Football is a beautiful game, and it needs to be played beautifully. Unfortunately in today’s landscape it’s virtually impossible to achieve perfection when watching a 90-minute contest because there’s just so many small irritations going on at all times.
It could honestly be the most petulant detail, but you can guarantee that fans across the world will universally groan when it happens. These selections in particular are my own five biggest footballing pet peeves – apologies if your brain explodes.
Absolutely everyone has been guilty of this, whether you're playing Sunday League or in the World Cup - but sometimes people can step over the line.
We're always hearing reports in the media about some of the horrendous things that are being said to officials on a weekly basis. Just imagine if you went on a rant like that in any other job around the world. You'd be given your P45 before you could even finish your final insult. Footballers seem to think they're entitled to a certain level of respect, when really it should be the other way round. It's laughable that they think it's acceptable, and all you've got to do is look at sports like rugby to see how things should be done. The amount of tolerance shown towards the officials is sensational, albeit baffling. Source: Twitter
Play to the whistle
Infuriating. I can't imagine how badly this must get on manager's nerves sometimes, because as a fan it makes you want to run onto the pitch and yell expletives at every guilty player. It's absolute football 101 that if you don't hear the whistle when you think a foul or an offside decision should've been given, you do your job and carry on playing. You don't stop and raise your hands in the air like you're high as a kite at a festival, hoping the act of defiance will make the linesman think "oh, must have missed something there then". Feeling aggrieved is one thing, but having the audacity to stop what you're doing entirely as if you've been frozen in time is just ridiculous.
Oh my god we get it, you've been smashing it down the gym five days a week and now you feel the need to show off your progress to millions of people around the world. We just don't care. What we also don't care for is the fact you've opened yourself up to ridicule as you've guaranteed yourself a yellow card. Look, it's understandable that nobody can recreate the adrenaline felt after scoring a goal on a large stage, but there's a million alternative ways to celebrate. Go kick the corner flag. Raise one arm and salute the crowd. Do ten back flips then somersault off of a golden eagle, I don't care. Just don't put yourself in a position where you'll have to limit what you can do at the risk of getting sent off.
Early Foul, No Booking
Professional footballers are trained to maintain a high level of focus throughout the duration of a 90-minute match. Correct? If that's the case, then if one of these aforementioned footballers executes a poorly timed two-footed challenge just two minutes into the contest, they deserve to be reprimanded. "It's your first one, but be careful next time" won't mean much to the player who has just had his ACL torn to pieces. It shouldn't matter if there's 90 minutes or 90 seconds on the clock, if a challenge is bad enough then a yellow or red card needs to be shown. Simple.
Man Of The Match
Just picture the scenario. Your centre-back has spent the last 85 minutes single-handedly keeping out a fierce onslaught from the opposition, keeping the game at 0-0. Then as the minutes tick away, your striker (who couldn't hit a barn door all game) pops up with the winner from two yards out and lands the Man of the Match award. Wait, hang on, what? Where's the adulation and recognition for the defender who just put everything he had on the line to secure the victory? Obviously the goal was the most important moment of the match, but it's the best performer on the pitch who deserves to take home the plaudits. The fact that this happens so often in the modern game is unbelievably irritating.