February 27th, 2012
A Kickette Review: On-Pitch Distraction Techniques
Hang on, guys, let’s not get carried away. If taking your shirt off earns a yellow, we can only imagine what kind of punishment an on-pitch Jersey Turnpike would attract. Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.
Referees have a tough time of it these days, what with television replays, shouty captains and we punters all desperate to be the first to tell them how poor their decision making skills are.
The pressure is on to maintain discipline among a bunch of guys whose best interests are served by trying to fool the man in black, and since kicking the hell out of a guy’s shins is not a FIFA-approved method of tacking, players have developed innovative new ways to distract, confound or otherwise nick the ball off their man.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
The Butt-Slap (lead image)
Emmanuel Muscat has the right idea here. Unless Hirofumi Moriyasu of Sydney FC regularly arranges to have his bottom smacked by a burly Maltese gentleman in shorts, the next five seconds will be quite surprising.
The Cat Ninja
Image: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images.
Like us, you probably spend a substantial part of your working day looking at funny pictures of cats. People might try to tell you that you’re wasting your life, but you can now advise them in no uncertain terms that you are looking for practical solutions to every day problems.
Sporting Lisbon defender Rodriguez has honed an exciting new method of flattening the opposition ever since he spent 36 hours straight studying cat pictures on the internet that one fateful weekend.
It’s a fact in our minds, Kickettes.
Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images.
An old favourite here, debuted by France & Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup Final. The thing to remember with the Zizou, though, is that it should only be carried out when you’re victim is stationary and your skull is made of concrete. Ajax’s Miralem Sulejmani is pictured learning what can happen if you forget to make sure that these parameters are in place.
The Stealth Divot
Image: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images.
Usually a favourite with goalkeepers who have just inexplicably allowed a ball to roll gently past them and into the net, the stealth divot can be utilised effectively by outfield players too. See how Javi Martinez is already searching for the rogue lump of dirt “grabbed” Lokomotiv Moskow midfielder Denis Glushakov by the ankles and hurled him towards the ground?
The look of feigned shock on his pretty face is so distracting, there’s no way we’re going to notice his outstretched hand that, moments before, was shoving poor Denny in the back.
Any other examples of players using unusual distraction techniques we should know about faithful readers?