NEIL BONNAR: Footballers - and David Beckham - putting their hands over their mouths is the talk of the town

David Beckham made the footballers' now familiar hand over mouth gesture after Wayne Rooney's goal

David Beckham made the footballers' now familiar hand over mouth gesture after Wayne Rooney's goal

First published in Sport

I DON’T know who’s responsible, but the hand over the mouth in football has certainly become quite the fashion .

It’s not only the players, referees also routinely hide their mouths behind their hands when they are deliberating a controversial incident.

I can understand refs doing it – the media would have a field day if they knew how the officials came to their decision in the big talking points of the game. But footballers doing it is all for image.

You must have seen it. Two players walking off the field, hands over mouths so the cameras – and therefore the public – can’t see what they’re saying.

They’re probably just asking each other what they’re having for tea, but the drama queen nature of the gesture makes it look like they’re discussing a solution for world peace.

There it was again after Wayne Rooney’s lucky (only joking) volleyed 50-yard goal at West Ham last week.

The camera immediately panned to the stands where David Beckham’s son had his hand over his mouth and his dad, sitting next to him did the same while the verbal reaction to the goal ensued.

If footballers seriously think what they have to say is of such importance they are sadly mistaken.

It would be a different matter if their words were interesting and informative, in which case why not share them with the rest of the world?

But in reality, the offerings of the football world are generally bland in the extreme.

We’ve moved on from the “sick as a parrot”, “over the moon” days, but rather than moving forwards it’s just been a sideways step.

The proliferation of media training for players has heralded an age when the default is that players speak a lot and say nothing and then become managers. By then their blandness of expression has become so ingrained in their personality they struggle to say anything worth listening to.

The fan then has to put up with such gems as these which were actually uttered during press conferences after Championship matches last weekend: Watford boss Giuseppe Sannino: “When I lose I am always disappointed. It would have been an advantage to have gone in 1-0 up at half time.” Really?

Queens Park Rangers assistant manager Kevin Bond: “We gave a goal away which is always disappointing.” No kidding.

Blackburn boss Barry Ferguson: “I want to get as many points on the board to get us over the line. We will see what happens.” Yes we will.

And Huddersfield manager Mark Robins: “If we don’t pick up points we are certainly going to be lower in the league than we want to be.”

You can’t argue with that. But why would you want to listen to it either? While they’re putting their hands over their mouths we might as well put ours over our ears.

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