Neil Ashton: Hugo Lloris songs from Manchester United fans are out of tune with serious nature of drink-driving

SADLY, the songs about Hugo Lloris and his arrest on suspicion of drink-driving got a few laughs out of Old Trafford on Monday night.

Never mind the statistics — 70,000 convicted annually, which is not far off the attendance at Manchester United, and the 200 or so killed on the roads in the UK alone — when the fans can have some fun.

Hugo Lloris has publicly apologised after being arrested over a failed breath test
Hugo Lloris has apologised after being arrested for alleged drink driving

That is certainly the way it felt when United supporters started to sing, “He drinks when he wants, Hugo Lloris he drinks when he wants.”

Tottenham fans responded, joining in as the song went back and forth between the rival fans — before the keeper finally, sheepishly, raised his hand to acknowledge them.

The song drew giggles from the travelling fans as they rallied around their French No 1.

“He’s still on the p***, Hugo Lloris he’s still on the p***,” was the retort from United’s supporters.

Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane celebrate a fine 3-0 win for Spurs at Old Trafford
Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane celebrate a fine 3-0 win for Spurs at Old Trafford
PA:Press Association

It was an uncomfortable moment, especially because it just got louder and louder.

These top players are lionised, with fans putting aside issues of morality and principle because Lloris happens to be one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

Tottenham, with three wins on the spin in the Premier League, need players of his pedigree to make further progress.
In the modern world, it seems to now supersede anything else — even the law.

This was Lloris’ first appearance for Tottenham since he was arrested on August 24 at around 2.30am after failing a routine breath test.

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The Tottenham captain is currently on police bail, due to appear in front of magistrates next month, following his drink-driving charge.

He has, to his credit, apologised publicly in a statement released by the World Cup winner.

At least Lloris recognises his position.

The prevailing attitude towards drink driving in this country still seems to be that it is just a bit of bad luck to be caught at the wheel with 80mg per 100ml or more of alcohol in your blood.

Hugo Lloris has kept the Spurs captaincy following talks with Mauricio Pochettino
Hugo Lloris has kept the Spurs captaincy following talks with Mauricio Pochettino
Getty Images – Getty

Those affected by it would argue otherwise.

The most up-to-date statistics reveal that 240 people were killed and another 1,260 people seriously injured in drink-driving incidents in 2016 alone.

In addition, 9,000 people ended up in casualty across Britain — with the innocent party making up the vast majority of those cases.

Lloris, it should be stressed, has yet to be convicted of the offence.

Even so, given his grovelling apology issued only hours after his arrest, it seems that 31-year-old Lloris is just coming to terms with the severity of it.

He has always given the impression that he is the model professional, working his way to becoming one of the very best keepers in the game.

France No 1 Hugo Lloris punches clear for Tottenham in their victory at Man Utd
France No 1 Hugo Lloris punches clear for Tottenham in their victory at Man Utd
PA:Press Association

At this moment, with David De Gea in such poor form in a Manchester United jersey, Les Bleus stopper Lloris is probably the best in the Premier League — and even Europe.

He recognises he is in a position of responsibility, championed by Spurs and their supporters because of his stellar performances.

And, fair enough, he is definitely one hell of a player.

He is also extremely fortunate, following this brush with the law, to retain his position as Tottenham skipper after talks with his manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Spurs captaincy is a powerful, privileged and influential role, carrying weight around the football world now they are an established Champions League club.

Nobody would deny him a night out with friends in London.

But the consequences of his decision to get behind the wheel of his car could have been very far-reaching.

So on Sunday — with Tottenham set to travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford — it would be nice to think both sets of fans could respect that.

Raf and tumble

RAFA BENITEZ has Toon fans wrapped around his little finger — but his popularity behind the scenes at St James’ Park is on the wane.

The Newcastle chief’s constant bitching about the lack of investment is chipping away at some of owner Mike Ashley’s chums working at the club.

Ashley put in nearly £40million of his own cash to underpin the club when they were relegated from the Premier League under Benitez in 2016. That has not been forgotten by those whose jobs were saved by that gesture.

There’s still an interest-free loan of £140m outstanding and Benitez — wriggling again after the Carabao Cup defeat against Nottingham Forest — continues to overlook these benevolent acts in his frequent sniping.

Mac flak at Utd

THE decision by Jose Mourinho to promote unknown Kieran McKenna to first-team duties has yet to meet the approval of Manchester United’s demanding dressing room.

McKenna, coach of the Under-18s last season, stepped up when Jose’s faithful No 2 Rui Faria quit Old Trafford earlier this summer.

The Northern Irishman worked at Spurs before joining United in 2016.

Kieran McKenna was a surprise choice for the major step up to become No 2 to Jose Mourinho
Kieran McKenna was a surprise choice to become No 2 to Jose Mourinho
Getty – Contributor

Although the 32-year-old has a good reputation for developing young players, he does not have the pedigree expected of a first-team coach at a high-profile club.

Manager Mourinho claimed nobody could replace Faria.

And judging by the moaning at the Theatre of Dreams, McKenna is struggling to meet the sky-high expectations of United’s superstar squad.

Just Bee-have, Jon

PREMIER LEAGUE ref Jon Moss left Brentford with the impression he was doing them a favour taking charge of their Championship clash with Aston Villa last week.

Moss allegedly got all prissy when a Bees player needed treatment during the 2-2 draw at Villa Park and apparently told the Bees physio to “f*** off and get him off” after his treatment was complete.

Brentford’s livid boss Dean Smith was reportedly so angry with Moss’ conduct that he has been threatening to take his complaint to refs’ chief Mike Riley.


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