Nine of the best ever sh*thouse fouls: Ramos, Valverde, Grimandi…
Football without sh*thousery is nothing, despite what some people might try to tell you.
Sure, we might all claim to be whiter-than-white, committed only to the ‘beautiful’ element of ‘the beautiful game’, but deep down we know that’s a lie.
Winning fairly is great, sure, but winning after breaking the rules can often taste a whole lot better. Everyone cheats to some degree, so to turn it to your advantage – and anger those who are frustrated by losing more than by rule-breaking – can be delicious.
The truth is that there is no greater pleasure in football than committing a cynical foul and getting away with it, whether that’s through avoiding direct punishment or via your team winning out in the end.
Here are nine examples of the masters at work, from the sublime to the Sergio Ramos.
Valverde’s foul is fresh in our minds, but we sense it’ll be the kind of thing that fans of Real Madrid (and other clubs) remember for years to come.
There’s not even anything resembling an effort to play the ball, and why would there be? This was five minutes from the end of a goalless Super Cup, a game of few chances and one in which few were likely to follow before the inevitable penalty shoot-out.
There’s hardly ever been a better example of a zero-sum situation in football, even if it was Alvaro Morata bearing down on goal, and it would have been irresponsible not to take decisive action.
📽 Federico Valverde'nin kırmızı kart gördüğü pozisyon ve sonrasında yaşananlar. pic.twitter.com/fUCU2jsfTd
— TRT Spor (@trtspor) January 12, 2020
Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen
A similar situation, albeit in the second round of the World Cup. Ante Rebic was going to score without Zanka taking matters into his own hands… well, feet.
It’s hard to tell what the best part of it is – the first snipe outside the area when going for the actual ball wasn’t entirely out of the question, or the fact that it Rebic could very easily have scored anyway after being fouled were it not for Simon Kjaer continuing to track back.
Kasper Schmeichel saved Luka Modric’s penalty, vindicating his defender, only for Croatia to still progress after a shoot-out.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The oldies really are the goodies.
Solskjaer was hardly known for his tackling ability, but on this occasion he achieved exactly what he set out to do.
The perfect example of Man Utd’s win at all costs approach under Alex Ferguson, where a red card was a small price to pay.
We enjoyed it so much we dedicated an entire article to it.
There are times at which it’s been easy to believe a winning mentality has deserted Arsenal.
Sure, this came in a game they were drawing rather than winning, but this was Guendouzi telling the Gunners he’s the sh*thouse they’ve been missing all these years.
97th minute. Wilf Zaha ready to tear away and potentially complete a stunning comeback. Guendouzi was having none of it.
One Cardiff City fan has described this to us as the moment Bluebirds fans felt they could go up, and the same fan kindly provided us with this footage by filming his TV.
Committing a professional foul to protect a one-goal lead in the final minute is just common sense. Doing it with 20 minutes left on the clock, and with no chance of convincing the referee it was anything other than a cynical, chance-stopping ‘tackle’, seems ill-advised.
Cardiff held on, though, and ended the season in the play-offs where they came face to face with Leicester again. They made it through on penalties, so Gyepes… was vindicated? Sure, let’s go with that.
Josip Simunic is never going to win a footrace with Miralem Sulejmani.
Josip Simunic is never going to win a footrace with anyone who has feet.
Josip Simunic is, however, a deeply cynical man. The sort of man who would do this in the second half of a tight game between Croatia and Serbia. Don’t pretend you expected better of him.
So far we’ve given you a rugby tackles and a foul near the halfway line, so why not both at once.
Peruvian goalkeeper Quiroga was the sort of player who would spell the word ‘maverick’ with a capital K, because a capital M wasn’t maverick enough.
He’s also the sort of player who would do this in a World Cup game and somehow escape with only a yellow card.
We wrote about this too. If you hadn’t guessed, we really love sh*thousery.
Oh, you thought these have to be in big games? Think again.
If anything, Grimandi doing this to Edgar Davids in a testimonial makes it even better, and the knowing nod – as if to say “what else was I meant to do, let him score?” really makes it.
Shithousery never takes a day off.
You didn’t think you’d get to the end of this without a mention of King Sh*thouse himself?
Champions League final. Last minute. Opponents breaking through the middle and potentially giving themselves a three-on-two. Why try to win the ball cleanly when there’s a margin of error?
By committing the foul on the halfway line, with cover, he doesn’t just win the day by escaping a red card. He gets the added benefit of winding up Atletico, their fans and a whole host of neutrals. That’s how to do this like a pro.