An angry celebration may be executed by a goalscorer who has ended a long run without a goal or a period of bad form; feels unjustly criticised by fans; or is just a bit of an arsehole.
Rather than taking the congratulations of team-mates and exhibiting the usual pleasure at the goal, an angry celebrator may express his mixture of emotions in a number of ways:
Forms Of Angry Celebration
- Shaking off team-mates who try to join in the celebration, either by running too fast for them to catch up, ‘handing them off’ rugby-style, or if necessary elbowing them in the face.
- Cupping a hand to the ear. This was originally meant to signal that hostile opposing fans had been ‘silenced’ by the goal, but more recently, less intelligent players have been seen doing it in front of their own supporters, seemingly in the belief that pointing to one’s ear is a universal sign of triumph.
- Pointing aggressively at features of one’s shirt, for example the club badge, name on the back, or – less often – ‘MADE BY CHILD LABOUR IN INDONESIA’ label inside the collar.
- Standing completely still, and with no change in facial expression, as if unmoved by the goal. This was perfected by Eric Cantona, who once stood motionless for the remainder of the match after lobbing Norwich goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, and was found still in this state at 7pm by the groundsman doing final checks before locking up.
Invention Of Angry Celebration
Although it is not known who was the first player to mark a goal with a show of displeasure, the modern era of angry celebrations was begun by bald Georgian midfielder and nutjob Temuri Ketsbaia, in his days at Newcastle United.
After finding the net against Bolton, the shiny-headed playmaker and repressed sociopath repeatedly kicked advertising hoardings behind the goal.
Ketsbaia’s unusual celebrations continued after the game when he dumped his car in the River Tyne and burned down a hospital. He is now the manager of Anorthosis Famagusta.
Unusual Angry Celebrations
In recent years some players have found creative variations on the angry celebration. These include:
- Nicolas Anelka, who after his second goal of the game for Chelsea against Aston Villa, commandeered the tannoy system in order to read a nine-stanza poem, How I Have Been Wronged, written by Anelka himself and translated from the French by his agent, to a stunned Stamford Bridge.
- Another Chelsea player, Andrei Shevchenko, departed for a sunshine holiday directly after getting on target in a win over Fulham. His private helicopter airlifted him out of the ground as team-mates tried to slap him on the back. Sean Wright-Phillips was brought on as a substitute.
- After equalising against Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth, Bolton’s Kevin Davies slept with Redknapp’s wife during the half-time break. Redknapp commented: ‘to be fair, the lad’s took his goal well’.