Whoever coined the phrase “it’s a funny old game” about football couldn’t have been more spot on.
The beautiful game, as we all know it – well, before VAR was introduced, anyway – never ceases to amuse.
There have been many hilarious moments throughout this decade, so we thought we’d take a look at some of our favourites as we prepare to wave goodbye to the 2010s.
From Mike Dean to Phil Jones, it’s fair to say it’s been quite the decade.
- Steven Gerrard on Soccerbox: The best bits
- Wolves’ Conor Coady hits out at VAR in Sky interview
- The best moments in football this decade (2010-2019)
Michy Batshuayi kicks ball into his own face
This was magical.
Twitter king Michy Batshuayi memorably booted the ball into his own face via the post after Adnan Januzaj scored for Belgium against England at the 2018 World Cup.
He’ll never live it down!
The Ashley Young bird incident
Deny it all you want, Ashley, but it’s clear for all to see that a bird crapped in your mouth.
Steven Gerrard sent off v Man Utd after 38 seconds
Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard was sent off after just 38 seconds after coming off the bench against Manchester United in March 2015.
Tweets showing his ‘heat map’ in the aftermath of the match are still funny now.
Steven Gerrard’s slip v Chelsea
Unless you’re a Liverpool fan or, indeed, Steven Gerrard himself, then this incident has almost certainly given you plenty of laughs over the past five years.
A week after telling his teammates “this does not slip now!”, Gerrard literally slipped and gifted Chelsea’s Demba Ba a goal.
Liverpool ended up wasting a golden opportunity to win the Premier League title and the incident, unfortunately, will always haunt poor old Stevie G.
Louis van Gaal falling over at Old Trafford
Ah, Louis van Gaal. What a character!
The football Man Utd produced under his management may have been awful but at least he provided some entertainment during his two seasons in English football.
Arguably his funniest moment came during a match against Arsenal when he theatrically fell to the deck in order to make a point.
Fernando Torres’ open goal miss v Man Utd
Fernando Torres’s career dropped off a cliff when he left Liverpool for Chelsea in January 2011.
The poor bloke couldn’t buy a goal after moving to Stamford Bridge and produced one of the worst open-goal misses ever at Old Trafford of all places nine months after becoming the most expensive player in British football history.
Neil Warnock being weird
The Bittersweet Symphony version of Neil Warnock being weird is just fantastic.
Joey Barton fighting everyone v City
Manchester City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the 2011/12 season will always be remembered as one of the Premier League’s most iconic matches thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic last-gasp winner.
But never forget that Joey Barton was also sent off in this match for elbowing Carlos Tevez. After Mike Dean (more on him later) showed the hotheaded midfielder a red card, Barton reacted by kneeing Sergio Aguero in the back before trying get his hands on Mario Balotelli. Scenes!
Phil Jones being Phil Jones
Phil Jones pulling weird faces, Phil Jones taking corners, Phil Jones handballing his own overhead kicks… the list is endless.
The man who Sir Alex Ferguson said could become Man Utd’s greatest ever player has been pure box office throughout this decade – albeit usually for the wrong reasons.
Germany 7-1 Brazil
One of the most shocking matches in football history – and, for many, also one of the funniest.
Brazil produced one of the most disastrous team performances ever against Germany, who smashed seven goals past the 2014 World Cup hosts in the semi-final stage.
We can all remember exactly where we were when this happened.
Referee sends off Gibbs instead of Oxlade-Chamberlain
A highlight from Arsenal’s banter era (which, by the way, still appears to be in full swing), referee Andre Marriner inexplicably sent off Kieran Gibbs for a handball against Chelsea which was, in fact, committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Arsenal went on to lose the game 6-0, while a statement confirmed that Marriner was “disappointed” to have made the error. Bit of an understatement, Andre.
Joleon Lescott’s tweet and his excuse
In February 2016, a couple of months before their relegation to the Championship was confirmed, Aston Villa were hammered 6-0 by Liverpool.
Shortly after full-time, Villa defender Joleon Lescott tweeted a photo of an expensive Mercedes-Benz to his 823,000 followers. His excuse is an all-time classic.
“The tweet sent out from my account involving a picture of a car was totally accidental it happened whilst driving and my phone was in my pocket,” he insisted at the time.
Somersault throw at the WORLD CUP
It’s the World Cup. Your team is losing 1-0 to Spain and it’s the final minute of stoppage time. You have one final chance to get the ball into the box via a throw-in. What do you do?
A somersault throw-in, of course.
Iran sub Milan Mohammadi cemented his name in World Cup folklore in the summer of 2018 for this ridiculous attempted somersault throw-in, which he needed to abort after it went a bit wrong.
What a hero.
Newcastle fan going to jail for punching a horse
Punching a horse is obviously not funny. But it was hard not to laugh when the Newcastle fan in question, Barry Rogerson, was jailed for a year for his bizarre actions.
“You stood your ground and attacked the horse by punching it in the head,” Judge Paul Sloan QC told Rogerson, who admitted he was “stupid and wrong” to attack Bud the police horse.
What is life?
Wayne Shaw eating a pie on live TV
Sutton United, who reached the FA Cup fifth round during the 2016/17 campaign, had a 45-year-old back-up goalkeeper called Wayne Shaw. You probably remember him.
