Forget ‘simulation’ and two-footed tackles, the Premier League has a new scourge far deadlier than anything Lee Cattermole or Gary Cahill can throw at you: the selfie.
Enough of a problem for Tottenham and several other clubs to ban fans from bringing special “selfie sticks” into grounds, the practice of taking these self-indulgent pictures has now become increasingly commonplace among players.
And after Arsenal opted to indulge in the practice – though not for the first time – after beating Manchester City, a certain Mr Jamie Carragher decided enough was enough.
But before the Sky Sports pundit rests on his laurels regarding this truly lamentable practice, maybe he should have a word with the following five people – and they aren’t the only ones!
Wojciech Szczesny – Arsenal
The out-of-favour Pole currently has three favourite pastimes: chilling out by the post of his goal with a drink after conceding, smoking in the showers (still don’t understand how that works) and taking selfies.
He was roundly ridiculed after one of these snaps during Arsenal’s north London derby win over Tottenham and if you ever find yourself the subject of mockery from Spurs ‘legend’ Andros Townsend, you know you need help.
Mario Balotelli – Liverpool
Brought to Liverpool to help fill some of the void left by Luis Suarez and at the very least score some goals for the Reds, Balotelli has managed neither, though he has at the very least maintained some consistency when it comes to taking pictures of himself.
Perhaps he was trying to lift the spirits of Liverpool supporters everywhere with these amusing pics, easing the pain of a poor showing in the Champions League by donning a Mexican-style wrestling mask for instance. Then again, maybe he was just being a prat.
Cesc Fabregas – Chelsea
Proof that even good players get in on the selfie action, while Fabregas’s efforts on the pitch for the Blues can draw little in the way on criticism, his insistence on chronicling nearly every moment of his waking life through pictures of himself and his friends has proven annoying and seemingly news-worthy.
Coming across like football’s answer to Ellen Degeneres, Fabs likes nothing more than to fill each selfie-frame with as many notable faces as possible. We can only imagine that his Spain and Chelsea teammates are starting to get tired of this.
Joleon Lescott – West Brom
While some of you may have forgotten Lescott was still filed under the category of “Premier League star” it’s important to remember than the former City man was one of the early trend-setters in the world of player selfies, having got in on the act while with the Sky Blues.
Now celebrating a title win is one thing, but putting yourself front-and-centre for the fun when you’ve sort of been a bit cack all year is an altogether different prospect. We fully expect to see Lescott attempt to team up with big Tony Pulis for one of these at the end of the season and that simply cannot happen.
Louis van Gaal – Manchester United
Top Corner (@HITCtopcorner) January 20, 2015
Posing with a selfie with a fan may seem like a lovely thing to do, but when said supporter looks like a younger, rounder version of yourself with the same “trendy” hairstyle, questions need to be asked.
Manchester United fans may be concerned at the lack of progress under van Gaal despite spending some £130m last summer, but we would be more worried about the potential for more bizarre selfies of the Red Devils boss surfacing online in the near future. Sort it out Louis!
Can you think of any other players/managers guilty of indulging in selfies? Comment below...