of it, you just didn't feel real. From being Ivan from the fountain, just playing out the front, getting bashed around by the old a lot to actually have a chance to play for England was something I would never have jumped off. - You missed out on the final World Cup squad. Lots of circulating rumours about why. Would you know why? - I guess it comes down to the allegations on the betting scandal. I feel like personally, I feel like it was a bit of a questionable time when they decided to bring it all out. And then when they actually dealt with the situation come, the end of the season is kind of like, why would you bring it out then to... And then punished me at the end of the season. - So they brought it, so I guess you were saying that you suspect they brought it out at that time to prevent you going to play for England? - I assume so, and to make it a bigger story. - Yeah, I go. - Personally, anyway, I don't know if it's true, I have not to know what's behind the scenes, but I feel like if you have somebody go into the World Cup, that's supposed to be betting then it's kind of like a bigger story. - What's the real... I'm not really clued up on this whole FA thing. So the FA, the England team play under the FA. - Yeah. - FA are also the sort of body that brought the charges against you. - Yeah. - So they, so one might assume that they release the charges at that point because if they didn't, then there might be some ramifications on the England team or the perceptions of England team or something. - Yeah, I assume so. Like I'm not too aware of all this stuff, but I feel like it was a bit of a coincidence when they decided to bring it all out and then having to be dealt with the punishment at the end of the season, so far after, it's kind of like, I mean, you'd know, well, I feel like, yes, I'm betting now, but the biggest punishment for me was missing out on playing at the World Cup, personally. I felt more hurt and... What's the worst kind of like? Yeah, I just felt, I felt down around the time. I felt like somebody's out to get me at that time to stop me from playing for England. In my head, like that's how I see, seeing it at the time, it's like, they wanna punish me for this, missing out on England, the World Cup, like everybody's dream to be playing at the World Cup. And then further down the line, banned me as well. It's kind of like, a double hit, I feel. In a sense, like I said, if he was gonna do, if he was gonna stop me from going to World Cup, do it there and then, then deal with it, deal with the whole situation. Rather than doing that, missing out on the World Cup, and then let me play the rest of the season, and then banning me after the season, it doesn't add up in my head to be fair anyway. When you start, I felt down about it.
Hitting Rock Bottom (37:25)
What does that mean in real times? If I was a fly on the wall, in your life, when that information came in. - That was probably more, excuse me, that was probably the lowest point. I was like, with me, I never saw nothing, I know it's a motion too tough. But I think that was probably the lowest point I felt. Like, he'd ask me if I was like, yeah, he's what he's, but that is what he's just kind of like. - I don't wanna talk about it. - Yeah, down. - It hurt. It did hurt. - Do you cry? - No, I don't feel like crying solves anything. Personally, that's my personal views. Everybody says to me, you need to show emotion. You can cry, isn't it? It's okay, but like, I feel like, I've only cried once when I see my nine cry from losing my pap. I've seen her, her, as much as she was, killed me inside. I didn't, it was kind of like, I think cry of cry, but it was like tears in my eyes coming down and it was kind of like, it was painful. - Do you express how you're feeling to anyone in your life at that point? To your partner, to your family, your mom, your dad? When you find out that you're not gonna play for England and the groomers are out about this gambling situation, do you tell anyone how you're actually feeling? - No, but people that know me know my actions and how that leads to how I'm feeling. Like, I'd be a lot more snappy about things. Or I'd just be like, I can just be like, and someone be talking to me and it's not like really registering. But my head's not really in the room kind of thing. And that people that know me know, like, something's up, something's wrong. - What was the reality of the situation? What was going on inside your head? And how was it, when you say down and you say that was the lowest point, what does that mean in real terms? - I wouldn't say depressed as such, but it was kind of like, not far after. If anything, towards that direction, but not completely. 'Cause like, still how I stay in my head is like, next opportunity, next day, another day is another day to put things right and try and be as positive as I can. - Have you ever had anxiety? - Probably, but how I am, I don't let it get to me as much. Like, I'd say the loan spells, when I'm on loan, I'm in a room on my own, that's been times I've just, literally sat there and about to see you on just sat there. And just like, chilling and just looking to fit in there and just thinking about things. But I'd never, I'd say I'd never like, let nobody know how I'm feeling, 'cause how I am as a person. I feel like it, it's aware of me, but I'm just always a smiley one. Always like, I ask people at Brentford now, I'm the joke, I'm making sure everyone's fine. These kind of things. I think that's my kind of way of beating my emotions. If I see this person happy, for me doing that, then it kind of brings me up to make me happy, kind of thing. - Did you not speak to anyone like a professional about this stuff? 'Cause I always think when we bottle up our emotions, it's not like they go away. It's almost like they eat us up from inside and they come out in other ways like you were saying, snappiness or whatever. Surely there's someone around you that said you need to see someone. - Yeah, that was, but as well me being stubborn, it's kind of like, no, I'm fine. It's fine, I'll be right tomorrow. I'll be right later, I'll be right next week. I feel like I can speak to anybody in my family, but my stomach is just not allowed me to. - I think a lot of men can relate to that, you know? - Yeah, 100%. I feel like I do need to get better at that. Personally. - In May 26th, you did a famous tweet.
