With football disappearing from our lives for moths due to lockdown, it’s fair to say we’ve had a few surprises since the return of the Premier League.
Arsenal really are that sh*t. David de Gea’s still punching balls into his own net. And Liverpool actually are going to win the league at a canter.
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Ok, so maybe it’s not all that surprising, but what has shocked up – both for good and for bad – is some of the facial furniture we’ve seen landed on some of the most familiar mugs in the Premier League.
So much so that we’ve just had to weigh up who should be reaching for the beard wax to coat their curly chops, and who needs to get down the barbers with a paper bag over their head for an emergency shave?
? Darren: “I like Mike Dean’s beard but I’m not sure what Andy’s doing!”
? Ally: “Andy’s taking it to a new level! I’m having it all day!”
The @TSBreakfast gang discussed Sunday’s biggest stories… the beards of Mike Dean & Andy Carroll ?
Which beard do you prefer? ? pic.twitter.com/FiVe3DHrlt
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 22, 2020
5 – Andy Carroll
Look, we all appreciate you were trying something different Andy, but the first look in the mirror should’ve set off the Trevor from GTA5 klaxon, and while shooting up a farm full of dope-peddlers in the Los Santos wastelands might be a great idea in the safety of your living room, even hinting at a similar level of violence on a Premier League pitch will almost certainly lead to a lengthy ban.
David De Gea is back and he’s sporting a new look at Old Trafford today. Strong beard, that ? pic.twitter.com/Vt0JCV8i68
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) June 6, 2020
4 – David De Gea
While United’s not-shot-stopper has been cultivating a fuzzy front for quite a while, he really shook off the 14-year-old boy’s first strands of facial growth vibe during the enforced hiatus – quite an impressive feat for someone who is months away from their 30th birthday.
Still, it’s not all celebration as true beardy maturity only truly arrives when you put form on the scruffy mass of follicles spurting from your face.
Yes Dave, you finally have a beard, well done. Now cultivate it, make it your own. Looking like the number one target on the FBI’s most-wanted list might impress the squirrels that live around your off-grid shack in Appalachian mountains, but it doesn’t say much when you return to civilization to throw in a couple for United.
Friday can’t come quick enough ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/XeFo13q7BN
— Harry Kane (@HKane) June 16, 2020
3 – Harry Kane
Sir Harry’s growth looks to have been frozen during the lockdown, and is almost too concerned with shape, disappearing under his chin when it could be channelling the spirit of a Henry VIII-style neckbeard. The triumph of structure over style can only be the work of one man, according to Paul Merson’s assessment of Kane’s lockdown fuzz – Jose’s been handling the shaving shears down the Spurs training ground….
Whoever did Andros Townsend’s hair transplant is an absolute magician. pic.twitter.com/Z4CAjTdRnP
— RB. (@randallbell) June 18, 2020
2 – Andros Townsend
The Palace winger, understandably, is still buzzing from the miraculous return of strands to the top of his bonce, so why not accentuate the positive and go for full hair all around the face and head, like some terrifying giant furball of occasionally-spectacular-goal-scoring death?
Thick and lustrous, this is the beard Martin Wolfie Adams should’ve had if he was to live up to his darting nickname.
Mike Dean has a lockdown beard.
And I’ll be honest. I f*cking love it. pic.twitter.com/knHBrM9XsV
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 21, 2020
1 – Mike Dean
The undeniable number one. The man who puts the effing in reffing blew the competition away – with a sharp burst from his whistle as he waved for everyone to look at him and listen knowing him – on Sunday evening when he revealed his salt-and-pepper toned addition to his often-spittle-flecked face.
While it’s tempting to wonder if this development was partly a ruse to offer some anonymity in the street to the most recognisable ref in the game, we all know he loves the attention really, and no doubt has several photo-shoots planned to capture the hair sensation is all its glory.
And why not. Casting directors of Sandinoir crime dramas take note. Mike’s available for the lead detective role any time you like.