Forget the obscene transfer fees, inflated wages, player power and petulance, there is one thing above all that has wound up football fans this winter. Snoods. The latest must have personal insulation accessory for the modern footballer. Ever since John Barnes controversially first donned a pair of gloves in the late 80’s keeping warm has increasingly become a pre-occupation for certain players. This seasons chilly weather has meant a huge surge in popularity for winter warmers. Does it really make a difference or are they just being indulgent pussy cats?
Ipswich Boss Roy Keane is certainly in no doubt, “Don’t get me started. I don’t know how they do it. It’s very strange. Gloves, scarves, I think somebody came on a few weeks ago for [Manchester] City who had a hat on.
“I don’t know how they do it and focus on the game, it’s weird. That’s the way the game’s gone.”
Nor is former Republic of Ireland forward Tony Cascarino, “It’s like a fashion accessory and personally, I think it’s typical of the modern footballer. I don’t want to seem like a dinosaur but I think the modern game is full of players who are of the ‘softer option’ when it comes to playing football. I would see it as a weakness, slightly, that they’re not a real man.”
The reason why we’re seeing it now, he says, is that the dressing room has changed into a much more indulgent environment.
“It’s not frowned upon now, but 20 or 30 years ago a player would not have got away with it. He would have been buried [with abuse].”
I have to agree that the modern footballer is certainly more indulgent than ever before. What-more I cant help noticing that many of the Premier Leagues snood wearers are also among the leagues more controversial figures. You would never see a Giggs or Scholes wearing one, (mainly because Ferguson has banned them) think about it, nearly all the PL’s snood wearers have a history of indulgence or scandal. A lot of them also play for Manchester City.
Carlos Tevez toys are never in the pram, much like teammate Mario Balotelli. Then there is the most over-paid player in the world, Yaya Toure. DJ Campbell, who was arrested in connection with a stabbing a few years ago. Liverpool’s Maxi Rodrigues, who was booted out of Athletico Madrid for his petulance. Not forgetting that nasty little piece of work at Arsenal, Samir Nasri. I’m pretty sure Craig Bellamy also likes to keep his neck warm.
There are certain circumstances where thermals may be considered acceptable, perhaps if your a goalkeeper, or maybe if you ply your trade in Russia. But wouldn’t it be nice if a few of these guys would show some respect for our footballing culture and man-up.
If you ever needed an example of this cast your minds back to Liverpool vs Tottenham a few weeks ago. Jamie Carragher is fuming as he is reluctantly led off the field with a dislocated shoulder, it soon becomes clear his anger is vented towards his replacement Sotirios Kyrgiakos who is busy tying his hair up.Roy Keane,