To Twat or not to Twat?

Twattish goal celebrations are a common phenomenon in contemporary football and  something I’ve never understood. I think it may boil down to me not having a true understanding of how big twats a lot of footballers are. I have played football in a social or amateur fashion for over 15 years and have had to privilege of scoring some goals myself. I even put in a late game winner in a semi-final. But one thing I can be sure of is that, in the midst of that goal euphoria, that incredible lightness, that indescribable joy, it never occurred to me to remember to do that fucking stupid robot dance that I always do when I score. It usually went more like this; hands in the air, running into the maul of celebrating team mates. I’d like to think I’m not as big an egotistical, preening twat as Daniel Sturridge appears to be, because maybe it would occur to me to do a little dance if I was. That might explain it. But even if I was, even if I did decide to mark an act which, although often an individually inspired event, is more principally done for the advancement of the team, with an utterly self-interested, not to mention often irritating performance, then why wouldn’t it be something that at least looks cool? Nobody thinks that Daniel Sturridge’s robot dance is cool, except Daniel Sturridge. The same goes for Peter Crouch’s robot dance, Gareth Bale’s heart hands, Tim Cahill’s boxing with the corner flag, and many, many other twattish acts. To try and establish a signature celebration in the first place, taken now even to the extent of Bale actually trademarking his heart hands, is just so bloody twattish.

The shame is that goal celebrations, even when premeditated and executed well, can be incredibly cool. Ronaldo’s shaking pointed finger is cool. Eric Cantona’s (and Mark Bresciano’s) statue celebration is so cool. The knee slide can be cool, but is prone to mishaps. Drogba’s flying V is pretty good. Alan Shearer’s single arm salute was quite good, if a little too Di Canio-esque. The entire stadium and millions at home are watching you, a lot of them celebrating with you, why would you want to do something undignified, or daggy, or inane? For me, it sours the moment. A celebration that isn’t contrived can be so much better. A perfect case in point: Tim Cahill’s two goals against Japan in the 2006 World Cup.

At 2:07 he scores an equaliser and proceeds to twat the whole place up (especially annoying is the little duck-dodge he does at the end of the flurry of punches). Then at 3:16 he scores again, in emphatic fashion. The goal, to put Australia a goal up in our first World Cup for more than 30 years, is so special, so momentous, that Cahill abandons his tried and tested goal celebration. Few scenes gives me goose bumps more effectively than the sight of Tim Cahill, running into the mass of dozens of team mates and staff, bellowing with pure joy, eyes raised to the heavens. He even gets Guus Hiddink to break into a jog, which I’d guess is no mean feat. It’s wonderful, undeniably wonderful.

Now, come on today’s footballers, let’s have more of that and less of this

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