Creative Soccer Culture

Everything You'll Experience This Off Season

There's no World Cup this summer. There's no European Championships this summer. The start of the new season is still well over a month away and you're struggling, we're all struggling. News is slow and I've got to try and justify a salary, so here's everything you can expect to see and hear in the next six weeks of waiting, grasping and refreshing transfer columns.

He's decent on Football Manager

You have to be understanding with this one. When a young player that your mate signed on Football Manager 2013 gets linked with a Premier League side, he's gonna tell you, more than once. It's transfer Tourettes. Unpreventable. The player in question is always a striker, always plays for Hoffenheim or Sampdoria and your mate genuinely feels responsible with an element of pride at his overpriced move to Southampton. He knows him inside out and is adamant he's gonna tear up the Premier League. No doubts. Bonus point for hearing: "he's quick as f**k on FIFA".

Watching a low key foreign game in Walkabout

You've done the beer garden thing after work and you've moved inside to the mecca of random live sports and s**t beer. A magnet of sporting tragedy where men in vests all called Lee or Kev clutch accumulators and broken dreams. Only your screen of sunstroke and overpriced cider from the beer garden blocks that out. The only mate you're still out with has bumped into his other friend group and you're leant on the bar as Lee (or Kev) tells you he needs one more asian corner for his bet to come in. You spend the next hour watching a remote U21 tournament and listening to Kev (or Lee) tell you how these youth games are nailed on for both teams to score.

Some description
Sead Kolasinac: Quick on FIFA.

Watching six continuous hours of Sky Sports News because you're too hungover/sunburnt to leave the sofa

Yep. You'll have this day. It normally comes in mid July. You've woken up on Saturday morning having gone out for a "couple" after work the night before. Your new mate Kev won his bet, spent his winnings on a double round of Sambucca before losing his actual online winnings on some MLS, and you were too polite to decline one. It's midday, and after nodding off to some Wimbledon you've realised you can't get quite as excited as the commentator about Federer's backhand as has pummels some terrified wildcard in straight sets on Centre Court. You don't even like tennis. You're sport deprived. You reach for the remote and in its default, hungover mode your brain puts on Sky Sports News. You stare blankly at screen for the rest of the day, occasionally acknowledging a yellow bar and wondering how Kirsty Gallagher hasn't aged in the last 10 years.

The player selling his house story

Marko Arnautovic has put his Stoke-On-Trent detached house with double garage up for sale. You've just seen a tweet that reads exactly that. You click it. You're bored. Of course you click it. This is apparently news. The Daily Mail have 65 photos ripped from an estate agent site with the headline 'Premier League Star Nears Exit'. Only this means nothing. People move house. Chances are he's been here a while and has bought a bigger detached house in Cheshire with a triple garage. Bonus points for: Player 'likes' a transfer rumour post involving him.

Professional players putting vibes at the end of every Instagram post

If you're a professional footballer between the ages of 18 and 24 it's compulsive to add the word 'vibes' at the end of your Instagram post. Changing the S to a Z is optional. Key words to precede vibes (or vibez) are: Beach. Gym. Vegas. Holiday. Summer. Pool. Bonus: Drop down a couple of leagues and vibes (or vibez) changes to goals. Don't know why. Just does.

Some description

Anyone approaching 30 with more than 25 international caps being linked with China/MLS

Because it's a slow news day and who the f**k else is going to want Gareth Barry?

Leaving the office at 5:30, closing tabs, and wondering why you were on Jamal Campbell Ryce's Wikipedia page

This is a daily occurrence for us. Not Jamal Campbell Ryce specifically, mind. You went down a bit of a Wikipedia black hole on your lunch break after noticing an ex-prodigy has gone through the divisions so fast they've broken the sound barrier and crash landed at Barnet on a free. All of a sudden it's 3:30, your microwaved lasagne has gone cold and you're examining Trevor Benjamin's career path and trying to work out how Johnny Evans is still in his 20s.

Arsenal and Liverpool being linked with everyone

And not signing any of them.

The left out of kit launch panic

He's not in the kit launch photos. He's definitely leaving. He's in the kit launch photos. He's definitely staying. Yeah...

Some description
Lallana, Henderson, Mane, Can, Lovren, Milner, Wijnaldum. All leaving.

Fixture day excitement

Ah look at that, your team plays every other team at some point in the season. Home and away. Why do I look forward to this date every single year? Because it's a psychological checkpoint of the summer. It's not about who you get, it's about being closer to the return.