Ivan Toney'S Personal Life And Future Plans
Your Famous Tweet (42:04)
Do you know the tweet I'm talking about? - Yeah. - I'll speak soon with no filter. You ready to speak? - Um, and what did that tweet mean? - That was just speaking on everything really. But obviously when I done that, it went crazy and then my family just said, listen, you don't need to talk. Just when you get on a pitch, that you feed the talking. What's that damage is done? You can't talk and it's not gonna help no situation if anything could not damage my reputation or my career, but just make people think. Not that I care what people think is, just could put in a work set. Who do you think he is? That kind of thing, but it doesn't benefit no parties. - What head space were you and when you treated that? - Probably a reckless one. - Really? - Yeah. - How are you feeling? - Thinking, I don't care attitude, I'd say. - Kind of a defense mechanism against? - Pretty much, yeah, against everybody. Like even like little things like, for the whole situation, not like my friends, my friends, my friends, the one I stick with, better people I chill with all the time. But it's even like when I go, I don't know if just me thinking sort of things, but it's like when I go to certain places that maybe some people don't want to be associated with me in certain ways. I'm way of, obviously, because of media kind of thing and it's kind of like, not killing that image, but it's kind of like between this guy, he's a match fixer, he's a match fixing football. And not even like, I remember at the time, when there was allegations, I wanted to go to a restaurant and I was like, no, you can't, we're not taking you. A restaurant? A restaurant. I was like, do you mean? As ours, 'cause the allegations, we're not allowing you in or something like this. I was actually so confused. I was thinking to start as allegations. I'm seconding with your restaurant. How can you not let somebody in due to a bad press? That's what they call it, bad press. I was just baffled even to like, my car insurance, they wouldn't insure me due to the whole scandal. I was just like, a car insurance. They don't want me on their books because, which was baffling. - I read through the whole FRA report, many, many pages. I think it was like 25, 25 odd pages. I have it here, just to understand the case better, just so I made sure I didn't make any errors in my observations, but there's no, I think there's actually a line in there where the commission say they didn't believe you were doing any match fixing. - It was far from match fixing. - Yeah, I wrote that down in my notes that they concluded that you hadn't been match fixing or anything like that in their report. So that allegation from whoever said that, the restaurant or whatever, doesn't seem to have a basis in the report at all. - And I'm sure there was certain articles on saying match fixing as well, which is, that's probably the media for you, making it a big talking point. - When the FA first contact you, and they ask, they make a request for information, don't they?
Scanning Your Phone for Personal Data (45:38)
So they want to know more information. This is dating back to 2022, I believe. When you get that first contact, how does that feel? Like your dad or your agent must have told you that the FA have been in touch. - Well, they want information from as far back as 2000, 2015. So it was kind of like, well, I haven't got that. As long as I haven't got a phone, that will, I had back then to give you information. But I wanted to cooperate how I can to let you investigate what you want to investigate. And when I was, when I, the club actually pulled me into a room and they spoke to me and said, they're favorin' in touch with you match fixing this and that. They want to speak to you. And I said, okay, I'm going to support- - This is Brentford. - Yeah, I said, okay, no problem. Like, then he was like, have you done any bets? Whilst you've been at Brentford and have you been betting on football? And I was like, no, I haven't done no bets. I'm fixing, fixing, fixing, fixing, football. Like, is that okay? Well, the FA want to speak to you. Don't delete nothing on your phone because they said they can get back old messages or whatever they said. So I said, no problem, I'm not deleting nothing. They can go through what they want to go through. - And then they called you in for an interview in May 2022. - Yeah. - And they asked you all these questions again about what you've been involved in with betting, et cetera. - Yeah, and they asked me, starting things to happen, like I said, seven, eight years ago. I'm to the top of my head. So much information in front of you at one time. It's kind of like, I actually can't remember. I can't remember and I think it was in there for like, what, five hours? - Five hours? - Yeah. - But at that time you maintained to them that you're not better on football? - Yeah. And I wasn't aware what that was trying to get up. - You acknowledged later on that you basically lied in that meeting with the FA? - I didn't lie, I just couldn't really remember what they was asking for at the time I couldn't remember until they brought some things in front of me and it was kind of like, okay, it's talking about my room and we, like I said, I cooperated with everything they wanted to do and we kind of spoke on it and then I told them the truth about everything. - One of the things people might find surprising is they asked for your mobile phones and stuff and then they like image your mobile phones to check like all the messages you've sent to people going back a long time on these phones to find out everything you've been said. And also, as you said, they ask you not to delete any messages which you didn't from what the commission said. But how does that feel when the FA asked for your mobile phone and they, you know, they're gonna scan it for everything? - It doesn't feel, yeah, it's just kind of like, it's your privacy and they're like invading it. It's kind of like, I've got certain pictures on there I want them to see like these kind of things. So it's pretty much like, you have to go with what they're saying otherwise. I think the, you get a longer ban for not cooperating or something like this. So what can I do? You're gonna take my phone, take my phone. - And all your bank statements as well. - As well, they asked for your bank statements which you handed over as well. You handed over, I believe multiple phones. - No, just one phone. - Oh, just the one phone? - Yeah. - There was some, they said that was another phone but that wasn't, that was one phone I had. - That as well. - And then eventually you admit to 232 breaches of their rules, the FA rule E8. Which is betting over five seasons from 24th of February 2017, debedding it up until January 21. - Yes, I believe so. And like I said, there was people saying I was match fixing but none of it was match fixing. It was just, like I said before, I was betting on myself at school first. From, I think this was a while back. And it's kind of like, that's not, like I'm not trying to do, not trying, I'm still trying to do the right thing. It's not like I'm smashing someone against a yellow card here, there and everywhere. - Yeah, and the report actually does say that.
