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Roker Ramble: More mental goings on in the pandemic footballing world!

Footballers, haircuts, and Troy Deeney getting in a box. The Spanish guide to post lockdown football, and its link to Glastonbury. And Hull City... outdone by cardboard cutouts.

UEFA Champions League”Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur FC”
How the well groomed man looks these days.

Hair. We told you it was going to cause trouble, right back at the start of the lockdown, ‘mark my words’ we insinuated – ‘hair is going to bring this whole thing crashing down, they just won’t be able to cope’. And how right we were – they’re all out there with their personal hairdressers pruning their coiffures and unable to resist the postings on social media.

Just how stupid are these people? Not only do they think that others would be interested in their haircut but they advertise the fact that they’ve broken the rules. When clubs give a player a medical they should test their IQ and if it’s in single figures like some of them appear to be, they shouldn’t be allowed out on their own.

Causing trouble - again, this week was Serge Aurier who uploaded pictures to Instagram of him and his barber post-haircut in transgression of the lockdown rules. Then responding to criticism, he posted, ‘Blah-blah-blah’, followed by snoozing emojis.

Pixar Exhibit AT The Museum Of Science In Cambridge
You’re mocking me, aren’t you....
Photo by Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The whole episode endeared him to me so much I wanted to punch him in the face repeatedly. He then followed it up with:

My hairdresser is negative and me too so stop talking in a vacuum.

Call me picky, but I’m thinking that’s completely missing the point. However, apart from deporting the arrogant bast*rd immediately, what sprang to mind was - how come his hairdresser’s been tested? Is he a protected occupation? Is he a key worker? Is he best mates with Dominic Cummings – although obviously not his barber.

Anyway, Spurs, who now have a whole department to make excuses for players who break the lockdown, have said that they will ‘deal with the incident appropriately’.

They’ll make him colour in a rainbow and stick it in the window of the training ground no doubt. Or rather get someone to do it for him.

Crystal Palace v Watford FC - Premier League
What ‘not knowing how it works’ looks like.
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Troy Deeney has no time for celebrity hairdressers:

I can’t get a haircut until mid-July but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and jump for a header? I don’t know how that works.

(We think he means the ‘box’ as in penalty area – not an actual box with 19 people, which would really be quite weird).

And we don’t know how it works either, because it doesn’t.

Watford are now drawing with Brighton in the infections stakes, and Nigel Pearson upped the ante in an interview with The Times when he stated:

God forbid we have a fatality.

I don’t think he meant on the pitch during a game, as in, does the ref stop the match, do they just play round it, if the body’s still on the pitch does that mean the sub can’t come on, that sort of thing, although I really wouldn’t be surprised if there are some guidelines covering this somewhere in this day and age.

La Liga Home Shirts 2019-20 Photo by VISIONHAUS

And talking of guidelines, guess how many people it takes to put on a lockdown football match in Spain – not including sex dolls?


It’s in an official 34 page document sent to all La Liga clubs ahead of their imminent return to the professional game. And, without going into too much detail it basically breaks it down into players, staff, guy with sticky plasters and bus drivers – 100 people. TV production people – 97.

There’s only one sentence in all 34 pages on how the match is to be conducted – we don’t know what it is. Instead, it sets out in granular detail how to travel to the stadium, how to enter the stadium, the temperature of the dressing rooms, who’s getting tested, how to behave in the hotel etc., which if all adhered to leaves the risk to players during matches as ‘practically zero’ according to the Leagues president... who. according to the document, won’t be attending any matches.

But it got me thinking – if we’re going to all this trouble to put football matches on under the most difficult of circumstances, then what other summer events could we go ahead with?

Glastonbury for instance – simple. Get all the bands to play as normal, set up a Zoom meeting for each stage and invite everyone who bought a ticket into the meeting. Punters can drop in and out of gigs as they like, no mud, no ‘long drop’ toilets, they can still get stoned, (#imanalbatross), catch a sexually transmitted disease and wake up in their own beds the next day.

Get Mark Radcliffe and Jo Whiley in wellies in their back gardens doing the BBC intro’s, leave the cows in the field to give the bands some atmosphere and the jobs a good’un.

Daily UK Life 2019
The cheaper seats left something to the imagination.
Photo by Andrew Hasson/Getty Images

The London Marathon – easy. Everyone uses GPS these days to track their runs so just feed the signals into a central location, plot them on the course in real time and tell all the entrants to run their own marathon locally. Failing that just broadcast last years race with the date changed on the titles and I don’t think anyone would notice.

Wimbledon, there’s only three guys in contention, of whom Nadal will retire injured in the semis and Federer’s too old. So Djokovic will win it, if he’s not been arrested in the meantime for burning down 5G telephone masts on his wife’s instructions. Piece together footage from previous years to broadcast the action, remote link to John McEnroe for the evening summary where he can insult everyone, then present the trophy to Djokovic at home just as if he’d won an award but couldn’t be bothered to turn up at the ceremony.

And finally, fair play to Borussia Monchengladbach supporters, 13,000 of whom paid to have their cardboard cut-outs in the stands for the match this weekend. Maybe not as interesting as sex dolls, but it’s actually more than Hull City’s average attendance.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga
Why would you put yourself in there twice?
Photo by Ina Fassbender/Pool via Getty Images

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