First pre-season post on social media

Impossible not to post on Instagram. Always topless, normally mid run. Expect to this sweaty-red-faced influx to dominate your news feed from July 1 onwards. Bonus points for the following hashtags: #firstrun #firstsession #preseason #buzzingforthenewseason

The U-turn

The player has absolutely no intention of leaving, but he's willing to p**s off his fan-favourite status to grasp a few more grand-a-week by pretending he wants to leave in search of an improved deal. A month of fake transfer rumours follow as the player's price hikes and he becomes desirable. He gets his pay rise. Plot twist: the club were in on it all along – they're not signing anyone so make out it's a huge coup to keep hold of their best player. Fans feel like it's a new signing.

He won't leave, he's at his boyhood club

He f*****g will. He'll double his wages, write a terribly misspelled heartfelt message with no paragraphs in his notes, which he'll screenshot and post to Twitter and leave before you can tell him he bleeds blue. After all, he's 20 years-old, he wants to take his girlfriend to the Maldives in June with enough money to go to Vegas with the lads the following week. Plus he wants to swap his Fiat Punto for a Range Rover and tag his pics with vibes (or vibez), not goals.

Some description
"So you're telling me United will upgrade it to the sport version?"

Your following of Wags on Instagram increases tenfold

As footballers brownie points rise by tagging their partner in their holiday beach posts, so do said partner's followers. Before you know it you're lost in an Instagram spiral looking at what Marc Bartra's wife's best friend's yoga instructor had for lunch.

Turning up to five-a-side half cut

It's a rare sunny Sunday afternoon in August and you've been roped into a day session at the pub. Only you've promised your mate you're available for five-a-side tonight. (He's text you twice to confirm). You're constantly double parked and feel inclined to tell every new person that joins the session that you've got a game later. They're counting down the hours to kick off to get rid of you. You turn up (without your shin pads) and play like Emile Heskey on ice. But you're not normally this s**t. It's at this point you pretend you're drunker than you are to let people know you're not normally this s**t. You must tell both the opposition and your team-mates that you've been at the pub all day. Your footballing pride is far more important than your worrying binge patterns.

Slightly out of choice player hitting Insta hard with workout vids

Theo, Wenger doesn't have Instagram, mate. He doesn't care that you're doing sit ups on your holiday. You've still got no end product.

Some description
"Upload a video of you successfully crossing a ball and you can have a like Theo"

The 'Vegas with the boys' post

Bare vibes (or vibez). A mass tense off of professional footballers stood at a pool party in Vegas wearing matching shorts and matching haircuts. Bonus point per arm sleeve.

The 'Squad' post

One footballer, surrounded by his mates who he's paid for to go on holiday him. All of these friends comment on the post to consolidate their position in the friendship group, many screen shot it and repost. All of the friends are personal trainers and have the words 'Public Figure' in their bio. You hate it. But you wish your mate who had a successful trial at Bolton back in '07 didn't discover cocaine and alcohol until he was at least 23. That could have been you in Ibiza in that photo.

The returning manager

Any British manager that has an embarrassing stint at a Premier League club goes aboard in some sort of a Witness Protection manager scheme. Screams instructions in English from the sidelines, get sacked, comes back to England, denies all knowledge of their first job in England, and lands a Championship job with their 'experience'.

Some description
"Man United? Never heard of them, mate."

Click bait tweets for transfers

Ignore anything in block capitals. Especially the words 'BREAKING NEWS' and 'EXCLUSIVE'. Premier League Ace Close to Serie A move... Yeah, ok @footy_transfers_85_in_the_know. Sure.

Bumping into a fan of your team on holiday and contemplating supporting someone else

Ah look, that guy's wearing a Port Vale shirt. I'll introduce myself. You speak briefly, he's called Gary. You discuss another disappointing season with Gary and tell him you'll see him around. Only three days later into your two week all inclusive holiday of Tenerife you notice Gary is Port Vale TIL HE DIES. He's at the pool with Port Vale tattoos. His family of 8 reserve the best sun beds by the pool at 6am every morning with their Port Vale towels. It's day five and Gary is still wearing the Port Vale home shirt he boarded the plane in, all inclusive beer and sweat staining the famous white jersey. Gary's hammered, he's insulted the local bar staff, thrown around some pub furniture whilst signing racist songs and he's now chanting Port Vale at the top of his voice. Gary's on the karaoke, he's spotted you and he's dragging you up with him to sing Port Vale songs. Gary's ruined everyone's holiday and everyone thinks he's your mate. Guess who you're sat next to on the plane home, and guess what he's still wearing.

Some description

Think that's about it for now. We've missed more than we've got time for. Fire any others below.


The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.