The Aussies and the Brits are more similar than we like to admit, meaning clashes when the stakes are high in competitions like The Ashes or the football are rather common.
British bias aside here – as best as it can be after recent cricketing controversies – our Australian colleagues have quite a storied history when it comes to the art of shithousery, particularly on the football pitch.
You hate to love it, especially when it’s costing you wickets in cricket. But when it’s Aussies taking the Premier League by storm and adding some much-needed needle to a game, you can get behind it a lot easier.
In honour of our friends from down under, here are some of football’s finest Australian shithouses.
In the nicest way possible, this guy was an absolute b*stard.
Viduka was built like a brick wall and made sure defenders knew about it, throwing his body about and putting physicality at the front of his game. He combined that not only with a ruthless finishing ability, but also a sickening finesse that very few possess.
Watching big lads smash people about and then flick a ball around the corner like a tiny midfielder is a dying art in football, and one that needs to be cherished.
Wherever Viduka went – be it Croatia, Australia, England or Scotland – he did his very best to literally leave his mark.
“Serves you right for Muscat, that,” famously said Neil Warnock once upon a time, decked out in the finest club shop tracksuit one could acquire. But what did he mean?
Warnock was on about Kevin Muscat. Former Australian defender and resident psychopath, who saw more yellow and red cards than I’ve seen hot dinners.
Capped 46 times for Australia, he earned mixed reviews in England from his time with Millwall and Wolves, cutting a polarising figure for his ruthless approach to tackling.
In other words, he was a complete nutjob and would claim a limb if he needed to in order to win a challenge, to the point where Rangers wouldn’t play him during Old Firm games due to the risk of him losing his temper and in turn costing them the game.
Warnock had a pop at Millwall players after Muscat brawled with his goalkeeper Paddy Kenny in the tunnel at half-time, while in charge at Sheffield United, prompting Kenny to be sent off.
After Warnock had gotten his revenge, we were treated to some of the finest content football has ever seen since.
Arguably Australia’s greatest footballer, Cahill wowed the Premier League with his box-to-box style, wild corner flag boxing celebration, crunching tackles and occasional appetite for a worldie.
He cut his teeth at Millwall, but shot to prominence with Everton in a monstrous eight-year spell with the club. When he wasn’t scoring worldies, though, he was on the wind-up be it through celebration or passion in the form of tackling.
They’re a bit mental these Aussies, aren’t they?
It’s quite fitting that ‘Tiny Tim’ signed off his Everton – and Premier League – career by getting sent off after the full-time whistle had already blown, for violent conduct towards Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye.
An underrated shout when it comes to the proponents of shithousery.
Being injury prone is one thing, but being injury prone because you’re constantly hurling yourself at your opponents and making an art out of being reckless is an entirely different level.
Often mistaking the football for people’s shins and kneecaps, Tiatto’s best spells at Manchester City and Leicester were often marred by the fact that he was either injured or trying to injure others. As nutters go, he was very much up there with the biggest of them.
Tiatto was capped 23 times by the Australia national team during his career, and took the art of violence worldwide. Wasn’t just crunching tackles, either; loved an elbow and loved flipping the bird, too. Punk rock at best, a complete liability at worst.
Below you’ll see a forearm smash that AJ Styles would be proud of.
Danny Tiatto was sent off after elbowing Steen Nedergaard after just 11 minutes #OnThisDay in 2002.
— Rewind Norwich City (@RewindNorwich) January 13, 2023
He’s had his demons to grapple with, but above all, you’ve got to respect Bosnich for being one of the few people on the earth that has continually managed to piss off Sir Alex Ferguson to no end, without really having to try.
Being the only player he ever signed twice, Bosnich has incredible ammo on the legendary manager who has never shied away from criticising the Australian. Living in someone’s head rent-free is a tiresome copout these days, but Bozza absolutely does live in Fergie’s head completely free of charge,
When he wasn’t battling his demons or failing drug tests, he was bloody good, too. Aston Villa fans will tell you that. Chelsea fans not so much.