World Soccer views and news
What next for pampered players — overcoats?
I blame the late, great Keith Weller of Leicester City.
He started the trend for “cold-weather clothing” when he pulled on a pair of white tights one winter’s day in the 1970s.
He did not know it at the time, but that began the wimpish drift towards gloves, hats and now the ridiculous snoods, or neck warmers, being worn by the likes of Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, and most fetchingly, Marouane Chamakh of Arsenal in the last few weeks.
At this rate, with winter now drawing in, they will be turning up and playing in overcoats by Christmas.
Things have deteriorated a long way since Weller’s heyday.
Players have been wearing gloves for years — some, bizarrely with short-sleeved shirts.
But the snood takes matters down to a whole new level. Tevez began the recent trend for them with a kind of roll-neck number while his Manchester City team mate Adebayor looks as if he is going out for a cross-country skiing expedition across the frozen tundra rather running out for a football match in Manchester.
Of course it can get cold in Manchester and it rains a lot there too. So how long will we have to wait till the first player turns up with an umbrella?
What with players wearing pink, white, yellow and lime green boots, it’s a wonder that more clubs aren’t being sponsored by the world’s great fashion houses rather than betting concerns and insurance companies.
There is a serious issue here however.
These men, earning more in a week than many earn in a year, are in danger of contravening FIFA’s laws of the game which stipulate clearly what can and can’t be worn on the field.
Obviously referees are allowing the snoods to be worn for now.
But just wait till someone goes up to head the ball, the snood rises up so he can’t see the goal and he plants what should have been a simple goal hopelessly wide while trying to pull the snood down and find his bearings.
He might well be warmed up in another place besides his neck by his manager afterwards!
PHOTO: A cosy looking Carlos Tevez (L) of Manchester City squares up with Manchester United’s Rafael da Silva (R) during their English Premier League soccer match at the City of Manchester Stadium , November 10, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble