Dan Gosling made his signature contribution to the grand tapestry of football history one evening in 2009, playing for Everton against Liverpool in the FA Cup. As he sent three red shirts the wrong way and curled the ball towards the top corner, ITV infamously cut to an advertisement for Tic Tacs. The nation’s postprandial constitution thus settled by the breath-freshening and indigestion-relieving properties of the popular hard candy, live pictures from Goodison Park were restored and everyone in blue was cavorting about as though something important had happened. Which it had. Oh, and before we forget, other brands of pocket peppermint are available.

Poor Dan, though. His greatest moment, and all anyone remembers these days is that goddamn ad. For ITV Sport, it was merely the latest egregious balls-up in a long litany of broadcasting fiascos that began in 1965, when Associated-Rediffusion failed to show Austria’s winning goal in a 3-2 win over England at Wembley. Same old, same old. But for Gosling this was a unique career-defining event. So [Fiver reaches for crowbar, jemmies open a gap] you wouldn’t blame him if he started getting a bit paranoid about the cards life was dealing. And here he is now, complaining about being grifted, once again, by The Man.

It would seem that during his Bournemouth team’s recent 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United, referee Jon Moss gave the hosts some “soft fouls” and made “little sarky comments” that “didn’t help”. Branding Moss as “very disrespectful”, Gosling demanded that the ref “should apologise because he was a disgrace”. So what was said? According to the player, Moss’s deep burns included “you’re still in the relegation zone”, “you’re having one” and “your team’s having one”. [Fiver adjusts reading glasses, squints a little, checks other side of paper] No, that would appear to be it.

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Now, The Fiver, a sensitive soul, has as thin a skin as anyone, but we’re suggesting Gosling, while well within his rights to remain on a rolling boil regarding ITV’s historic rank ineptitude, should perhaps simmer down a tad on this one. Because if we’re being brutally honest, these bons mots seem pretty mild, bordering on thoroughly lame. The relegation-zone quip was factually inaccurate, for starters, while the other two display all the wit and imagination of the sort of person who’d go to the lengths of opening up a record store only to put indie-chug by Embrace, Oasis and the Stone Roses front and centre of the entire operation. Actually, never mind whether Moss has a case to answer for his behaviour at Bramall Lane, the big question is surely this: did Our Price really go to the wall for nothing?


Join Niall McVeigh from 7pm GMT for hot clockwatch coverage of the night’s WSL, Football League and Scottish Premiership games.


“[He] hasn’t come here on holiday” – Paraguay’s Club Olimpia chief suit Marcos Trovato reckons Emmanuel Adebayor, 65, will be a hardworking addition to a frontline that already includes Roque Santa Cruz, 78. Yup.


Sneaky handball scenes in Asian Big Cup.

Hand of God: Maradona-style handball goal goes unnoticed in AFC Cup – video


“Are you sure the ‘rail seating’ that Manchester United are planning (yesterday’s News, Bits and Bobs) is not a return to the old-fashioned eight-seater British Rail compartments, where travellers would have to hide behind newspapers to avoid embarrassing eye contact with those seated less than three feet opposite them? This would certainly have the happy effect of shielding 750 spectators totally from the paucity of entertainment going on behind them, as well as obstructing the views of those unfortunates left facing the pitch (who would probably opt for the classic hide-behind-a-newspaper dodge in any case). Ole aboard!” – Justin Kavanagh.

“Given that STOP FOOTBALL is still something of a work-in-progress, can I suggest a lesser goal? Namely that of STOP PRIZES for letter o’ the day? Is there any chance The Fiver HQ Executive Board would agree to offer a prizeless letter o’ the day award alongside the existing system? I find the prospect of winning a prize a strong disincentive to making a submission to Fiver letters that has plagued me for about the five years or so I have been reading your missive. As an ageing grandparent whose interest in football is the entire responsibility of Robert Charlton arrowing a fabulous goal into the top corner of the Mexico net during the 1966 World Cup, I became wedded to a certain Manchester United, whose grip on me has never relented. So The Fiver comes in really handy once or twice a week whenever I am a bit early on the grandchild school run duty and need to kill five minutes or so. I find that sometimes The Fiver’s letter debate world has moved on – being the restless, buzzing, up-to-date bulletin that it is [five years, you say? – Fiver Ed] – as I catch up on previous entries before I could put fingertip to keyboard. But sometimes the motivation to contribute strikes in a timely fashion, yet I hold back in case I find myself facing the prospect of winning a prize. The offerings tend to be computer games which is a territory I have no wish to tread and I already have a queue of books to read. So I wondered whether you could also offer an ‘Honourable Mention in Dispatches’, with no actual prize – as well as one that gains the award?” – Geoff Taylor.

Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Justin Kavanagh, with an honourable mention in dispatches to … Geoff Taylor.


The latest Football Weekly podcast is right here. And tickets are also on sale for the next live show in London.

Football Weekly

Blades cut loose, seven-goal thrillers and scheduled tweets


Sheffield Wednesday have expressed concern about South Yorkshire police methods and will meet the 16-year-old boy who was struck over the head with a baton after their game at Barnsley.

Celtic are refusing to co-operate with Sky Sports and want a full explanation for a mistranslated interview with the Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, in which subtitles wrongly accused Hoops fans of racially abusing him. Sky are due to begin an exclusive, five-year deal to screen live Scottish Premiership matches next season.

Meanwhile, Celtic fan Kevin McGuire has been jailed for 10 months after punching three police horses during violent clashes before a game against Airdrie.

Chelsea have €40m with Ajax’s name on it. Hakim Ziyech will join in return this summer.

Bohemians have teamed up with Amnesty to release a new away shirt promoting the “Refugees Welcome” campaign that features an image of a family fleeing war instead of a shirt sponsor. “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring our supporters together to call for an end to Direct Provision,” said Amnesty.

Good stuff, earlier.

Good stuff, earlier. Photograph: Bohemian FC/Amnesty International/O’Neills

Liverpool hope to begin work on their £60m Anfield Road redevelopment by the end of the year, with completion scheduled for summer 2022.

Mauricio Pochettino would “love to work in the Premier League” again. “I’m ready and waiting for a new challenge,” he cheered, before typing “Alderley Edge” into Rightmove.

Blackpool have given boss Nigel Grayson the boot.

And an Italian ref has been banned for a year after answering a goalkeeper’s post-match queries with his rock-solid forehead.


Why won’t clubs invest properly in their WSL teams, asks Suzanne Wrack.

Which players have had a rival club in their name? The Knowledge knows.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!



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