The 10 best football memes and why they're still funny
From Pep Guardiola screaming at the sky to Sir Alex Ferguson being startled by a balloon, these iconic GIFs have stood the test of time.
Pep Guardiola loses it
Somebody was always likely to lose their head in what was a highly-strung atmosphere at Anfield on Sunday.
Yet to see Pep Guardiola lose his marbles after his side were twice (TWICE!) denied penalties to this extent was terrific fun.
Make no mistake, Guardiola has gone here – particularly when he seems to appeal to the heavens for some divine intervention with the fourth thrust of his two fingers.
Now we can forever use this content to depict what our favourite episode of a TV series is, or how many drinks we want at a noisy bar.
Alan Pardew busts a move
After taking the lead late on in an FA Cup final, most managers would call for calm heads.
They'd gesture to the ground with outstretched palms, or tap their temple while fixing each and every player with a steely gaze. They'd certainly tell their extra centre-half to warm up, just in case.
But not Pards. This was his moment, and he was going to savour it.
His dancing on the touchline remains the enduring image of the 2016 final – some achievement considering the goal that won it.
Even without the bright blue suit and buttonhole, there's a creepy-uncle-at-family-wedding vibe (which is ironic, for someone who has always been so keen to distance himself from the older generation).
But the real humour comes in the hubris. Here, before your very eyes, is a visual representation of the pride that comes before a fall.
This a man who has no idea that his team are three minutes away from conceding an equaliser before losing in extra time. He can't imagine being sacked by Palace before the year is through, nor disappearing into obscurity after a disastrous stint at West Brom.
For those few seconds, he's king of the world, and nothing can stop him.
Big Sam sees the funny side
Usually when a player chucks themselves to the floor, the reaction is so fuelled by outrage that far from enough time is spent reflecting on what a tit they have made of themselves.
The player – in this case Swansea’s Chico Flores – tends to know this, too. He is being deliberately antagonistic, hoping to stir up trouble.
That is the beauty of Sam Allardyce’s reaction here, particularly when he entrenches his position by sticking his hands in his pockets rather than backing away.
Not only is he highlighting Chico’s laughable behaviour, but he is reacting in such an unexpected way that the player ends up as the angry party.
Roy Hodgson’s disappointment
There is surely no better representation of being an England fan than this GIF.
The gradual swelling of optimism. The belief that everything might be about to work out. Then the swift, crushing blow that comes with the moment of realisation that: "It’s happened again".
They were all plain to see on the England manager’s face as he watched from the dugout in the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup.
In that moment, we were all Roy Hodgson.
The camera loves Mick McCarthy
‘Mick McCarthy’ and ‘heartthrob’ are two things you’d never expect to hear in the same sentence.
But, for a brief moment, the balding Irishman became a silver fox and catapulted himself to football GIF stardom.
The combination of the look into the distance, the slight turn of the head, the arching of the eyebrow and the wry smile is just perfect.
For increased comedic/seductive effect, play ‘Careless Whisper’ in the background.
Steve McClaren’s beckon
This wouldn’t be that funny had Steve McClaren been a successful and popular manager of Newcastle.
That he was the opposite conjures up an image of somebody on the touchline rolling their eyes and desperately trying to avert their gaze from McClaren’s beckon, as though they hadn’t seen it.
The same individual had probably been accosted earlier on that day, when McClaren had insisted that they must go for a pint after the game.
Who this somebody is will forever be unknown, but we must remember to thank them.
Jose prefers not to speak
Jose Mourinho has never been afraid of speaking his mind.
It is funny then, that one of his most memorable moments is actually one of restraint from the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
A 1-0 away loss to Aston Villa, in which two Chelsea players were sent off, had Mourinho so angry he chose not to say anything in fear of repercussions from the FA.
Is this the best football meme ever? I prefer not to speak.
Steve Bruce looking sheepish
This is a clip that shows the true power of the GIF.
It shows Steve Bruce politely acknowledging a journalist as he takes his seat at a press conference, in a scene that must have played out a thousand times during his career.
But, taken out of context, the moment immediately becomes loaded with subtext. Especially after you add the caption: 'Arriving into work the morning after your Christmas party.'
There's just so much to love.
The pain behind the eyes. The sheepish look around the room. The barely audible "hi", and the way his gaze immediately drop to the floor rather than risk making eye contact with another soul.
All of a sudden, this sweet, mild-mannered man has let himself down in a major way, and is now starting out on the long road to regaining acceptance.
And, what makes it even funnier, is you can't help but imagine what he might have done to cause such a head full of regrets.
Arsene Wenger’s coat
Wenger enjoyed rivalries with Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Tony Pulis during his time at Arsenal, but the Frenchman’s longest-running feud was with his dugout attire.
The long, blue coat gave Wenger more trouble than any opposing manager ever did, so much so that he has a compilation of ‘zipper fails’ on YouTube.
The coat came to be a symbol of Wenger’s last decade at Arsenal. There were no zip memes when he was winning the double in 1998, or completing an unbeaten season in 2004.
It epitomised how Wenger was seen in the final few years of his reign – bumbling, out of his depth and belonging to another time.
Fergie and the balloon
Not much could break Sir Alex Ferguson’s concentration, but Mike Phelan managed it when he popped a balloon during a crucial game against Chelsea in 2008.
The United boss’s startled reaction – along with a “fuck off” directed at either Phelan, the balloon, or both – prompted chuckles from his backroom staff, but Fergie wasn’t laughing.
It’s rare to have a moment of pure comic relief in a high-pressure situation, like a fart in a courtroom drama.
How nice to see that even the most formidable manager in Premier League history can be reduced to a nervous wreck by a helium-filled party decoration.
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