Gambling and Its Impact on Your Mental Health (50:08)
It says that you weren't, you weren't, it's the commission said that you weren't match fixing. Which is a completely different thing. They're making bets on like games that you're either you're playing in, betting on yourself to school or betting on the team when you're not in the team. Which is what, from what I read, which is what happened. Gambling and generally, when did that start in your life? When did you start first gambling? - I think it's just kind of like, as you're young, it's like a little flutter, they call it. Like you're in like the fair arcade kind of thing, just trying to win a little change or something or these kind of things. So I'd say like around 15, 50, yeah 15, that's such. And it got progressively worse. One more intense. - Yeah, I'd say the more money you get, the more the higher the seats go. That's kind of like, "Oh, if I lose this is fine. "This is coming next month." - Did you not realize, you know, throughout those sort of five years when you were betting a lot, 230 to two breaches, that your relationship with betting was unhealthy? - I think on the 232 breaches, there was some bets in there that, that I don't recall making, but I was willing to take responsibility just to get the process all over and done with, because having that whole thing over me and trying to concentrate on my career is not the best feeling, far from the best feeling. And I don't well to finish on 20 goals with that hanging over me, but in terms of thinking, your problem is kind of like, you don't think of, "If I lose this, this is gonna happen." So it's like, "Oh, once I won this, "this, this, this can happen." You never think of the negatives. You do what you think of the positives. And being on the money I was on, which I've lost a lot of time, and it's kind of like, "It's fine, I'll get there in the back end of the month." "Oh, that's coming back this and this month." "Oh, he owes me this, it's fine." "What impact was it having on your life betting?" Um... I feel like... It was just, the impact it would have, it was just waiting for payday. Right. Like, in my wathoms, you went for payday. Well, you could spend your wage and then wait for payday, spend your wage, wait for payday. Yeah, but I'd pay on sort of if I need to pay for first. And then it's like, "I got this play with do that, it's fine." Pay the outcome soon. So it wasn't like, spend this money, I should be giving hair or paying on this. You took care of your... I took care of what needs to be care of, and in my head it's kind of like, "My money's my money." But I couldn't spend it how I want to, and... Yeah, pretty much like that. I've made my money. So to me, I want to spend it. One of the things that was quite surprising is bets against your team to lose when you weren't playing in the team. You knew betting was wrong, right? Like, you knew that as a footballer, you weren't allowed to bet. My knowledge of betting on football, that I don't think I recall once somebody coming in and just giving a talk on their experience better, not you can't bet on football. So it wasn't like, "I shouldn't be betting on this, shouldn't be betting on that." And I feel like, I think the bets that were on my team to lose when I'm not playing, I think a few of the majority of those were within the bets that I know about personally, I think I didn't do what I still took responsibility of them, for them, so the whole process could get cleared up. And you don't know about some of these bets you're saying because you did them through somebody else? Yeah. Because, and you did them through somebody else because you knew you weren't allowed to, right? It wasn't through that. I knew I wasn't allowed to. It was that I didn't see anyone, I didn't want my parents seeing what I'm doing, my money. This was a point of contention in the documents. The FA said, you know, he's betting through somebody because he didn't want, but he didn't want the FA to find out. You were saying you bet through somebody else because your parents, the male was going to the house and you didn't want them opening up the post and seeing it. Yeah, that's right. Essentially. That was a point. I mean, the commission go, go their own way on that. And then, okay, so moving on from that, there's all these aggravating factors in the, in the document. Was he aware of the rules? I think you eventually admitted that you were aware of the rules in terms of not being able to bet on football. Going back to the days, I think, in Northampton, I think, was it Northampton? One of your previous chair, I think your previous chairman at the football club was, thrown out because of a betting scandal and then you have a relative in your life that was also issued with a breach of the FA rules for betting in 2007 as well. So the commission concluded that you were aware of the rules and that you couldn't bet, but you sort of counteracted that by saying you didn't have. I think it was kind of a graveyard. Right. I think that was a time where, like I said, the close have been out. They would have, like, been in every season, though, that I feel like they'd have somebody come in but not actually tell you what you can and what you can't bet on. What would that person say? Just like, broad... Just his experiences on betting. Like, he'd come in and say, "This is me betting. This is..." And then I've lost this much. I've come through this. So, if you think about betting, don't do it. So it wasn't like, you can't be betting on football. Or you can't be betting on football. Yeah, you can't be betting on football. It was just his experiences of going through a gambling stage. Because, so you didn't know you couldn't bet as a player? No. I think it was a gray area. So, like, you'd hear, you can't, you hit it, you can't. And then there's certain things you say you can't bet on, like... With me personally, I feel like it was a gray area. And you admitted in the second aggravating factor is about knowing whether you... Basically, admitting to whether you were betting or not. And in the interview with the commission, during the process, you said that... You had lied earlier on by saying, "I don't bet on football." In an earlier interview. But, you know, that was one of the first interviews you had. And you responded, "I don't bet on football." And that wasn't accurate. Yeah, that was when, obviously, they threw everything up me. I thought if I was just denied, then it's so fine. They wouldn't find nothing. Obviously, they'd take your phone for them. Yeah, then everything went through. And then... Yeah, I'd admit to... I'd admit it's what I'd done. In the FA, the fourth aggravating factor was whether the player sought to conceal his identity when he set up his own betting account in 2017. The commission didn't accept the FA submission there. They didn't believe that you'd concealed it in that regard. Whether the player deleted messages, issue number five, commission concluded that there wasn't evidence that you deleted any messages. They... I was accused of deleting messages. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, by the FA. Yeah. But the commission said that they didn't have substantial evidence for that. Yeah. That's how it was told not to... And you didn't... It could still leave nothing from the club. The commission couldn't find any evidence that you had deleted anything. And then the phone issue we've talked about already, the last issue was around whether you had a gambling addiction and they brought out a psychologist called Dr. Philip Hopley, who looked at you, did interviews with you. He's a highly qualified and experienced psychiatric expert according to the commission. And he interviewed you on two occasions and he formed a clear opinion that you had a gambling addiction. And accordingly the commission accepted the findings of the doctor on this issue. And that's part of the reason that you were given a more lenient sentence because Dr. Hopley said that you had an impulsive... a compulsive disorder. Yeah. Was that the first time you'd had a gambling addiction? Yeah. Through this process, is tribunal? Yeah, because I feel like it wouldn't be in me to be myself forward to speak to one of these people to see if I did everyone. So it was kind of like, like I said, my stubbornness comes into play on this one. It's kind of like, "No, I'm fine. I can stop when I want to stop." Did he explain... Did someone explain to you what a gambling addiction is since then? A little bit, yeah. We did speak with Dr. Hopley on the round, one addiction is, but it's kind of like... you don't allow yourself to believe it. Like, I feel like if you want to stop doing something, I feel like people think in the head, I can stop if you want to... but not knowing deep down, you probably can't. Could you have