According to reports overnight, Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant had to be given oxygen on board a flight after "collapsing" on his way home from his holidays in Spain.
The reports say that Pennant passed out half-an-hour after the flight from Malaga to Stanstead had taken off. The flight attendants who gave him the oxygen probably find this is a fairly regular occurence with young passengers at this time of year.
The reasons the reports give for his collapse are that he "had allegedly been drinking heavily the night before and had had little sleep". This seems to be in keeping with the quote his agent gave about the incident. Sky Andrew said: "He is fine now. He just had a bit of dehydration."
Pennant' past – he was convicted of drink-driving when already banned and spent time in prison as a result – means any incident of this nature has a risk of being blown out of proportion. If he was drinking, on holiday, during the summer break, it's hardly a disciplinary offence. Although he knows that in return for being a Liverpool player, and with his past in mind, he is always going to be a soft target for people in glass houses, he should be allowed the odd hangover during those weeks where there is no football to be played. Pre-season is there to bring players back to fitness from their summer excesses, whatever their over-indulgences have been.
His agent is Sky Andrew, who said it was a fuss about nothing: "He is fine now. He just had a bit of dehydration."
And hopefully he'll be given the chance to get over the hangover, without having to hear endless criticism. If indeed it was a hangover, because it may have all been down to a poorly-cooked portion of paella.