101 things we loved in 2018: Shaqiri, Kante, Bielsa, Maguire, Son & more…

Quick Reads

There’s been a lot to take in throughout 2018, hasn’t there, what with a record-breaking Manchester City team, a World Cup and western civilisation seemingly hurtling towards the abyss.

Sometimes it can all just get a bit intense, all the stuff, so let’s focus on all the good bits.

In no order whatsoever, we’ve rounded up 101 things on and off the pitch which have made us smile at some point over the last 12 months. Turns out simple things really do please simple minds.

1. Xherdan Shaqiri’s beef with Gary Neville and Charlie Adam.

2. N’Golo Kante. Everything about him. Always.

READ: ‘He never said no’ – 11 reasons why it’s impossible not to love N’Golo Kanté

3. Jose Mourinho’s ensuing homage to Alan Partridge by refusing to move out of a Manchester hotel for two and a half years.

4. Nigeria supporters chanting ‘over the bar’ to jinx opposition penalty takers.

5. Pete Doherty washing down that big breakfast with a Yazoo.

6. Gareth Southgate.

7. Harry Maguire’s slabhead and those memes.

8. Kieran Trippier’s set pieces.

9. Harry Kane’s penalties.

10. Atomic Kitten’s renaissance.

11. John Stones and Harry Maguire’s shithousery.

12. Parquet Courts’ Wide Awake record, specifically Total Football.

13. THAT IRAN THROW-IN.

14. Shaking the hand of a seemingly generous tout before realising you’ve spent €100 on a fake ticket for AC Milan v Juventus.

15. Spending ages trawling through absolutely everything on Netflix then just watching Peep Show like always.

16. Leaving the majority of your Fantasy League points on your bench.

17. Marcelo Fucking Bielsa managing Leeds U-Fucking-Nited.

18. People buying us pints at MLS games after our card stopped working.

19. Pretty much everything about Memphis Depay, but particularly his rapping.

READ: A forensic analysis of Memphis Depay’s freestyle rap on Instagram

20. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Mancunian accent.

22. Jadon Sancho tearing up Bundesliga week after week.

23. Worrying Alex Turner had lost it before becoming obsessed with Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

24. MUNDIAL continuing to kill it.

25. Getting sent to Madrid to talk to nice people about nice football kits.

26. Ditching the reason we were in Madrid to go to the pub, and overhearing two agents brokering a transfer.

READ: I went to the World Football Summit & heard two agents broker a transfer

27. The enduring value of the Greggs’ breakfast deal.

28. Making A Murderer.

29. Last Seen.

30. Wondering whether we should quit our jobs to become detectives.

31. Watching Who Do You Think You Are? to soothe hangovers.

32. Falling down rabbit holes searching Wikipedia for obscure footballers from the 1990s/2000s.

33. Bill Ryder-Jones crediting Leighton Baines on his new record.

34. That documentary on Paul Sykes.

35. Non-League Dogs.

36. The Brudenell Social Club.

37. Pieminister.

38. Liam Gallagher’s Twitter feed.

39. Football supporters starting foodbanks up and down the country.

40. Chatting to Robbie Elliott in Portland about Tino Asprilla losing the deposit on his house in Newcastle because there were bullet holes in the wall.

41. Teaching Americans some English insults then spending a night out with them as they call each other bellends.

42. Raheem Sterling twatting it in against Spain.

43. That win in Spain in general.

44. The gaffer breaking his leg for 65 likes on Twitter.

45. Getting a dartboard at home and subsequently ruining the door we’ve hung it on. (Please don’t tell our landlords.)

46. Our mates at Football365 continuing to win awards so we can look at the trophy in the office and pretend it’s ours.

47. Virgil van Dijk teaching Dejan Lovren how to defend.

48. Dejan Lovren’s ego.

49. Zinedine Zidane winning three Champions League titles in two and a half years then deciding to sack it all off to go on holiday for a while.

