Pennant rejects bad-boy talk
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jermaine Pennant has spoken out against criticism levelled against him.
Birmingham wide man Jermaine Pennant has spoken out against criticism levelled against him for his off-the-field lifestyle.
Pennant, who has been arguably Birmingham's best player this term, has endured a career blighted by indiscretion, having missed a month of last season serving a prison sentence for a drink driving offence.
Last week saw Pennant again make the front rather than back pages as he was accused of being in an altercation with a bouncer following his ejection from a club he was present at for an after-show party for rapper Kanye West.
Although Pennant was subsequently fined by Blues boss Steve Bruce, the player has now spoken out against the accusations put before him.
While admitting he needs to be 'more clever' to avoid such negative publicity, Pennant believes he has been wrongly cast as one of football's bad boys.
"He [Steve Bruce] had to keep faith in me because at the end of the day what happened is nothing to do with me. My name just got brought into it," said Pennant.
"It was a big concert, obviously I like the guy (West), I went to the party afterwards, and then the next thing I'm supposed to have been in a fight. It's ridiculous.
"There was no fight at all. But somebody has chirped up, thinking I am an easy target, and they've said I had a fight. It's a joke.
"It saddens me. People look at my past, something happens, and then 'bang', people automatically think it's true.
"The picture where I was talking to a policewoman, I'm saying to her 'what's happening here?' and she told me there was some commotion.
"The next thing I'm in the papers. It's madness, and the way it has been blown out of proportion is amazing and annoying.
"I'm 23 years old, I'm on night out and we've the next day off. What's the problem with that? I don't see one.
"I know I've a job to do, but at the same time I've got to have a social life. I just have to be more clever.
"I've told the gaffer what happened, and nothing has come out of it. I've been fined, but I'm still playing, so the truth is there."