10 most controversial moments of the Premier League season
There was no shortage of drama and controversy this season, here are 10 of the moments that shocked in the 2013-14 campaign.
1. Alan Pardew headbutts David Meyler
A manager headbutted a player. Just take a moment to think about that.
Maybe think about your manager at work and imagine if he/she did the same to someone who worked for a rival company.
Pardew did that. A seven-game ban followed, during which time Newcastle were abysmal and Pardew is now hanging onto his job by his fingernails.
2. Nicolas Anelka does the quenelle
Where would we be without Twitter? When Anelka celebrated a goal against West Brom in December, no one in England was aware that anything controversial had even occurred.
Within minutes though our friends over in France raised the alarm that the then West Brom striker had whipped up an almighty storm by performing an "inverted Nazi salute". Such naughtiness saw him banned for five games and ditched by the club.
3. Sunderland avoid points deduction for cheating
Gus Poyet's side may have pulled off the required "miracle" to keep them in the Premier League but should they have been allowed the chance after fielding an ineligible player in the form of Ji Dong-won?
The South Korean played four league games when not cleared to do so earlier this season, for which Sunderland were only given a fine despite almost all other instances in modern history of a similar offence resulting in a points deduction.
Not that Ji did much to help the Black Cats, helping his side to just one point from the four games he played in. Better off without him then.
4. Kieran Gibbs's case of mistaken identity
The moment that sparked thousands of "hilarious" mock-racist Twitter LOLs.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled off a brilliant goal-line save against Chelsea as he reached full-stretch to palm the ball round the post, referee Andre Marriner knew it was a red card offence ... so sent off Kieran Gibbs. A officiating clanger that is the stuff of referee nightmares.
5. Chris Smalling dresses as a suicide bomber
The poor Manchester United press office. Not only have they had to deal with the David Moyes debacle, but Smalling decided to give them a bit of extra work by hosting a fancy dress party and going as a suicide bomber.
The tabloids got families of terrorist attack victims to condemn the United defender and he promised to limit his fancy dress options to zombies, cowboys and Fred Flintstone in the future.
6. Theo Walcott's 2-0 send-off
If only he knew what lay ahead. Having abuse hurled at him by Spurs supporters while being stretchered off during the north-London derby at the Emirates, Walcott gave as good as he got by gesturing the 2-0 scoreline to away fans.
Alas Walcott had ruptured his cruciate ligament and was ruled out of the remainder of the season and World Cup, while Spurs drifted away from the top-four. Not sure if anyone had the last laugh really then.
7. Alan Pardew tells Manuel Pellegrini to "shut your noise you f------ old c---"
Look, it's that man Pardew again. A few weeks before his headbutt, the Newcastle manager – who had previously pushed a linesman and celebrated in Arsène Wenger's face – took offence to an offside decision and let his anger out at Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini by calling him a "f------ old c---".
Pardew is 52 and Pellegrini is 60. The Newcastle manager was "reminded of his responsibilities" after the incident. Lucky he didn't do anything else bad later in the season then ...
8. Jose Mourinho scares a ballboy
What is it with Chelsea and ballboys? Last season it was Eden Hazard who gave a Swansea youngster the boot and this season manager Jose Mourinho decided to give a young Crystal Palace ballboy a stern lesson during the match.
Unhappy with the boy taking too long to give the ball back, Mourinho warned him he could be “punched” if he continued the delaying tactic. Although one imagines that may only happen if playing against the Stamford Bridge club.
9. Chelsea's "anti-football"
Is winning ugly as good as winning pretty? Does the result matter more than the manner in which it is achieved?
Not if you support Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United and you had to endure home matches against Chelsea this season. Jose Mourinho ruffled plenty of feathers with his tactic of "parking two buses" but, despite not making for the greatest footballing spectacle, the Chelsea manager ensured his side went unbeaten in three of the toughest away games in the season.
10. Jack Wilshere has a cigarette
Can you believe this was actually a thing? With the stuff that footballers get up to on a daily basis, Wilshere managed to make the FRONT PAGE of a certain tabloid by having a cigarette. Outside a nightclub. At 3am! How very dare he?