stopped? Probably. Yeah, I feel like it's 50/50. Could have stopped, but I feel like a thrill on it is kind of like, "What keeps you going?" Because the FA though, sort of counterpoint to that, was that there was periods where you didn't gamble. So they were saying that to the commission that, you know, it's not gambling addiction because there's parts of his journey where he's not gambling or he's betting on other things. For example, do you still gamble now? No. Anything? No. Any betting at all, of course, any... No. Has that required therapy or any sort of professional support? I think it's kind of... being in the public eye, if I was... to really like going into these places and these kind of things. I think it's more the embarrassment, but it's always still continuing. This kind of thing. So I wouldn't allow myself and... like you look back. I feel like you sit, take a back seat and look up all the money you've lost and what you could have went on. And what? And especially now, having people to provide for, it's kind of like, you can't be spending that money on this. It can go to here or... just manage your money, but how I look at things and how I look at me. I foresee that as being naive. We don't really get much information, do we growing up about gambling? Well, really, how to spend our money or tax, especially... I think about you guys as like young, you know, 20-year-olds, just playing football and then you become millionaires because you're good at it. It's kind of different for like my pursuit because I'm building a business. You have CFOs, you have finance people around you, you have controls, budgets, forecasts, P&Ls, all this stuff. So, you know, you're surrounded by like money mines and brains around you when you're building a business, but being a young 20-year-old millionaire, who I'm presuming nobody gave you financial education. No, it's kind of like, like you said, yeah, I've been having that much money at a tender age. It's kind of like, what do I do with it? And I'm not a family that comes from money, so it's not like my parents could help me a lot with that, but they would have their say on certain things, but it's like you kind of have to try and just manage it yourself and just assume doing this is the right thing. You don't know what you don't know? Pretty much. The bit of this case that I found difficult is that using someone else to do the best, because for me, that points to like, in that he did know, I think that's what people would think they'd look at that and go like, of course, 100% Conceal it, because I'm thinking, "Your mum and dad ain't open your post at 27 years old, like, my mum ain't going to open my post." No, this was when I was away. I went from home. Oh, you were like 20? Yeah, you were like 20 years old. So, I know my post did go to my parents and I feel like, of course, your parents wanted to be, "No, what's going on if you're getting this letter through that you're not paying this?" Or, like I said, seeing what you're spending your money on. I feel like, because we're a tight family, my mum would worry about that. And there was actually times where she's opened it and she's kind of said some things about it. And the FAA highlighted text messages that you'd sent me. You'd said, "You've made, I can't have that one in my name." What was the upper gambled on on your phone this time from text messages that they'd found? That's the bit that I struggled with was I was like, "I wasn't sure there." But this chapter of your life has clearly been a big learning moment. 100% for, like, looking back on what I've done. Well, I've changed some bits probably, but it is what it is. And the man I am now continuing forward is kind of, but it is different to what I was before. When we think about responsibility for our actions, what responsibility do you take for all of this? Where you say, "Listen, this is what I take responsibility for here." And this is also like, going back to a question I asked earlier about what you wish someone had said to you. When you first did that, I don't know, those bets five, six, seven years ago, what's the responsibility you take and what's the lesson you've taken from this process? I think the responsibility I take was, yeah, I was betting on myself to score first, which now you, I know you shouldn't be doing which I take responsibility and I take full responsibility for the punishment I'm getting now. So it would be kind of a, and what I tell myself, around them kind of times, it's like managing money, but don't get mixed in the wrong crowd, I say. And just don't fall off fashion. Have your own mind set, mind frame on what you should've shouldn't be doing. Or if you don't know, look more into it and if that's what you really want to do, look more into it and what you can and can and can't do. It's interesting because when they were deliberating your, your punishment, one of the things that came to mind is perception and what it would, what it, the perception it would send to the rest of the game. Do you think they made an example of you? I feel so, yeah. Do you think that's right? I can't, I don't think it's right at all, but. Because you're a high profile Premier League player, obviously if you get away with doing something like this, this could other players at low levels could also emulate it. So they've got an opportunity here to send a message. 100% 100% and I feel like a lot of people think that in terms of if for no district to lower leagues, but if I was, we actually, we actually did look at some cases that was somewhat similar, some were worse and their punishment wasn't like how mine is. I think the fact that it's the opportunity, the fact that I'm playing in the Premier League doing well, sniff around England, it's kind of like, right, the such answer to punish him, then people know this is kind of the punishment you look like if you want to do what I don't. It's funny because I was actually surprised to read that in the analysis section of this document where it says the perception of the impact of football betting on the integrity of the game is a key consideration when deciding on your sanction, which does kind of suggest that they're quite intentional in making sure that they make an example of you. There are thereabouts in their words. And obviously you have a huge position of influence. So that's that's key. And then they submit their, the FA suggested that you get 12 months ban as a suspension, I believe, and that was their final sanction. The commission didn't accept that. Ordinarily, the commission would have imposed 50, 15 months suspension had you not played guilty to the charges, which lowered your sanction. And then also you got another reduction in the sanction because the findings from the doctor who found that you had a gambling addiction, which brought your sentence down to eight months and you'll find 50,000 pounds. It's interesting because, you know, I'm a huge football fan, so I want to see you play. And you're on such a role, Brent for the wrong, such a role. So like as a football fan, although you smashed United last year, like it's so, it's so good to see like a young black English striker tearing up the game at his peak. It's gotten to see you out of the game. It is. And I feel like, like how I am and how people know how I stay. This is, this is nothing. I know for a fact I'll come back stronger than this. I'm better than I was before. Like this is, gives me the hunger again to recharge and come back on another level. Like I said before earlier, no time to dwell on things. No time to dwell on things. And it's like just when that first game comes and I can play then, it's not a ball game. It's on. When you found out you've suspended for eight months, how did that feel? What's that like? Because you know you're in the peak of your powers right now, right? Yeah, I know it's painful, but I feel like the hard part is kind of now. Because right now I'll be playing football matches. And I kind of be around the players and the football ground and things like this. And it's kind of like, I care that's what you want to do. Punish me from there, but I feel like keep me away from the ground. If I wasn't as strong as I was in my head, that would break some people. And I'll be talking about mental health and all these kind of things. And what's that kind of doing to a player that's not allowed in the environment, even though you can't play games, but keeping away from the training ground. Knowing football's their life and that's all they've done from such a young age, how is that going to help them at all? Yeah, this is, I completely agree with you. I think the sanction itself is important because it does send a message and I agree with that. But the bit that I just struggle with is that can't train at the club. And we know as you point out there, like