An Encyclopedia of the worst ever football clichés

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During his 26 year reign at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has overseen an unprecedented haul of trophies. But in that time he has also become synonymous with some of the worst punditry clichés ever known. To mark his retirement, we've collated the 30 worst football clichés of the Ferguson era.

“Fergie time...”
Ah, the funny side of Fergie gaining an advantage by intimidating the fourth official.

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“No doubt Sir Alex and Mourinho/Moyes/Pardew will be discussing that penalty over a bottle of red wine after the game…”
Come on, does this ridiculous wine-drinking ritual ever happen outside of a commentator's head?

“Squeaky bum time.”
That's enough Ferguson ones now.

“Your Man Uniteds, your Chelseas…” or “Your Ronaldos, Your Messis…”

Firstly they’re not owned by me, secondly there is only one of them.

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“It was a great ball in, but there was no one on the end of it.”
Well, it wasn’t a great ball in then.

“Those type of decisions tend to even themselves out over a season.”
Since when did footballer pundits believe in the Buddhist principle of karmic retribution?

“Those famous European nights…”
Especially true when Liverpool are playing Levski Sofia on a rainy Thursday on Channel 5.

“I’ve seen them given.”
Translated as – I’m not sure if it was a penalty because I’ve never quite got to grips with the handball rule.

“On his day, he’s unplayable.”

To be used only when talking about large centre-forwards like Ibrahimovic, Drogba, or, er, Andy Carroll.

“He’s found it hard to settle into the pace of the Premier League.”
His Argentinian wife hates living in Sunderland.

“He’s being talked about as the new Gerrard/Rooney/Bale.”
He’ll be released by Northampton Town when he’s 23.

“He’s not that sort of player…”
He didn’t actually mean to snap his tibia in that two-footed lunge.

“Armed with a transfer war chest…”
The new manager’s been given enough money to buy two full-backs you’ve never heard of.

“Relegation dogfight”
Level on points with three games to go.

“He’s almost hit it too well there, Ray…”
An interesting reason for why a shot flew 5 yards over the bar.

“That’s a bit of a forward’s tackle to be fair…”
To be fair, he scythed through his Achilles and now the commentators are chuckling as he receives intensive treatment on the sidelines.

“The magic of The Fa Cup”
followed inevitably by ‘the greatest cup competition in the world’.
Really?

“They ran their socks off today..”

Is there no other way of describing that the team worked hard?

“It’s just handbags Geoff..”

Is there no other way to describe two players having a disagreement. Often said with a hint of disapproval that they’re not properly fighting.

“He’s got to be hitting the target from there…”
Yeh, like you could have turned from 15 yards and hit that on your left foot.

“He’s lost the dressing room…”
The players think he’s a useless c***.

“His cultured left foot”
As everyone involved in football knows, it’s impossible to have a cultured right foot. That would be just be silly.

“He had no right to score from there…”
And everyone knows about the ancient unwritten shooting rights of football.

“He goes missing in big games.”

He’s a flat track bully.

“Stoke/Cardiff/Sunderland is such a difficult place to come.”
They love kicking away teams up in the air.

“But will he like it on a wet Wednesday night up at Newcastle?”
Guaranteed comment after an impressive debut from Arsenal’s new foreign signing.

“They like to get in the faces of their opponents.”

There will be at least three sendings off.

"The big clubs are ready to swoop.."
His agent is desperately pushing for a move.

"They just need to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's.."
This transfer will never go through.

“Such a whole-hearted, physical payer.”
A dirty b******.

“Such a clever player.”
Small and foreign.