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Football signings who looked gutted to be at their new club

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Tristan Cross
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Ah, signing for a football club, every child's daydream. Clutching your club's shirt in front of their field of dreams, where you'll be strutting your stuff in front of thousands every week, for money. The cameras are flashing. The press are clamouring for a comment. Your manager's stood beside you, beaming. It's real. You made it. This is the most glorious photo-opp of your life.

Wrong. At some point in your career as a professional footballer, the sheen of actually being a professional paid to play football wears off. And at some point, so does your talent, and at some point you're woken at 5 in the morning and told to get in the car because you're needed in some provincial town in the Midlands where you're due to hold a replica jersey in a drab carpark while fans on social media send the club abusive messages because they've never heard of you.

Here are the best times this particular anguish has been captured on camera.

Joe Hart - Manchester City to Torino

England's long-necked Russ Abbott-a-like number one pulling a classic reassuring-the-fans-that-he's-still-ok-following-recent-health-complications thumbs up out of a window here.

Aaron Lennon - Tottenham to Everton

Lennon's photoshoot became so infamously moribund that when he completed his full transfer to the Toffees a year later, they re-did the whole thing in the same locations with Aaron now beaming like a man on a powerful psychoactive substance.

Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Remi Streete - Newcastle to Rangers

These three have lost their beloved pet dog Sandy (aged 9, collie terrier, brown with white smudge over the right eye, friendly) and are appealing to the general public for help. If you have any information whatsoever, please get in touch. Reward offered.

Nicolas Anelka - Free agent to West Brom

A lot to discuss here. The parping royalty free version of the Thomas the Tank theme tune. The location choices around the parts of the Hawthorns that make West Brom look least like a professional football club. The foreboding overcast weather. But mostly, Anelka's celebrity-forced-to-endure-public-community-service grimace.

Robert Huth - Stoke to Leicester

This move turned out far better for Huth than what can only have been his sarcastic "can't wait to fight for Leicester's survival" comments suggested at the time. 

Carl Jenkinson - Arsenal to West Ham

Carl Jenkinson is pulling the sort of grin-and-bear-it expression that is usually the preserve of hubristic sitcoms characters getting their commupance at the end of an episode.

Leon Clarke - Wolves to Wigan

The pebbledash, the grainy photo quality, the somehow unofficial-looking shirt, the blank expression. This whole photo screams 'Twitter avi of Wigan fan with 9 followers', not 'official club photo announcing the signing of a footballer.'

Emmanuel Frimpong - Arsenal to Barnsley

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The Dench salesman and one time cult-hero spoke of his delight at moving from Arsenal to Barnsley with the not-at-all derisory Tweet "How am I gonna draw girls now?"

Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano - Corinthians to West Ham

One of the most baffling Deadline Day deals of all time, how the two vaunted Argentinians ended up at Upton Park and not any of the other elite clubs that were in for them is still shrouded in mystery. This snap seems to indicate the lads didn't know they'd signed for West Ham either.

Julian Faubert - West Ham to Real Madrid

A slight break from the theme here. Julian Faubert does genuinely look thrilled to have signed for Real Madrid. Julian Faubert looks like he's just won £500k on a scratchcard and his shirt is a giant novelty cheque. Julian Faubert's head looks like it's about to explode as he suppresses the urge to yell "I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams!" Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano, on the other hand, looks like he thought Julian Faubert was just a club official and not the actual player his club had actually signed.

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Tristan Cross

Tristan Cross is the only writer in the UK

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