mental health, keeping active is such an important thing, especially if you've been playing football since you were a kid and it's your purpose. It's what you know. So psychologically and physically, there's a real strong case to keep you active. And I've seen a lot of people have their say on this, a lot of people think, you know, you could have trained at the ground and then use that time to educate young players on gambling. That would have been useful. But to keep you out of the club, not allow you to train and to kind of push you out on your own, it seems. Doesn't feel like it's smart. It doesn't add up with what, like the things they push forward. Like we say, the whole football community is on big on mental health, and everybody's going to do this and like, push me away from the whole football environment. Like by all means, it's not a place where I want people to feel sorry for me. Like that's the last thing I want. And me as a person, people like know me would know that's not one thing I'm trying to achieve. But it's about to say, what if somebody that's not as strong as me in their head happens to be going through this kind of situation and their punishment is they're not allowed to go to the training ground. Like that would break them. Like right now, not being around the training ground. It does hurt me, but I just know when I'm at the training ground, train harder, be ready for the game when I can play it. But it's, like I said, it's not a nice feeling and the whole purpose of not being allowed at the training ground is baffling to me. Give hard days. Still? Yeah. Yeah. I feel everybody has all these. I mean, like with through this process, as there have been days where you're up to new dance and difficult days where you start, you have low moments because you are away from football, the press is on top of you. Yeah, I feel like I've had hard hours, hard two hours kind of things. In the mornings, I'd wake up like, I can't be asked today. But getting a shower, get active when you're there working. It's kind of like, oh yeah, as much as you don't want to do it, you'll see in a long one that that time I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to put the work in. It's paying off now. Whereas if I'm saying, oh, tomorrow, then tomorrow comes, I'll do it next day. So you're still training? Yeah, so keeping fit. So do my own thing. Do you work with the personal trainer? Yeah, personal trainer, which is good. And it's not like a lenient one, one that pushes me. I feel like I'm not good, but I've got the best people around me to keep me fit and keep me going. And like I said, my family is key. My family is the one that's the better people that's helping me going as well, especially my children. You're a mummies boy. Yeah. Sometimes in these moments, it's difficult for us, but it's harder to watch the impact it has on our family, right? Yeah, 100%. I feel like even when the whole thing was, it was like, those allegations and the people were like going into my mom's work and just saying sort of things. And I'd be at a petrol station. They scream sort of things and I'd be with my family and my children and people would just be like, starting dumb things out. Oh, well. Just like, oh, you put it, like, certain things out, you put it in the tenor on today's game or these kind of things or just silly, immature things and how I am. I'm kind of hot-headed, but especially when family are involved and my children around is kind of like... It's hard for me not to want to say something called do something called these kind of things. It's like going through that period. It's hard and people that you wouldn't normally speak to or my parents or family wouldn't normally speak to, they'd pop up and just be like, "Ah, I'm starting to be vibing." So it's when the bad things come along, how you want to talk and find out what's going on. Whereas when I'm scoring goals or getting picked for England, you don't really want to say too much. But that's life and that's how people are. And we don't miss them. We see them. We see the evil eyes. Has this process been illuminated? Things for you in certain areas of your life, certain people and certain people that have a few in stan... Because I was even thinking about the gaffer, Thomas Frank, he's come to your defence multiple times, talking about how he disagrees with the way that it's been handled, the sanctions, and he thinks that you should be able to train with the team and be out there educating young kids, etc. He disagrees with the decision that the commission made. Not just himself, a graph self-gate as well. A graph self-gate, yeah. He did talk sportly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I spoke to him as well. How does that feel then? What does that mean to you? It feels good knowing I've got them behind me. Obviously the England manager and my club manager backing me 100%. It feels good and it gives me a bit of extra strength to make sure when I'm back, I'm firing and it gives me that bit of hunger. Not that I'm lacking it, but I feel like the extra boost I feel like. Okay, it's on one on back kind of thing.
Your Family & Brentford's Fanbase Support (01:14:45)
And the club standing by you in such a way, has that kind of cemented your loyalty a little bit to Brentford? Yeah, I feel like, like I said earlier, I want to manage in a club to really want me and put their arm around me and I feel like throughout the whole situation, Brentford have done that. Not even the players as well. I spoke to loads of them. They don't agree with it, but here's what it is. And your mum? Yeah, she's like going back to the tweet when I put that tweet out. She's the first person that rang me and messaged me and said, "Listen, you don't need to do nothing. Just don't do no more, please." I've been saying now she's been sick for, she feels sick in her stomach for an hour long throughout the whole situation. And putting it out there, she's just thinking it's going to damage me, damage her and damage the family and things like this. I just thought, "Okay, let me just do the talking off heat." And when I'm back, I get the family. Well, they're not smiling, but happy again. I'm sure they can't wait to see the sun back on a pitch screen goes. Does it mean the most to you to make her happy and to make her feel good? All my family, yeah. I feel like she always just takes me randomly and she's like, "I don't want to bother you." Sometimes I just check on what I'm sitting on what's up, to wait for you to come online to know you're okay and alive and well. That's how my mum is. I'll be sometimes like my mum, she knows, and she does, she calls me random times. It'd be 12 at night or it'd be early doors. Just checking in, I was fine. I love you so much. It's in there. But yeah, that's our favourite one, checking to see if I'm online and what's up. Probably them best for me and our eyes. But so I think making them happy and making them smile is what gives me the thrill to do well. The Brentford fan base? Yeah, strong, massive. Showing you a lot of love as well. Yeah, yeah, where I go, I get love from the Brentford fans. That's good and that's cute. What's your, you're going to get back to football and I can feel you've got a certain fire inside you. Yep. I think. I just, not that I need to prove anybody wrong but there's a lot of haters and dials out there thinking he ain't going to be saying that when he comes back. Actually, they're right. I'm going to be a different man and be even better than that. That guy that school done goes before so. How do you know? Because mum, I'm build different. My mentality is different. I'm not one of these. I could have been a great player. Hadn't he done this? I'm going to go beyond that. It's like I said, not a point to prove but points proves to myself. How do you ensure that happens? Like what is it that, because I think about controllables, what is it that you can control to make sure that you come back even better player? Is it just training harder? Is it, what is it that you're? It's training harder but in my head, every time I step on a pitch, I'm thinking in my head, I'm going to school today. I'm going to school. I know I'm going to school. When a chance comes, I'm going to school. Because in the game, you're bound to get a chance that you should be scoring. So in my head now, I'm thinking, right, when I do play and I do get a chance that I should be scoring, it has to be a goal. So it's going to be a goal. What if it's not? The next one will be a goal. What if it's not? It will be. I'll be two goals. You know, Brentford is a fantastic team. I think of all the teams in the Premier League, if we talk about admiration, I'm really in my right hand at the moment, but Brentford, I absolutely think are a brilliant, brilliant team. Really ton of admiration for them.
