Seven things Yer Da wants to see kicked out of football

Agents, VAR, and five other tropes of modern football Yer Da hates...


Gloves worn with short-sleeved shirts

Call me old fashioned, but the only player on the pitch who should be sporting gloves is the goalkeeper. And even that’s a bit dodgy, if you ask me: back in my day, keepers had nothing on their hands but the expectations of their colleagues down t’pit – and rightly so.

Nowadays, everyone from tricky wingers to supposedly rugged centre-halves turn up with some sort of ergonomic hand-warming garments wrapped around their palms. I can just about handle that, but not when that’s combined with a short-sleeved shirt.

It just doesn’t make any sense. If you’re warm enough not to require long sleeves, you should be warm enough not to require handwear.

Video Assistant Referees

What’s football without a bit of controversy?  I mean, what are we supposed to talk about in the pub and on online supporters club forums if we can’t moan for several days, or even months, about how if it wasn’t for referees we’d be top of the table?

That’s a whole week’s worth of entertainment gone at the drop of a carefully scrutinised replay. There’s just no point going around getting things right all the time – all that does is force fans to acknowledge reality.

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People who don’t support their local club

It shouldn’t matter where you’re from in the world, or how utterly crap your local club is – you shouldn’t be supporting a team that isn’t located nearby. I don’t care if you’re from the middle of the Russian steppe and there’s no habitation within 600 miles of your yurt, that’s no reason to support Manchester United.

Tourists are ruining the atmosphere in Premier League grounds, and non-league sides can’t get crowds. There’s simply no justification for wanting to watch and be part of high-level football if you’re not lucky enough to be born in London, Liverpool or Manchester.

You should be showing up at Backwater Park every week rather than travelling for two days to buy a Phil Jones-themed alarm clock in the Old Trafford gift shop.

Goalkeepers who pass it short rather than pumping it long

Pat Jennings didn’t need to reverse-elastico the ball past an onrushing attacker each week in order to become one of the greatest keepers of all time. It was enough for him to have palms the size of iPads, a grip that could crush a melon through a fire blanket and a boot that could kick a stick of butter through a frying pan.

So why should it be any different now?

I’m sick of watching lads like Ederson and ter Stegen playing about with the ball in their own 6-yard box.

Who do they think they are, Stanley Bowles?

Just get rid of it, son. Let the outfield players knock it about. Your job is to bash it 60 yards onto the head of the opposing centre-half in the hope it’ll rebound down to one of your own.

Reserve XIs for the FA Cup


Playing in the FA Cup should be the highlight of any player’s career, and perhaps even their life. Some people claim that rest is necessary for modern footballers to remain at the top of their game – but no-one was saying that when Barry Topnotch scored 44 in 60 games for Preston during the 1975/76 season, all the while holding down a full-time job as a haddock-batterer in his grandad’s chippy.

It’s just one more namby-pamby excuse for the contemporary player to skive off and spend more time at home playing Mario Kart on the Wii, or whatever it is they do these days. A full-strength XI should be named for every single fixture, without exception, no matter how small the gap between matches.


Why do footballers even need them? They should be happy with their lot.

Things were far better when players were forced to live off sub-minimum wage and couldn’t leave their club unless they mounted a daring underground escape from the training ground.  That lad Johnny Bosman killed the game with his insistence that football should have at least some connection to the world of employment law.

What happened to playing for THE LOVE OF THE GAME, with nothing more than a sack of turnips as a reward each week?

Now, players all seem to care more about their ‘value’ to the ‘market’ than they do about learning how to tackle, and it’s all thanks to agents.

Paul Pogba

That lad cares more about his hair than he does about football.

But where exactly does he find the time? Shouldn’t he be training instead of sitting in a barber’s?

As for those celebrations – if he practiced passing as much as he practiced dabbing, he’d be some player. If I was his coach, I’d have him watching videos of Lee Cattermole for five hours each day – now there’s a proper central midfielder.

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What do you think?