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7 Things

Here’s what you (may) have missed in this week’s football

With much of country confined to their homes, we thought a bumper edition of Seven Things would provide a respite from the seriousness of current events. Football has ground to a halt but here’s some stuff you may have missed…

1. Tomato puree!

Think of the humble commentator in these football-less times. With no sport happening, the game’s narrators have been forced to hone their craft in other ways.

So here’s Clive Tyldesley commentating on his wife’s cooking. He makes preparing a lasagna sound like the Champions League final.

2. David Beckham approves of this message

This is the best free-kick you’ll see for weeks. Even though the lad in the truck moved the basket at the last moment…

3. Are you watching, Richard Branson?

Gary Neville announced that the Manchester hotels he co-owns with Ryan Giggs (Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange) will be closed to the public from Sunday and will be available for NHS employees to use free of charge.

The Sky Sports pundit confirmed the hotels will be staffed as usual and that none of his employees have to worry about potential redundancies, a fear that many in the hospitality industry hold during this period of social distancing.

Who would have thought that Man United’s abrasive right-back of the 1990s and 2000s would turn out to be among the best of us?

4. Let the toilet roll know you’re there early!

You may have seen that footballers have been entertaining themselves by doing keepy-ups with toilet rolls.

Hundreds of players have participated in the ‘Stay At Home Challenge’, posting videos on social media of their silky skills.

While it’s nice to see the players of the world interacting with one and another while the season is postponed, the issue with this challenge is: once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

That’s where Felipe Melo comes in. The former Brazil midfielder has never been known for his deftness of touch. In fact, he’s the sort of bloke who would get a yellow card at his wedding.

True to form, Melo posted his unique version of the challenge, which consisted of him doing one single keepy-up before performing a two-footed slide tackle on the unsuspecting bog roll.

5. Not even Ronaldinho tried this…

Since there’s no new football for the foreseeable future, we’ve resorted to watching clips from the past. On our way down various rabbit holes we stumbled upon this unusual manoeuvre from Jonny Evans to evade Cesc Fabregas. And before you ask, yes, he got away it…

6. Sitting in your pants at 3am illuminated by the glow of your laptop

Earlier this week, Sports Interactive announced a record number of gamers playing Football Manager at any one time. The popular management simulation game allows players to step into the shoes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and co as they hone tactics, buy and sell players, devise training schedules, and other such duties in search of digital glory.

With fans bound to their sofas, it’s no surprise the game’s popularity is on the rise.

There are few easier ways to spend several hours than getting lost in a quest to take Swindon Town to the Champions League.

You can play Football Manager 2020 for free right now as Sports Interactive announced a demo period lasting until March 25th. Give it a go if cabin fever is setting in at home.

7. Give me a Vialli please, barber

One curious emerging trend during this suspension of play concerns close shaves. First, Mark Lawrenson posted a photo on Twitter of his new look (bald). Then Antonio Valencia – who has a famously strong hairline – followed suit a day later. Presumably a trip to the barbers is considered unnecessary travel right now.


Who will adopt the Stone Cold Steve Austin look next? David Luiz? Antoine Griezmann? Axel Witsel?


‘Til Monday when we meet again, cheers then.