Harmless Misdemeanours

Article by Adam

After Real Madrid put Liverpool to the sword in the opening 45 minutes on Wednesday twitter was desperate for a scapegoat. Sure the defence were caught napping at will, sure Kroos and Modric dominated the middle of the park and yes, sure, the entire team can't defend a set piece. But did you see Balotelli shoot that one time when he should have passed?

If Mario wasn't destined to Liverpool's scapegoat prior to kick off and if that likelihood wasn't increased after 45 lethargic minutes on the pitch it was all but guaranteed after Balotelli was shown swapping shirts with Real Madrid's Pepe before disappearing down the tunnel.

This lead me to think, in this world of, sometimes pointless Twitter rage, it seems we need to get organised and need a definitive list of footballs worst harmless misdemeanours.

5. Refusing to celebrate.

In at five, this new fad has been sneaking up the charts for years. Sure when Frank Lampard scored against Chelsea we could all accept him not celebrating but when players like Lukaku won't celebrate against a team they spent a season with on loan we know this had jumped the shark. It seems we could realistically see a player refuse to celebrate because they once managed an opposition team on Football Manager.

4. Handshakes (or lack thereof)

In the olden days, when men were men, everyone shook everyone's hand, no matter what your indiscretion. Then came John Terry and he just ruined it for everyone. Now handshakes can be analysed as much as tactics and we can see replay after replay before a ball has been kicked. Now mangers and ball boys alike can be 6 second vine superstars. This is what Orwell was talking about.

3. "In and around"

This phrase has burrowed itself to the very core of football. Does it make sense? Occasionally. Is it misused 99% of the time? Yes, sometimes comically so. Is it all Andy Townsend's fault? Absolutely!!! An example of his ineptitude, "Player x should be in and around the goalkeeper there" and all this pre-watershed.

2. Half time shirt swap

A re-entry at number two, literally off the back of its recent prime time exposure in the Champions League. Until a season or two ago this wasn't even a thing, then Andre Santos exposed us, Piers Morgan's Twitter feed and Graham Souness' blood pressure to this new phenomenon. Since then this has been up there as the most offensive thing a player can do on a football pitch. Queue the unruly pitch fork mob outside Mario's home after his rad shirt collection.

1. Players with the "wrong" shirt numbers. 

I'm talking to you Samuel Eto'o