He’s the guy who famously ate a pie during the match live on television.
It later emerged that a bookmaker had offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera.
He was subsequently fined £275 and banned for two months for breaching FA betting rules.
Wayne Rooney’s tweets
Wayne Rooney was a must-follow on Twitter during the early 2010s. Here are just a handful of our favourite Wazza tweets…
Alan Pardew headbutts David Meyler
Managers headbutting players during Premier League matches. Things you (secretly) love to see.
Pards saw red during a game between Newcastle United and Hull City in March 2014 and ended up sticking the nut on Meyler.
Pardew, who apologised after the match, was fined £100,000 by Newcastle and handed a formal warning.
Big Sam laughing at Chico Flores for diving
A priceless reaction from Big Sam, who couldn’t contain his laughter after Swansea’s Chico Flores dived in front of him.
A new meme was born on October 28, 2013.
Scholes calling Savage a ‘kn*bhead’ on BT Sport
Paul Scholes further endeared himself to the football community back in February 2015 by calling Robbie Savage a “kn*bhead” live on BT Sport.
Watch the classic moment here…
Gary Neville’s Goalgasm for Torres’s goal v Barcelona
When Fernando Torres rounded Victor Valdes and slotted the ball into the empty net at the Camp Nou to send Chelsea into the Champions League final, Gary Neville produced one of the most magical sounds ever.
The ‘Goalgasm’ made an iconic goal even more memorable.
Jose Mourinho’s ‘I prefer not to speak’ interview
“I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.”
These are the famous words of Jose Mourinho, whose words after a Chelsea defeat to Aston Villa in March 2014 became a meme.
Mike Dean being Mike Dean
Look up ‘celebrity ref’ in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of Mike Dean.
The number of golden moments he’s produced – both on and off the pitch – over the past 10 years is endless.
We’ll leave you with a few of our favourites…
Alex Song thinking the trophy was for him
One of the most awkward and cringeworthy moments in the history of football.
While Barcelona were celebrating winning the 2012/13 La Liga title, captain Carles Puyol took the trophy from its stand and brought it over to the team, with the intention of giving it to tumour survivor Eric Abidal.
Alex Song, who’d endured a poor debut season with the Catalan giants following his move from Arsenal the previous summer, thought Puyol was handing it to him and, well, it’s hard to watch.
Watching this without dying inside a little bit is impossible…
Tim Sherwood makes fan Spurs manager during game
Shortly before Mauricio Pochettino came in and sorted them out, Tottenham were managed by Tim Sherwood, who briefly gave up his seat in the dugout for a Spurs fan during a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.
“During the game I called some substitutions that I thought he should make and it just so happened he went on to make them,” Danny, the fan in question, told reporters afterwards. “We were 3-0 up against Aston Villa and not really showing much so it was a good opportunity to get some young players on which he obviously agreed with.
“Suddenly he said: ‘You know what? You might as well sit in the hotseat’. So I thought, why not?
“It was just surreal I didn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t know if I d get in trouble for going over the barriers.”
He even got to keep Sherwood’s famous gilet. What an honour.
Jurgen Klopp breaks his glasses against Norwich
Just months after he was appointed Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp led the Reds to a thrilling 5-4 victory away at Norwich City.
During the celebrations after Adam Lallana’s dramatic 95th-minute winner, Klopp ended up breaking his glasses.
“I have a second pair of glasses, but I can’t find them,” the Liverpool boss said after the match. “It’s hard to find glasses without glasses.”
Eden Hazard kicks ball boy
Admit it, we all laughed when this happened.
Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan became headline news when he was ‘kicked’ by Chelsea star Eden Hazard during a League Cup match in January 2013.
Young Charlie clearly milked it and Hazard was shown a straight red card.
“The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball,” Hazard said. “I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise.”
Plane banners at football matches became a thing in the 2010s.
It seemed to start in March 2014, when a group of Manchester United fans clubbed together to purchase a ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’ banner.
Several years later, at the Hawthorns, two plane banners were organised by disagreeing Arsenal fans before a Premier League match.
Let’s hope plane banners at football matches are no longer a thing in the 2020s.
Arda Turan throws boot at assistant referee
During a Copa del Rey clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon in January 2015, Arda Turan spectacularly lost his head.
The Turkish midfielder took his boot off and launched it at the assistant referee after being denied a free-kick for an alleged foul by Ivan Rakitic.
Peter Walton pops up during Spurs’ epic comeback v Ajax
Peter Walton became the unexpected star on social media after Tottenham’s epic victory over Ajax during last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
The former Premier League referee flashed up on screen while Lucas Moura and his teammates were celebrating the winning goal.
Walton’s face summed up how we were all feeling at that exact moment.
Harry Kane goes in goal
After scoring a hat-trick for Tottenham in a Europa League match against Greek side Asteras Tripolis, Harry Kane found himself in the Spurs goal after Hugo Lloris was sent off.
The prolific striker faced a free-kick moments after putting on the gloves and made an absolute howler, gifting the visitors a goal in the process.
Full marks for trying, though, Harry!
So, let’s hear it for the 2010s – a decade full of football comedy.
If the 2020s are half as funny, then we’re all in for a real treat over the next 10 years.