What’s Next for You? (01:18:38)
There's a lot of people that are obviously linking you to other clubs and saying, "Oh, is he going to join this?" and all of that. How do you receive all of that? Because everyone's looking for a striker. Striker is the hardest to find. Gold score is in the Premier League. You've got Harlan, you've got Kane, he's gone. Now you're technically the second best striker that's currently in the league on paper. So these big clubs are going to come knocking. They're going to say Chelsea's got a fucking unlimited money over here. United, we need a striker. How do you receive all of that? I mean, from young, like I said, I don't let this all affect me. Obviously, here it will go on in the background, but my job is to keep training well when I get the chance in the game, to keep scoring and doing well. But I think everybody wants to play at the top of the tree, and not that Brentford aren't there. But I feel like playing for big club fighting for trophies and these kind of things everybody wants to do. The chance was to come along. I think I'd be silly not to look more into it, but I feel like, yeah, the manager knows that I want to be playing at the highest level possible. And whenever that time comes, then so it would be it. But I can't think of my time at Brentford's been being good. It's probably one of the best times in my career. And that's a special club like they just got something they got a culture there, which is super special. So, you know, that culture you describe will get the best at you as a player for sure. So it's like great talent, great culture, equals great results. It's like one plus one equals three. Yeah, now, yeah, I like the next club I'll go to. If I was to move, it would be like the right club. You're not talking about Liverpool, are you? I'd be a Liverpool fan. Yeah, Liverpool fan. I feel. You've been a Liverpool fan your whole life? Yeah, I've been a Liverpool fan my whole life, but from young. I've liked, I've liked Arsenal. I like watching Arsenal from how they play and the kind of how passionate fans are. But yeah, Liverpool fan, Liverpool boy at heart. So Liverpool at heart, love how Arsenal play, love their style. Yeah. Anything about Manchester United? I like, I like Boba Tophany was there. I liked watching United a lot when Boba Tophany was there. Okay, but we do actually need a striker. So, I've actually got a contract here that Eric and Richard Arnold have given me. So, imagine. Now, listen, I hope you, I just want to see you back playing again because I think it's a gift to the Premier League, your talent. When I look at your story, you didn't have a straight line that a lot of people have in football. You went up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down and you persevered because the talent is, you can't argue with it. You can't argue with the talent. And so, this whole gambling section of your life, it's a bit of a blip in there. It's a hurdle you've overcome and you've taken your punishment. You move on from that. You admit responsibility? Yeah. Yeah. And so, now it becomes the back again about the football. Yeah, like you said, the journey's been, it's been wild. It's been crazy. If I was to read a book on myself, I'd say this guy's done a lot and been through a lot and it's still fighting. And it's still climbing to the top of the tree. How's he managed all that with everything else come on? What's the goal? You know, if we have this conversation again at the end of your career and we sit down here and we go, man, and you go, "Damn, that was a successful career, Steve. What happened?" I want to be playing for England and scoring goals. I don't want to just be, are you playing England a couple times? I want to be the main man. Where have I got? And, and of England, I know, I got Harry Ken, that he's probably one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best. So, and that's what I'm up against. So, I need to get to that level. So, he's just six, working hard and keep, keep, keep fighting. You know, Euro is around the corner as well. Yeah, and that's another, that's another place I want to get to, which I do believe that in my head, I'm ready to get to. And at club level, what are your ambitions there in football? Um, win the win, win trophies, win some silverware. I feel like, I feel like I want to play for the highest, highest level possible. Playful with, playful club, that's, I'm loved that. Not just one of. But I feel like, with all my moves, I've not just gone to a club for whatever, money, whatever, I've gone, it's been the right step for me. And I've achieved something every year, every year, I've just got better and better. You want to win the Premier League one day? That's, that's the aim. That's the aim. I don't know when the world couples are, I don't know when trophies are, it's like, wow. I'm being from where I'm from, Northampton, not many people can achieve them things or be like, yeah, he's been at the World Cup, he's won the World Cup. I don't even then like, my mom still lives in the same house. Really? Yeah, she just want to move. She like being there and people will one day be like, yeah, I have his bum lives there. I do it now, but it would be more of achievement. And I've won something like that. And I'm like, yeah, I have his mum's there. I haven't come there all the time. I think that's kind of, kind of how we are, how I am. And you can see, like my mum's, she doesn't want to move into some big house. So you feel safe and comfy at the house where she's at. And that shows that I have no choice but to be grounded. And you have three kids as well? Yeah, three little boys. Do you think about them? Do you think about what the legacy you want to leave that they're going to grow up and learn about? Does that crush your mind a lot? Yeah, yeah, it does. I want to leave a legacy that they don't have no pressure on their shoulders to walk into. I just wanted to, whether there is a football or whatever industry they look to go into, which obviously I would want to say, it's football. But whatever they do want them to be successful and be strong like my children, I feel like I do want them to have the same mind I had. Like I wouldn't put them to that private school under these things because I don't want to just give them everything. I want them to have to work for certain things. What advice would you give them about how to navigate?
What Advice Would You Give Your Children? (01:25:59)
Say they do go into football or three of them and they say they come to you one day and they say, "Dad, listen, just got a call from the biggest club in the world Manchester United." And I'm going to accept it and go to Manchester to play under Eric. I need some advice, Dad. I'm on my way tomorrow. What advice can you give me, Dad? How the mentality as you're the best player on the pitch? You might not be, but having that mentality will help you play better and just have the hunger. If you haven't got the hunger or the drive, you'll step behind already. I'd say like, well, so attitude is key. I'll get you a long way. Not just in football or work in life. Quick one, I discovered a product which has changed my life called "8 sleep". And I'm so proud to say today that I had a chat with the founder of the brand and they are now a podcast sponsor. And one of the things I've come to learn on this podcast from speaking with sleep experts like Matthew Walker is how important temperature is when it comes to sleep, the temperature of your room, the temperature of your bed. And also one of the big insights I had from speaking to some experts was that the temperature of the room should fluctuate throughout the night as you move through different stages. So when you first get into bed, it should be quite cool in bed. It should then get a little bit cooler and then the temperature should increase near the end. And that is a reflection of what would have happened in nature once upon a time. You've probably come to learn that I have sponsors on this podcast that I use and products that I love. My sponsors should be a reflection of the conversations I'm having, but also a reflection of what I'm using in my life. So to celebrate them being a new podcast sponsor, I always want to get a discount for you guys and I've got one. Go to 8sleep.com which is eightsleep.com/steven and if you do that, you'll save $150 on the pod cover that I have on my bed, the one I'm talking about. Grab your pod cover, send me a DM and let me know how you get on. A quick word on heel, as you know they're a sponsor of this podcast and I'm an investor in the company. One of the things I've never really explained is how I came to have a relationship with heel. One day in the office many years ago a guy walked past called Michael and he was wearing a heel t-shirt. And I was really compelled by the logo. I just thought for a minute a design aesthetic point of view, it was really interesting. And I asked him what that word meant and why he was wearing that t-shirt and he said it's this brand called heel and they make food that is nutritionally complete and very, very convenient and has the planet in mind. And he the next day dropped off a little bottle of heel on my desk and from that day onwards I completely got it because I'm someone that cares tremendously about having a nutritionally complete diet. But sometimes because of the way my life is that falls by the wayside. So if there was a really convenient, reliable, trustworthy way for me to be nutritionally complete in an affordable way, I was all ears. Especially if it's a way that is conscious of the planet. Give it a chance. Give it a shot. Let me know what you think. You know, when you did this tweet, the famous tweet, I'll speak soon with no thought.
