Early Doors

The #mutedcelebration is evil

Football has a number of deadly sins - breaches of etiquette that bring untold scorn and derision on the perpetrator.

The fact that these rules are largely unwritten matters little, since they are spoken about a lot, mainly by purveyors of unthinking knee-jerk punditry.

There are certain things you MUST NOT do in football, and they run roughly as follows.

- RACISM - Intolerance of racism is clearly a good thing. However, the media's new habit of working itself into an disproportionate lather when one idiot in 40,000 does something contemptible, or when a drunk student sends a moronic tweet, is nakedly self-serving and deeply tiresome.

- SPITTING - Adjectives used by Alan Shearer to describe Goran Popov spitting at Kyle Walker: Disgusting (twice), horrible (twice), vile. Shearer called for a six-match ban, adding, as one must when condemning an unpleasant practice: "There's no place for it." It should be noted Popov's phlegm didn't even hit Walker. It was just propelled in his general direction.

- DIVING - Claim a corner when you know the ball touched you last? Fine. Go down after being fouled and grab the ball before the ref has time to blow the whistle? No problem. Steal a few yards at a throw-in? Help yourself. Invent or exaggerate contact in an attempt to win a free-kick or penalty? Disgraceful.

- WAVING AN IMAGINARY CARD - Shouting: "That's a booking, ref!" is perfectly acceptable. Trying to get an opponent booked via the visual medium of mime is pure evil. Disapproval of this act must include the words "fellow professional".

- FEIGNING INJURY - A close relative of the two previous sins, but definitely distinct. Pretending to be injured can either be a timewasting tactic, or an effort to get an opponent sent off. Whatever else World Cup, European Championship and Champions League winner Sergio Busquets does, this will always be his defining moment.

- MOVING CLUBS FOR MONEY - Perhaps the most bizarre indicator of the disconnect between football and real life. If somebody offered you twice as much money to do a similar job elsewhere, you'd take it, right? You'd hope not to be called a Judas c***, too. And you'd probably have a fair point.

Anyway, Early Doors would like to nominate a seventh deadly sin - the RESPECTFUL CELEBRATION.

You may know it better as the #mutedcelebration after this abomination of a tweet by Gareth Bale after scoring against Southampton.

It basically consists of a player not really celebrating scoring against a former club "out of respect".

Bale toned down that stupid heart thing he does, while other purveyors of the non-celebration this season have included Joe Cole, Robin van Persie and Daniel Sturridge, who looked positively distraught to have scored for Liverpool against Manchester City.

And Cristiano Ronaldo did it last night after planting a towering header into the Manchester United net - resisting his jubilant team-mates and settling for a quick wave to the crowd.

Some might call it a gracious nod to United and their fans - a sign that, despite leaving in 2009, he retains a fondness and appreciation for the club that made him what he is today.

Not Early Doors. Early Doors finds it disgusting, disgraceful and... well, all the words Alan Shearer used to describe diving.

Now ED knows it is out of step here. It is the Emmanuel Adebayor-style taunting of former fans that comes in for criticism, while the #mutedcelebration usually meets with acclaim.

But it's just so fake, so pointless and so illogical.

If you love your former club so much, you could always have stayed. Early Doors doesn't blame you for moving in search of money and silverware, but don't pretend it was a wrench.

More pertinently - what's disrespectful about a goal celebration? If you 'show respect' by refusing to celebrate against your former club, then by extension you must be showing disrespect when you score against anyone else.

"Ha! I've scored a goal against you! And I'm HAPPY! In your face!"

Ultimately, footballers do not want to be seen to enjoy causing pain to people who used to love them - but it takes a certain arrogance to believe you're that important.

Don't overestimate the significance of what you've just done. You've scored a goal, not destroyed an orphanage. It's OK to smile.

If ED were a fan of Real Madrid, it would probably feel a bit peeved that Ronaldo felt unable to enjoy his goal. Do United fans' feelings count for more than those of Real fans?

You're going to come to Madrid, take our money and accept our adoration - but you're not going to celebrate? Well that's just charming.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Sir Alex Ferguson enjoys a love-in with Cristiano Ronaldo: "I blamed Patrice Evra for his goal at first for not challenging – then I saw the replay and I felt a bit stupid. On the replay, Ronaldo's knee is about as high as Evra's head. It was phenomenal! I've seen it before, and I don't think any other player in the world can do that - certainly not Lionel Messi."

FOREIGN VIEW: Thousands of photographers turned up to watch David Beckham train with PSG for the first time yesterday.

If you want to see Becks running around a bit, the video is below.

Seriously, though, why aren't you reading about Oscar Pistorius?