Football Cliches – Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”


Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”

Some cliches are designed to display the footballing intellect of the pundit in question, some are designed to fill uncomfortable silences and/or kill time and others, well others are designed for the sole purpose of masking a player’s lacking and none more so than the rather stunning fortune telling qualities of “if that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”. Not content with trying to cover up another howler from your rather overpriced but luxuriously European sounding striker with this nugget of cliche goodness, the pundit will apply all his high school physics knowledge to reliably predict where the ball would’ve gone had it not been sclaffed with all the skill of an LG ajossi 5 Sojus for the worse on a hwesik. It might not be quite the JFK ‘Magic Bullet’ theory but it is a tad of a stretch to try and claim any plaudits for the player who has yet again left you scratching your head and tearing out what’s left of once flowing locks.

Some pundits don’t really need the ball on the pitch to know what happened.

Of course as well as most pundits lacking the necessary clairvoyant talents to predict the potential outcome of a shot there is the added factor of the man between the sticks, that’s right the guy who’s sole job in life is to save his team’s blushes when called upon. This cliche does in fact need the keeper in question to be having an off day or at the very least to be Jung Sung Ryoung.  Merely being “on target” is not the only prerequisite to a goal and in fact most fans have been witness to enough gravity-defying feats of goalkeeping greatness at both ends of the pitch to know this is true. This adds to the rather ridiculousness of the cliche not to mention rendering the goalkeeper futile, maybe this is why so few of them end up gracing the cameras with their presence after they hang up the boots. Goalkeepers, to me, always seem akin to the babysitter’s boyfriend in a horror movie. There in the background and often overshadowed by a pair of strikers and only really called on to save the day or find themselves sprawled on the deck looking rather gutted as the killer spins away with an evil grin.

“But as long as it’s on target its a goal right?”

So the next time you are trudging home on the wrong end of a derby defeat please console yourself with the fact that even if your number 9 had more swipes than a “bubbly blonde just looking for fun” on Tinder that all those “almost on target” goals counted. And retire home warm in the knowledge that in the world of the pundit your 3-0 reverse was in fact a resounding 5-3 victory. Good luck convincing that one utterly detestable rival fan that we all know or work with that you alone have the bragging rights. 


Football Cliches – Week 2 – “Take on fluids”



Week 2 : “Take on some fluids”

It was somewhere around the early 2000s while working in the heady world of the soft drinks industry that I first noticed everyday words  such as drinking and water becoming Marketing buzzwords such as “hydration” and “aqua”. Not to be left behind ,”the beautiful game” also adopted this trend and where as once we had the physio with his “magic sponge” we now had the players “taking on fluids” during a match. It wasn’t long before every pundit from ‘Soccer Saturday’ to ‘Match of the Day’ was remarking on how badly the players needed to “take on fluids” as opposed to simply “taking a drink”. I understand that times have changed and it’s no longer good old H2O that is being consumed during a match but quite why we have the phrase “taking on” is beyond me. I’ve seen The Poseidon Adventure, the taking on of fluids ain’t a good idea.

The first time I heard this cliche coined I remember instantly being reminded of Adam Sandler’s epic portrayal of Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy and half expecting to see a village idiot figure scampering onto the field of play with a bucket, a second glance at the screen confirmed it was in fact Wayne Rooney on my screen so I guess I was half right! Thinking back to some of the epic footballers that I’ve seen grace the green fields of the SPL, I wonder just exactly what “fluids” they had taken on before the game started and in fact there was one rather portly ginger-haired ex-Celtic player who was rumored to enjoy having a “cold Becks” on the the team bus en route to away matches.

The Waterboy “takes on some fluids”

Of course we all know that even some of the simplest of tasks can be beyond the reach of the average footballer, take Mario Balotelli’s infamous ‘bib fight’ for example, but surely the taking on of fluids is a relatively simple task? Apparently not if you are an Australian female footballer it would seem! One can only be glad that her teammate was close at hand to aid her in the task.


This post has of course made me reminisce about the golden era of when footballers could actually get through 45 mins of what most of us regard as a hobby without the need to guzzle gallons of liquid to get them to half-time. The modern game really does miss those days when players such as Teddy Sherryingham, David Gin-ola, Alex Miller, Rudi Vodka, Damien Duff, David Becksham, Oliver Bier-hoff, Dick Advocat, Magners Hedman and the great Grenadine Zidane graced the field of play.

Football Cliche of the Week – “He’s lost the dressing room”

48 Shades are doing a football cliche series!!!

We all know that footballers have a short career span and while in the glory days of the 60s and 70s most would inevitably open a watering hole in a local neighborhood to try and live off their fame the current trend is for each and every one to believe they can talk about the game with the same poise and skill with which they played it.

Monday Night Football 08/08/13 ©Chris Lobina for Sky Sports
So I used to know what I was doing on a Saturday afternoon.

With this new found role we have seen an increase of touchscreen, colourful interactive boards to allow the honest pundit to inform us less-informed viewers of exactly why our team is being routed 5-0 by Barcelona, why the opposition hatchet man saw red for his fifth leg-crushing tackle of the match and to show us that the beautiful defence-splitting pass from  our favoured son was indeed not offside and that we should feel both depressed and indignant that we are not still “in the match”. Of course as is with all jobs where someone has been nepetistically elevated beyond their skill set we will ultimately witness the occasional “what did he just say” as the pundit suddenly finds himself a little out of his depth. From Chris Kamara’s missed goals to the factual monotone of Michael Owen it’s safe to say not every footballer should be allowed on our screens once the proverbial boots have been “hung up”. And so it is with great pleasure that we at 48 Shades Tower would like to share with you some of our more cherished ‘football cliches’.

Week 1 : “He’s gone and lost the dressing room”

A dressing room can be a lonely place for some managers

The dreaded cliche that no manger wants to hear is that of “he’s lost the dressing room” which of course is the accusation or assumption that a team or player’s poor performances of late are down to a lack of respect or belief in the manager’s credentials and ability. We all know that footballers are a sensitive bunch and as such need to be handled and indeed managed like the equivalent of a 2nd grade kindergarten class who have been told the annual trip to the zoo has been cancelled this year. One wrong word and the club can have a revolt on their hands, one only needs to ask two of the more recent incumbents of the much coveted Man Utd manager’s jacket about this. Of course given that the majority of managers are ex-players then one assumes they too might just border on the touchy side when they feel they are not being given the right amount of praise so the potential is definitely there for a whole series of dummy spitting episodes.

Of course it’s rare that a pundit really does know what is happening in the sanctuary of the dressing room and it’s more often that not that this self-serving prophecy is trotted out way before there actually were any issues. This of course doesn’t stop the pundit throwing it out there for the reason why your team surrendered another lead and find themselves languishing at the “wrong end of the table”. Of course having grown up watching football in an era when Scottish football had managers of the ilk of Ebbe Skovdahl and Ivan Golac it wouldn’t surprise me if one of them had actually physically lost the dressing room.

Now where did I leave the team.