Sunderland manager David Moyes has hit out at defender Patrick van Aanholt after photos emerged which appeared to show him smoking a shisha pipe.
The snaps of the 26-year-old are reportedly six weeks old and took place before the start of the Premier League season.
However, Moyes was still unhappy with the conduct of Van Aanholt, who was withdrawn from the team for Sunderland’s match with Tottenham last week at the last minute due to a heart scare, but since returned to action.
“I don’t expect a player to do that, I don’t expect a player playing for me to do that,” Moyes said at his news conference ahead of Sunderland’s home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“I have had a word with him. I am not impressed.
“I have got to also say it’s a picture that comes out maybe six weeks ago, it was in his off-time, it wasn’t during the season. But just let me make sure, in no way do I condone it at all.”
Moyes believes modern-day footballers have a responsibility to set a positive example and keep their bodies in top condition while they earn the huge sums available.
He continued: “I think it’s a bad thing for us to show our younger children and for supporters who follow the players. I don’t think it’s a good thing, I don’t think it’s a good thing at all.
“They have to be super-fit. I think we need to get Sunderland super-fit and in a great condition to compete and be ready for the games. That’s the first thing I need, so I am concerned with that.
“But I also think they are role models now to so many kids. Football is watched everywhere, all over the world, things are done with Twitter and all the other things now and you have to be very careful how you behave.
“It’s a short career as well so if you are a player, you earn really good money being a professional footballer, it’s a great life.
“You know something, it’s not too big a deal just to make sure you look after yourself for the time you are in it.”
Moyes revealed Jack Rodwell (knock), Jermain Defoe (calf) and Wahbi Khazri (illness) all have a chance to face Palace.
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