The worst football opinions of all time
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s the difference between a free country and living somewhere like North Korea, China or the UK under the Tories. Every football supporter you meet has opinions, and even people who don’t like football almost always have opinions on it. The problem is, the vast majority of these opinions are utterly terrible. After watching the Scottish Cup final between Rangers and Hibs yesterday and hearing the Sky Sports (don’t worry, it was an illegal stream) commentators wetting their knickers with rage at the end, I decided it was time to list these terrible opinions in all their non-glory. Here’s the top seven ways to make yourself look like a right tit while talking about football.
This is of course excluding the ultimate worst opinion of all which I have already written about – “Soldiers should get footballers wages”.
Without further ado, here we go:
7 – “How can you complain about ticket prices when (insert club) charges more?”
This is one I see pretty often, but most recently aimed at Manchester City and Liverpool supporters. The City fans were protesting the ticket prices at the Etihad, while Liverpool were boycotting Hull City away. Social media was quick to remind them of their foolishness however, by rushing to state “How can you complain about ticket prices when they are also expensive at your club?!!!1” It’s almost as though they aren’t the people in charge of that decision. Until the day comes that Big Chris from Toxteth gets a call from the commercial department at Anfield asking how much they should charge Crystal Palace next week, this is an utterly pointless argument. Ticket prices are an issue which impact on everyone – that’s kind of the point. The working class is being driven out of its own sport by people named Tarquin who are just at the game in a desperate bid to look cool to their mates at the legal firm they work at, and complaining about people trying to do something about it is exactly why they can get away with it.
6 – “I know exactly what everyone wants to watch before the FA Cup final – Tinie Tempah!”
No, we don’t.
5 – “Anyone who does something I don’t like isn’t a true (insert team) fan anyway”
The “No true Scotsman” defence is one of football’s favourites, and can be seen multiple times a year. For example there was the time Chelsea fans threw a black man off a train in Paris, which caused hundreds of people to proclaim “They aren’t Chelsea fans anyway” – well what were they doing in Paris supporting them then? Have you ever tried to walk to the supermarket and accidentally found yourself in another country singing songs about a football team you don’t like? I experienced this one personally when I gave up on Cardiff City in 2012 following the rebrand, with people rushing to tell me that I was never a proper Cardiff fan anyway. I wish someone had told me before I went to 54 games the season before that. For more examples, see the reaction when a few bottles of Stella bounced off the side of Manchester United’s bus.
This is also something frequently seen with Arsenal fans who want Wenger to leave the club – if they aren’t Arsenal fans, why do they care who is the manager of Arsenal? Further examples include when people decide to sing sick chants about Hillsborough, Munich, Bradford, Ibrox, the death of the two Leeds fans in Istanbul or whatever the tragedy may be – it doesn’t matter because the people who did this aren’t real fans anyway, despite the fact they had tickets and are standing inside the stadium where that team is currently playing, this is totally a coincidence. By refusing to accept that people who do things you don’t like are still supporters of your club, you just look silly.
4 – “The Champions League is the best competition in the world”
For who? Certainly not for supporters, who can’t drink in the stadium, have to pay sky-high prices and sit next to a row full of tourists taking selfies in their half and half scarves. Sure the money is good for clubs, but how many of them can actually win? Unless you’re called Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid, the outlook isn’t looking bright. Atletico have done brilliantly recently (they’ll play their second final in three years next week, and I hope they win), but for everyone else the only reason to be in the competition is because the accountants will be happy. I don’t want to meet the football supporter who is buzzing over a bank balance, and thankfully I’ve never seen an away end go mental because the end-of-year tax return looks good.
The Europa League is much better for supporters, even though you can only see your team win it if you support Sevilla. I followed Feyenoord in the Champions League and then the Europa League a couple of seasons ago, and the Europa League games were miles better – it wasn’t even close. A few years ago I would have said the FA Cup was the greatest of all, no question, but with many clubs disrespecting the competition, the final being played at 5:30 and such statements as “It’s only the FA Cup”, I think that has been lost.
Instead, I think the title has to go to the Copa Libertadores. It’s had nine different winners in the last nine years, the atmosphere at the majority of games is something that Europe can only dream of, and it’s very common for matches to end in the second best thing behind a pitch invasion – a 22 man brawl. Sorry Gazprom, but this is the best.
3- “Let’s hope it doesn’t go to penalties”
Obviously when they involve your team they’re the worst thing ever, but can anyone honestly say they haven’t desperately searched for a stream because you’ve just noticed the Romanian Cup final is level in the 117th minute? Penalties are brilliant as long as it doesn’t involve your club, because you know for sure you’re going to experience the only valid reason to watch a football game on TV – getting to see a close up, slow motion view of people in the crowd crying their eyes out as they realise having hopes and dreams is pointless – and that’s what football is really all about.
2 – “Hahaha, they’re celebrating like they’ve won the league!!!”
This is the one which confuses me most of all. There are thousands of football clubs in existence, and only one of them can win a major trophy every year (or every four years), so what is everyone else supposed to do? Football is mostly a cycle of disappointment, losing and having to go to Barnsley, so when a moment comes up worth celebrating you can bet your life I’m jumping down six rows of seats while swinging off my mates neck and then rolling about on the floor in some 15 year old chewing gum and cigarette ends. This particular opinion is one used all the time, but I saw it most recently being aimed at Sunderland for celebrating their survival while sending down Newcastle. As every football supporter knows, there is only one thing better than something good happening to your club, and that is something hilarious happening to your rivals. This season Sunderland were lucky enough to enjoy both at once, and if anything they should have celebrated it more. I would have liked to see an open top bus parading around Sunderland waving a cardboard cut-out of Jack Colback looking sad, because it is these moments that makes being a football supporter worth it. So be free, celebrate your last-minute winners away at Doncaster, hanging on to a point away at Chelsea or bad things happening to Ajax – because that’s what it’s all about, and it’s something the celebration police will never understand.
1 – “Nobody wants to see scenes like this”
Why do you think I am watching a League Two playoff semi-final between Torquay and Crewe unless it’s for the possibility of seeing some grown men gooning about on the pitch while someone from Sky Sports tells us how awful it is? If you want to see sickening scenes of respect and unsegregated stands – go and watch rugby. Hibs fans running all over the pitch, sitting on the crossbar, digging up the turf and generally going absolutely mental was the only reason most people had tuned in to watch the game (apart from Celtic fans, who had tuned in to tell people that Rangers died), and was the most fun I’ve had watching football that didn’t involve my team for ages.
While everyone I know was talking about how amazing it was, the Sky Sports commentator was busy telling us how nobody wanted to see this and how the behaviour was utterly sickening. There is no excuse for attacking players during a pitch invasion unless it’s Robbie Savage, but this was a very small number of people amongst thousands. The way the pundits were talking, you would think that Kenny Miller had been decapitated in the centre circle while the entire Hibs section had announced they were joining ISIS and were telling people they’d just met they were vegan for the 14th time. If Sky Sports really understood football fans they would commentate on this stuff like we would “Hahaha, that one just fell over, what a silly bastard! They’re on the goalposts look, brilliant”. By pretending otherwise, you’ve won the award for the worst football opinion of all time – be sure not to celebrate it!