Unspoken Thoughts And Issues In Football
What Would You Like to Say That You Haven't Said Before? (01:29:07)
I understand that. Came from a place of anger, a bit defensive, whatever. Mood settles, your mum takes you, you're like a kid. Maybe this is not going to help the situation. There was a lot you wanted to say, right? You wanted to talk specifically about the allegations. You've decided now from what you're saying that it's not worth it for you to like go in and dispute things and say this, that and the others not true. But was there anything that you do want to say to like the football community or just to the world generally as a message when you tweet that? Outside of the stuff where we're like a bit bitter and hurt because everything that's going on and people are attacking you, whatever. Is there anything else you wanted to say? Because I just want to give you a chance. Not really. Like you said, most of it comes from anger and is kind of like everybody's against me kind of thing. But with that, it's kind of like I was more worried on people like thinking how I am, how I am as a person, like what they read and what they hear rather than how I actually am. But the people around me, friends, family, the people I should be worried about, they know how I am. Why do I need to explain to Bob down the road how I actually am, I'm probably never going to see him again. So it doesn't matter that, why am I explaining that and why am I going out there to give it like a back and forth. Like I don't need to do that. And it doesn't benefit me. It just benefits him in trying to get more of a reaction from me. So like you said, it definitely was out of anger, anger kind of moment. It's kind of like, all right, let me say distant. Let me say that not knowing nothing affected could have. So it's not, I don't need to try and prove nobody wrong. I'm proving nobody right. It's just, I'm going to tell myself, family and do what I do best, which is playing well in the square and goals.
Racism in Football: Taking the Knee & Vinicius Junior (01:31:11)
Speaking with your feet. Correct. I did want to talk to you about one last thing. You did a tweet as well about a DM someone sent you. Yeah. Someone had DM due calling you a black C word and you posted the tweet. Subsequently, you stopped taking the knee during the start of Premier League games and such. Racism and football. Do you still receive racial abuse still today? Yeah. You do. If I was supposed, everything I received has been racist. I'll have easily around 100 messages. Easiest, just real off there. Has that increased since the sanctions were made against you? I'm in commission. No, because I feel like most of it's just betting rubbish that I get. Like people are saying, but I feel like most of it's from playing a game and someone's bet on you or you haven't scored. And then they come on, come for you for like these kind of things or the fantasy league. Yeah, football league, you don't get enough points now, come with you like this or your score to lose that. But just things like this. Why did you stop taking the knee? Because I feel like it's a token gesture. It's not really, it's lost its purpose. And you can see it like before games start people like run off without half the knee. Let's go about that. The purpose isn't normal. I don't think that's doing nothing in the game to help stop these kind of things from happening. More needs to be done for sure for sure. 100%. All over the world, not just in the UK, but we obviously saw what happened to Vineskis Jr as well in the, in the Le Liga. And it does feel like if there was harsher action taken, then a lot of this stuff wouldn't be happening, even from the platforms and also from the police. I think, yeah, the most, well, some of them are from abroad. It's kind of like, if it's not in the UK, they can't do enough about it. And I'm like, okay, so you just keep sending from wherever. But yeah, it's become a do nothing. It's not, it's not. Okay, so it's fine then. Basically, you're saying it's fine. Yeah. So what did you do? Yeah, I feel like, this lost his purpose. Personally, anyway, I feel like he's kind of like puppets. If you put a top, we're kind of like, let's try this. Well, let's do this. Keep people quite full bit. Just do that and we try and, it's not trying.
Countdown Until Your Next Match (01:33:58)
You're counting down the days now. Yeah, I literally, I'm just like, really? You're like Christmas, yeah. I'm counting down the days or two, I can train and be around the boys because like, we didn't fall prison at the moment. And when I'm around the boys, I think it won't get easier. But you get a little bit easier, but not the same as like, you train a whole week hard at the end of the week. It's not like end goal or reward. You're not playing a match. And then, is it January? You can play? Yeah, January the 17th. You can train again. I can play with matches. Oh, you can play matches here? Yes, 17th for September. I can train so. Oh, September, you can train and then... September, I can train, yeah. I can be in a club around the boys. Okay, so not long. Yeah, not long, not long. Less than a month. Yeah, it feels like ages are. And then you can play in January. That's going to be a very big game. A lot of people are going to be watching that. Yeah. Do you feel pressure? No, I don't feel... I thrive off pressure when it's like, surely you can't do that. He's not going to do it. And that's what, like the pressure was... I was talking about after the playoff final. And we got a penalty. After the game, everyone was like, "You must have been scared. Like, if you missed, you probably could have like... You could have lost massive thinking, "No, I can't wait." Like, I knew for a fat soul school, like, I mean, 100%. Because it was the pressure and like the reward after it gives you a bigger chance to jump into Germany and more money for a family. You trying to prove people right or trying to prove people wrong? What matters more to you? Uhh... Proving people wrong so I can have a little digger. Yeah. I like that. I like when I see certain tweets. I don't know, when I do something, I come back to it. I just like, I have a little comment and digger at the person. There's just lots of words that's like, "You're right. It's just you win." You've been taking names throughout this process? Just like, "This pundits said this, this person." I mean, there's loads of pundits that say loads of things. It's all opinions, but when a combat school, I'm sure they'll go back into the bush and backpede on what they say. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm interrupting this broadcast with a very special announcement. Two years ago, I started writing a book based on everything I've learned from doing this podcast and meeting all of the incredible people that I've had the privilege of meeting, but also from my career in business, from running my marketing businesses, my software business, my investment fund, and everything else that I've been doing in business and life. And from this, I've created a brand new book called The Diary of a CEO, The 33 Laws for Business and Life. If you want to build something great, or become great yourself, like the guests that I've sat here and interviewed, I ask you, "Please, please, please read these 33 laws." The book I always should have written. If you like this podcast, this book is for you. And it is available now in the description of this podcast below. And every single day until it's out later this month, one person that pre-orders it, that takes a picture of their pre-order, uploads it to their story on Instagram or social media and tags me, will win a gold version of this book, signed by me, and there's only 33 copies of those available. So pre-order it now, tag me on social media when you do, and 33 of you are going to win a very, very special book. We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're going to leave it for.