50. Benedict O’Neill trying to rig Fantasy League, only to uncover a huge conspiracy.

51. Loads of footballers doing loads of nice things.

READ: 11 good deeds by footballers in 2018: Sterling, Mata, Salah, Kante…

51. Max Rushden making us all realise he’s proper sound on Football Weekly.

52. Kalvin Phillips’ haircut.

53. Seeing how many Leeds United references Rob can get into this.

54. Rob painfully trying to act like a normal human being in front of his friends and family when all he wants to talk about is Pablo Hernandez and Leeds United.

55. Seeing Glen Johnson getting stuck into the cheese board in the hospitality section at Wembley.

56. Adam Lallana strangling that kid from Tottenham in a reserve game.

57. Saying goodbye to Arsene Wenger by remembering how ace, funny and thoughtful he is.

58. Mauricio Pochettino’s hair.

58. Arguing very seriously with people who really don’t give a shit about how Paul McCartney is the best Beatle.

59. Harry Kane boiling weirdos’ piss by comfortably winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup with three games to spare.

60. The daily frustration of making a quiz only to then struggle to complete it minutes later.

QUIZ: Can you name every player to score 20+ goals in a single PL season?

61. Buying a banana with a Pot Noodle to be ‘healthy’.

62. Alex Scott becoming one of the best and brightest pundits around.

63. Manchester City going apeshit for Gabriel Jesus’ last-minute winner at Southampton which saw them reach 100 points.

64. Everyone making schadenfreude jokes after Manuel Neuer dropped a bollock as Germany were knocked out of the World Cup.

65. Son Heung-min’s smile.

66. Gareth Bale scoring one of the greatest goals of all time in the Champions League final.

67. James Milner’s enduring brilliance.

READ: James Milner is making us question everything we were told about football

68. James Milner only speaking Spanish to his kids because he’s “a pretty stubborn bastard”.

69. Peter Drury’s commentary.

70. Kylian Mbappe.

71. Eden Hazard ruining Phil Jones’ year. Twice.

72. Dai, the Llanelli Town supporter, and his trademark celebration.

73. The infectious joy of Ian Wright.

74. Toni Duggan and Lucy Bronze representing England’s Lionesses by bossing it at Barcelona and Lyon.

75. Getting worryingly obsessed with The Coral.

76. That photo of Lionel Messi with a goat.

77. Jurgen Klopp, for understanding football is meant to be about fun.

78. ‘Banter era’ Twitter threads.

79. Being totally dependent on Google Maps to survive.

80. The stupidity of away days.

81. Serious discussions about why cans taste nicer on trains.

82. Jesse Lingard acting exactly how you should act if you’re a young, successful professional footballer.

83. Wayne Rooney enjoying himself in MLS.

84. Half Man Half Biscuit releasing a song about boycotting the Checkatrade Trophy on an album titled ‘No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’.

85. Big Mick McCarthy.

86. That ref in France who booted a player then sent him off.

87. Carlos Carvalhal talking absolute wham.

88. The gaffer having another kid.

89. Serge Aurier committing three foul throws in a single game when Spurs went to Crystal Palace last season.

90. The tangents Garth Crooks goes off on in his team of the week column.

91. Going on a road trip in a VW camper van in Scotland only to have to be towed back to Edinburgh.

92. Meeting loads of ace people while going deep on Doncaster Rovers’ 1997-98 season.

READ: Fires, threats & friendship: Inside the worst season in Football League history

93. The rise and rise of Accrington Stanley.

94. Sean Dyche eating worms.

95. Diego Maradona enjoying himself a little too much at the World Cup.

96. Blocking Piers Morgan, Katie Hopkins et al on Twitter and it suddenly becoming a much more bearable platform.

97. The way football makes us all completely and utterly insane.

98. Bands FC.

99. The ridiculously high standard of fanzines.

100. Bob Mortimer.

101. Everyone that was written for us, drawn for us, helped us out in any way or taken the time to read our stuff. You’re all mint.

Have a great New Year. Here’s to an even better 2019.

Lots of love,
Us Lot x


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