With the start of a new season you can expect a few things.
With the start of a new season you can expect a few things. The newest big money transfer showing how much they’re really worth, a new manager trying to win over the fans of his newest club and a referee mistake that the pundits will argue about for the rest of the season.
The 2014/15 season was no different. This time though the referee mistake that people are talking about isn’t based on a wrong penalty decision or a rash red card. It occurred during the Arsenal Crystal Palace game. Where most of the talk was about the recent departure of Palace boss Tony Pulis, referee Jon Moss also gained some notoriety with a little help from the vanishing spray.
After an incident free introduction in the recent World Cup you might have thought we probably wouldn’t see anything that grabbed our attention. Enter Jon Moss who during a routine free kick accidentally sprayed himself in the face and caught Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla.
With this latest gaffe inciting laughter from the internet, we thought its best to run down a few other high profile gaffes that united all football fans in laughter or a shared statement of “what.”
Graham “Three Card” Poll
Sticking with referee mistakes a moment that sticks in the mind of football fans occurred during the 2006 World Cup. In a group game between Croatia and Australia, English referee Graham Poll yellow carded Croatia’s Josip Šimunić for a foul on Australia’s Harry Kewell.
Normally this would usually mean Šimunić would have to calm his game down as usually another yellow card would result in his dismissal. This was not a usual game though. This would be the game Graham Poll would be remembered for; this would unfortunately become his legacy.
After Šimunić committed another illegal tackle he received a second yellow card. Instead of telling him to leave the pitch he was allowed to continue, that is until he received his third yellow card which finally resulted in him leaving the pitch. It was certainly a game to remember for Graham Poll.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
Continuing the theme of a referee’s mistake is an incident that happened last season. A match between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea can be a difficult match to referee.
The stressful situation isn’t really a good enough excuse for what transpired during Andre Marriner’s tenure as a referee. A shot from Eden Hazard was seemingly going wide but in the heat of the moment winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain deemed to have handled the ball.
This started a tricky situation for the ref. If it was considered a goal-scoring opportunity then he would have had to send him off. Either way there would be controversy created. This wasn’t enough for Andre Mariner though as story has a plot twist in a case of mistaken identity.
Unfortunately for Kieran Gibbs, Mariner wrongly identified him as the culprit, even though Oxlade-Chamberlain protested it was him. Chelsea went on to win the game 6-0 but the talking point was Marriner’s error. Here’s the Soccer Saturday team discussing it.
A Trick Too Far
Djimi Traoré is a player that has had his fair share of criticism. A regular of “Worst Players to Win the Champions League,” I still remember him with some fondness for his goal line clearance after Liverpool’s comeback in the 04-05 final. The fact he was partly the reason they were 3-0 will be ignored.
All his past indiscretions can be ignored due to this one moment of excellence. That is all of them except one. A rainy night in Burnley saw one of the greatest own goals ever. If it had happened at the other end of the pitch he would have been heralded as a footballing genius.
A simple cross from Jean-Louis Valois really should have been no problem really, except poor Djimi decided this would be his moment to showboat. He channelled his inner Cruyff by attempting a drag back turn. This resulted in the ball hitting the inside of his left foot and making its way past a hapless Jerzy Dudek.
A few years later he showed his real goal scoring prowess though whilst playing for Seattle Sounders.
A Trick Too Far 2
For our final look through a brief history of gaffes I thought it best to focus on another footballing genius. A man that plays to his own beat: Mario Balotelli.
The incident occurred in a friendly against LA Galaxy during his tumultuous tenure at Man City. Clean through on goal a simple shot would have resulted in a goal. Balotelli doesn’t do simple though. He attempted to back heel it into the net. If it had worked it would have been a great goal but alas it went wide of the post.
This resulted in boos from the fans, anger from his teammates and quickly being replaced by James Milner. An embarrassing shot but an excellent gaffe.
What gaffes would you have included in this list? Let us know in the comments below!