Occasionally in football a player will act in a way that causes controversy by starting an altercation, diving or commiting dangerous or persistant fouls. In order to alleviate the possible negative PR this may cause, an astute player or manager might make use of the 'Not That Kind Of Player' gambit.
The 'Not That Kind Of Player' gambit refers to a form of mind trick by which a player will categorically deny the charges levelled at them, citing their (usually imaginary) record of previous exemplary conduct as evidence of their innocence. A notable recent example came from Alan Hutton after sending Shane Long rocketting in the stands with a two footed reducer before stating in the post-match interview that 'people who know me know that I'm not that kind of player.' whilst manager Alec McLeish opined that 'Shane's trajectory was entirely circumstantial, we all know that Alan is no' that kind of player'. Such bullshit is often spouted by no-nonsense players, both in order to protect their reputations and, presumably, in order to dissuade the attention of Tony Pulis' scouting team.
There is no exact definition as to what being 'That Kind Of Player' entails and classification of these players is largely left down to pundits. The tendency of many pundits to dismiss flagrant breaking of the rules as 'using experience' is a key factor in the continuing use and success of the gambit.
Examples of players seen to be 'Not That Kind of Player'
- Alan Shearer - despite throwing about more elbows than the average Hindu deity, Shearer is known and respected as 'an alright bloke, if a bit dull'.
- Steven Gerrard - regardless of a string of high-profile dives (including a sort of Pete Townsend-esque powerslide to win the equalising penalty in the 2005 Champions League final) , Steven Gerrard is held by fans and journalists alike as 'not that kind of player'.
Examples of players accepted to be 'That Kind of Player'
- Ashley Young (circa 2012) - Whilst at Aston Villa, Young escaped accusations of being 'That Kind of Player' largely on account of the media giving nary a solitary shit about Aston Villa. Since his move to Manchester United in 2011 however, high-profile dives have earned him a reputation as 'That Kind of Player'.
- Luis Suarez - Despite the increasingly desperate (and increasingly incoherent) mumblings of one-time manager, Kenny Dalglish , Suarez is almost universally seen as 'That Kind of Player'.
- Joey Barton is perhaps the ultimate example of a player who is indisputably 'That Kind Of Player'.
- Paul Scholes - Debate rages as to whether Scholes is 'That Kind of Player' due to his occasional outrageous fouls. Whilst one party, including pundit Jamie Redknapp and moaning scrooge Arsene Wenger, contends that Scholes 'knows exactly what he's doing there', another school of thought maintains that Scholes is simply 'a bit clumsy there'.
- Due to the highly tribal nature of football, many players considered Not To Be That Kind Of Player by fans of their team are often considered to be That King Of Player by fans of rival teams. For example players such as Jamie Carragher and John Terry are praised by Liverpool and Chelsea fans respectively whilst generally being reviled by everyone else. An extreme example of this being the hatred towards Gary Neville shown by Arsenal fans following his slightly rough treatment of Carlos Vela in 2004 despite the general consensus that Neville simply 'Could do with losing the moustache'