Every Tuesday, playsarea highlights the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.
Burnley troll sod savant Arteta
Turf Moor? More like turf less for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who was critical of the length and moisture levels of Burnley’s pitch for the Gunners’ goalless draw last weekend.
Burnley’s cheeky admin decided to have a laugh at Arteta’s expense with a briefly-lived Twitter header image. Where else will Clarets manager Sean Dyche find the worms he denies munching on?
Barrow forced to borrow bus
National League side Barrow’s 740-mile round trip to Dover Athletic hit the skids when the team’s bus broke down ahead of the journey home, meaning 23 players boarded a coach filled with fans heading back to Cumbria.
It seems the return leg took a bit longer than expected as Barrow players missed their post-match feast, forcing a detour on the trip home.
“We just thought they were going to nip to the shop and get something quick, so we all sat and waited on the coach expecting them to come back rather quickly,” Barrow supporter Taylor Nelson told BBC Sport. “But instead we were all waiting for about half an hour as they were queuing up for KFC orders.”
For more on Barrow, check out Stuart James’ lovely look at the club in The Athletic if you have the time/subscription/my login credentials.
Explosive stuff on the Scottish coast
Checking in on Scottish football, ticket sales at Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s stadium for Saturday’s cup game between the second-tier club and Livingston were temporarily suspended because a bomb was found nearby.
“The ordnance was found by two members of the public on Wednesday,” according to the BBC. “Coastguard volunteers monitored the site until the explosives experts arrived.” According to Caley Thistle, “The Bomb has now been exploded.” Carry on then.
Pitiful penalties in Japanese cup final
Vissel Kobe and Yokohama F. Marinos combined to miss nine straight penalties during Saturday’s Japanese Super Cup after a frenetic affair was deadlocked at 3-3 following normal time. Peter Drury could only hope to replicate the commentator’s escalating joy.
Andres Iniesta and Thomas Vermaelen’s Vissel eventually came out on top, with the latter’s weary expression following his own awry effort certain to kindle nostalgia among Arsenal and Barcelona fans alike.
Friendly fire in France
If the J-League’s best could use some target practice, Guingamp’s Lloyd Palun would be happy to demonstrate for them after his pinpoint free-kick wiped out a teammate during Saturday’s win over Lorient.
Kaka spurns unsolicited advice
Imagine being the guy who had Kaka put in an impromptu shift for his six-a-side team in London on the weekend and shouting “Cut back!” (volume on) at the Brazilian legend. Lovely yarn here about the fella who nutmegged him.
Newcastle fan banned for flashing
A fan favorite, a late winner, and countless limbs. Newcastle’s last-gasp FA Cup victory over Oxford United – courtesy of Allan Saint-Maximin’s 116th-minute decider – had something for everyone, including one particular limb that’s got a Magpies fan in hot water.
Newcastle supporter Mike Pendridge flashed his penis in celebration of Saint-Maximin’s winner, something the French winger apparently delighted in. (Video here, at your own peril.)
“That’s messed up since we didn’t see anything because of the cold night,” keen-eyed Saint-Maximin noted before posting the best hashtag in the history of social media: #WeWillRememberYouPenicopter.
Six arrested for leaking video of Malaga manager
Sticking on the topic, here’s hoping Victor Sanchez del Amo feels somewhat vindicated after Spanish police arrested six individuals allegedly involved in leaking a sexually explicit video of the former Malaga manager.
Sanchez del Amo was suspended by Malaga, and ultimately fired, after the video surfaced online. The 42-year-old took to Twitter on Jan. 7, claiming that a crime against his privacy had been committed, and that he was the victim of blackmail and harassment.
Incredibly, reports suggest Malaga might actually have been behind the blackmail; Sanchez del Amo was critical of the club’s hierarchy during a dismal spell that’s resulted in the 2013 Champions League quarterfinalists flirting with relegation to the third tier.
Duplicity in Deutschland
Bayern Munich hosted antiheroes RB Leipzig on Sunday in the Bundesliga, rolling out the “F— RB” banner and others to criticize the club’s corporate energy drink ties. Surely the irony of the Telekom-branded section at the Allianz Arena wasn’t lost on the strident Bayern fans. Shot. Chaser.
Sidibe’s sock search draws Ancelotti’s ire
Djibril Sidibe was introduced early for the injured Theo Walcott during Everton’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace this past weekend, and the Frenchman came unprepared.
Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti’s expression is that of every disappointed parent ever.