Seven sh*t things about football we’ll never complain about again

We promise to keep quiet.

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Sometimes it takes an unprecedented global pandemic to realise just how good you’ve got it, so we’ve decided to round up some of the annoying things about football that we may have got slightly too bothered about.

It’s hard to believe it now but when we had an endless supply of live football to watch we used to spend most of our time moaning about it.

 

These days as we desperately try and work out which Belarusian Premier League team we support and which we will inexplicably but passionately hate, we’d cut off our right arm for the chance to watch a Carabao Cup game between two hopelessly weakened teams who appear to be trying to get knocked out.

So, when life finally does go back to normal, we solemnly swear that we will no longer whinge about the following bugbears that in hindsight are probably not quite so terrible as they seemed before the world was brought to the edge of collapse.

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VAR

VAR was introduced to once and for all end debates about refereeing decisions and overnight it did exactly that.

Instead of arguing about the decisions, fans and pundits have instead spent all their time arguing about whether VAR should have been used, whether it was used correctly and whether, although it was technically used correctly, it had plunged us into a dystopian future where we are unable to accept human error and are subservient to the ruthless will of machines.

But if football were to come back now we’d accept any number of goals being ruled out for a rogue armpit hair straying offside.

Pundits

Since the beginning of televised sport, the number of times a pundit has made a useful contribution is still in single digits.

The main role of the pundit is to make it easier for fans to get up off the sofa during half-time by repeating the obvious several times interspersed with stock phrases such as ‘for me, he has to do better’.

At this moment we’d happily sit through an hour of Graeme Souness’s angry takes on Paul Pogba missing a penalty if it meant we could watch some football.

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Carabao Cup

It may have been a bastardised mishmash of a competition sponsored by a moose-flavoured energy drink but it was football goddammit.

They can get Robbie Savage to do the draw for the next round on the Moon at 3am and we’d still tune in. I’d even down a can of Carabao for the honour (although that may not count as essential food shopping).

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Phil Jones

Humanity has found answers to many of the complex mysteries of the Universe, but to date no scientist or philosopher has found a reasonable explanation for the existence and continued prevalence of Phil Jones.

Maybe he’s one of those rare geniuses that is never appreciated in his time and in 2080 people will rave about Phil Jones while Lionel Messi draws a complete blank.

Either way, I hate to say it but I kind of miss him.

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Liverpool fans

We all know at least one Liverpool fan who had become absolutely intolerable over the course of the season.

Even at the worst of times Liverpool supporters aren’t shy about reminding you of how great the club is, so when they actually are the best team in the world the smugness can reach dangerous levels.

But I think I speak for all neutrals when I say we were holding out for an unprecedented squandering of a 22-point lead rather than the shutdown of all worldwide sport.

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Diving

It already seems dated to complain about diving, but before VAR it was the thing all football fans could agree on and roll their eyes at.

Somehow it doesn’t seem quite so bad now if Cristiano Ronaldo wants to roll around as if he’s been maimed at the slightest contact. In fact, it’s basically a theatre performance which we also don’t have these days.

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ref

Time wasting

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching the opposing team run out the clock by holding the ball in the corner or doing that thing where all 11 players have a go at lining up a throw-in before someone finally dinks it in.

But what we’re dealing with now is basically as much fun as weeks on end of corner flagging without the prospect of the inevitable hideous foul from the pissed off striker to look forward to.

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