Last Guest's Question (01:37:33)
So they wrote a question for you here in this diary. The question then left the view is, "When have you most had to face your fears?" Probably the bun. Because I think loads of things go through your head. Like I said, from a homie football at such a young age, not knowing if there's loads of things that go through your head. Like what? How are you going to cope with things? At the time I'm kind of like, not wary, I feel like I'm a confident person, but going out in certain places, the topic is going to be about the whole scandal that's going on. People are going to talk about it, but with me it's like, do they want to talk about it? They're thinking, do I want to talk about it? I'm not scared in a way, but it's kind of like, it's an awkward kind of meeting kind of thing. It's an elephant in the room. It comes to the point where it's like, they'll say something like, "Ah, I bet you can't do that." It's kind of like, "Oh, that kind of thing." But I'm like, "Yeah, what's done is done. You can talk about it. Then they talk about it. Then I mean, it's cleared." So I feel like not knowing what people are thinking about you, not knowing what people want to talk to you, not knowing if you're going to be fit when you come back or not knowing what you're going to do, you're well sure off. That loads of things going to your head and it's like... Hasn't crossed your mind. You might like, lose your form or something. That actually did. Yeah, it did at the time. But I know I can get myself in goalscoring positions. So I don't feel like that would be such a big issue, but it does cross your mind like, what if I have... The school within the first five games, six games? You're going to think the world's ending kind of thing, but yeah, I think that was the fear of these kind of things, not knowing what's next kind of thing. And as the days have passed, it's got easier, right? It's got easier in ways, but it's got harder in... Oh, okay. Easier than like, soon when we round the boys, and that's kind of like, my head's fine now. I'm at the club doing what I do best and enjoy. But then it's kind of like, at the end of the week, I can't play games whilst the game was kind of like... It's like, "Torch you're watching him." Yeah, it's torture. I hate watching games, when I should be on the pitch. Do you think you deserve the packed punishment you got? I mean, if that's what the rules are, then so be it. That's a punishment I should have got. But looking on the other cases, and the fact that they were lower leagues, it's kind of like, "Why did he get that?" And I got this, because he's there and I'm here. But now I feel like, if this is a punishment for doing what I've done, then make sure the next person gets that. Make sure the next person gets that. Make it all fair and correct. But that's not the fingers fair, but it is what it is. I can't see... I can't change off it now. I can't... That's not what me focus is on. If it's fair or not, that doesn't help no situation. Yeah. I think it's possible to take responsibility for your actions. 100 or so. I did that. But also to think that it was unfair, because I think maybe rightly so, they are making an example of you. Because those lower league players, it would never send a message, would it? It's great. So with the big wages and the status and the popularity and all the upsides comes this other thing, which is like bigger sanctions, bigger publicity, bigger... It's more of a talking point, more of a story. And I'll tell you what, you go out there and you start bagging goals. Ain't anybody going to be talking about anything else? That's another reason I want to be scoring goals. To put things right and that people talk about. My clothes are scoring, Robert. Rob is past. I think you're going to go back to Brentford and I think you're going to fucking tear it up. Because I sense a real deep drive in you that I've not seen in many people. A real sense of like self belief and conviction. Even what you said about the penalties there, like I played at Soccer Aid and they came over to me and asked me if I wanted a penalty. I went to the back of the group. I was so hard. This year I played this year. I got injured before the game at all traffic but I played in training and we had to do a penalty shoot out. Potch was the manager and I just said to myself, "Steve, step forward and take one." And this was to decide who got which dressing room I took when I scored it and then the next day I pulled my hamstring, got a grade three tear. But I was proud of myself for stepping up and doing it. Yeah, that was amazing. I think if you're having your head, I'm going to do this. You have a better chance. I was thinking, "What if this?" There's no point thinking that, like even with, yeah, back to 700 or something, like it was strikers I played with. That's what you're striking up with now. Because I'll say his name, Brian, because he knows his little brother. I said to him, "When he missed a chance, he gets so angry with himself." Same bro. It's fine. You're not a robot. You can miss chances. When the next chance comes, you'll score. And he's got a lot better at that. He's been scoring, so I think just do well on things. You've got a big chance coming up, January. Yes. And I hope you score. I know I do well. Like he said, this is another hurdle in my bumpy road, but it's all good. It could be worse. Ivan, thank you. Thank you for the time. Thank you for the inspiration you've given me. I feel like I understand you. I feel like I understand you. Listen, we all make mistakes in life. I think it's really important. We've all made mistakes. I make so many mistakes. I think yours are obviously more publicly broadcast because of who you are and you're at the top of the game. You're the peak of your powers. But I think it's important, as you've said, that you take responsibility for it. You move on and you let the football do the talking. And I think that's exactly what you have done. And that's what I'm really excited to see from you going forward, as I said, because you're special. You've got a very special talent. You've got a very special mentality and a very special talent to match it. And we can't let that go to waste. So we need to... It will go to waste for sure. Some of the people around me, they won't allow it to go to waste. Good. Thank you so much for your time, bro. It means a lot to me that you came here and spoke to me and I'm a big fan and I really do hope you end up at Manchester United one day. Thanks for having me. Thanks for being good. It's been good to talk through things and maybe this can help the next person if there was to think twice on doing some things or maybe to open up about some things. So yes, it's probably easy. It's good. Thanks for being like I said. 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