Yaya Toure was reportedly unhappy at Manchester City's failure to wish him a Happy Birthday (©GettyImages)
Yaya Toure was reportedly unhappy at Manchester City's failure to wish him a Happy Birthday (©GettyImages).

Ten worst footballing excuses

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1) Francesco Totti & Christian Panucci – A bad workman always blames his tools, right? Well in 2004 at the European Championships, that’s exactly what Italian stars Francesco Totti and Christian Panucci did, blaming a 0-0 draw against Denmark on their footwear. Totti opted for the more believable excuse of blaming his boots, claiming wearing them was “like having your feet on boiling sand.” Panucci however, went one step further and blamed his socks, “The thread that these socks were made with is too rough.” Whilst I’m sure rough threaded socks can be a mild inconvenience, I find it difficult to believe it constitutes a valid excuse for drawing with DENMARK of all teams…

2) Kenny Dalglish – Football managers tend to be very good at coming up with excuses following a poor result, usually by blaming the referee for a contentious decision, or their players for not putting enough effort in. However, in 1998 Kenny Dalglish opted for a rather more bizarre approach, choosing to blame his Newcastle side’s failure to beat non-league Stevenage Borough on the match balls, claiming that they were “too bouncy.” What’s that Kenny, footballs are bouncy? Well I never…

3) Blackpool Stadium manager John Turner – Way back in 1996 Blackpool faced Bradford City in a Division Two play-off semi final. Despite coming into the second leg 2-0 up from the away game, Blackpool were overturned and lost 3-2. Their excuse? The team’s boardroom was haunted by the ghost of Lord Nelson, whose ship The Foudroyant was used to make the wood paneling of the room. Quite what relevance this has to Blackpool’s inability to hold onto a two-goal lead is anyone’s guess.

4) Wayne Rooney – Yaya Toure is not the first player to disguise a plea for a new contract by unconventional means. In 2010, Rooney was quoted as saying the club’s lack of ‘ambition’ was the reason behind his desire to leave the club. Funnily enough, a new £250,000 a week contract dispelled what concern he may have had…

5) Vladislav Vashchuck – At the 2006 World Cup, Ukraine were thumped 4-0 by Spain. But rather than be humble in defeat, defender Vashuck decided to blame the local wildlife population. He was quoted as saying "Because of the frogs' croaking we hardly got a wink of sleep. We all agreed that we would take some sticks and go and hunt them." Perhaps I might suggest earplugs would be a better alternative next time?

6) Jose Mourinho – A list of famous footballing excuses wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from the master of excuses himself. The ‘Special One’ has come out with some wild excuses in his time, but my personal favourite has to be when in 2011 the Portuguese manager blamed a Supercopa loss against Barcelona on a lack of ball-boys. According to Mourinho, his side lost because “there were no ball-boys in the second half,” which is apparently “something typical of small teams” like Barcelona. Hmmm, alright Jose, you keep telling yourself that Barcelona are a small team…

7) Sir Alex Ferguson – Another master of excuses, Sir Alex Ferguson has blamed all manner of things for his team’s poor performances down the years. However, my highlight would have to be from back in 1996, when ‘Fergie’ blamed his teams inability to beat Southampton on their new grey kit. Claiming the players found it “difficult to pick each other out” whilst wearing the kit might have been a valid excuse had his team not gone on to lose the match 3-1 despite changing out of the grey strip at half time…

8) Kolo Toure – It seems that bizarre excuses appear to run in the Toure family. After being banned for six months for failing a drugs test, Kolo hit back at critics and claimed the pills he had taken were his wife’s diet pills because he was concerned about his weight. The poor guy, I mean its not like he ‘s a professional footballer being paid thousands of pounds a week to stay fit or anything…

9) Crystal Palace fans – Football fans are usually pretty blunt when it comes to criticising their team’s performances. In 2011, however, Crystal Palace fans decided that it wasn’t their players, but their cheerleaders who were to blame for the team’s poor performances. One Palace fan was particularly brutal, stating “They put everyone off the game – you see the players eyeing them up when they should be focusing on the game. The sooner they go the better.” Phwroar, what ever happened to ‘girls just want to have fun?’

10) Adrian Bradnam – My favourite footballing excuse of all time has to be that of Sutton United striker Adrian Bradnam, who once blamed missing an open goal on the crowd for making TOO MUCH NOISE! Sorry Adrian, we’ll tell everyone to be quieter next time... Oh, and if you want to play at a quiet stadium, I thoroughly recommend the Emirates!

So there you have it, the ten worst footballing excuse of all time. Perhaps Yaya’s birthday cakeexcuse wasn’t so bad after all…

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