NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Harvey Elliott signs for Liverpool FC. Photo courtesy of LFC
By Paul Kennedy
There’s been a long-standing history of footballers having bad haircuts. It goes back generations.
Take the 1970s and early 80s for instance when it was particularly popular to have a perm. This was, at the time, seen as the height of fashion.
Looking back today at the haircuts sported by the likes of Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson and Terry McDermott (Google them if their names don’t ring an immediate bell) they were nothing short of pretty atrocious. But believe it or not, cool at the time.
Fast-forward a few years to the mid-eighties and welcome to the wonderful world of the mullet.
If you are unsure of this particular style, think short on top, long at the back.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle were aficionados of this ‘trendy at the time but not right now’ style.
In fact the pair even flirted with pop stardom, releasing the not-so-classic hit Diamond Lights in 1987 which peaked at number 12 on the charts.
As the game entered the 1990s things changed quite considerably and the stakes were well and truly upped.
Footballers, with the creation of the Premier League and the introduction of Sky Sports, enjoyed a much higher celebrity status, the likes of which they had never seen before.
And as a result the hair styles went off-the-charts crazy.
David Beckham’s mohawk, David James’ braids, Robbie Fowler’s bleached blond look, all featured on the front as well as back pages of national newspapers.
But the thing to remember about all the footballers I’ve mentioned so far is they were all world-class. Except maybe for David James.
These guys could carry off the ridiculous as long as they were delivering on the pitch, which most if not all did week in and week out.
On Sunday evening in Scotland, Liverpool played Napoli and for the last 10 minutes or so, new signing Harvey Elliott made his debut.
Now if you believe what is being said about this 16-year-old, he is the real deal and has the potential to become one of the greatest players to ever kick a ball.
Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were all vying for his signature but he chose Liverpool.
He is already the youngster ever Premier League player, making his debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days.
Previously he appeared in the League Cup for Fulham when he was just 15 years old.
Now from his short cameo on Sunday in a Liverpool shirt it is difficult to see what the future holds for the kid, but what was plain as the nose on your face was his hair style.
He possesses what those in the know call a 'man bun'.
The Cambridge dictionary definition of this is: “A hairstyle for men in which some or all of the hair is pulled together to form a round shape at the back or on top of the head.”
Now let’s get one thing clear here, I’m not against the man bun and maybe, if I was quite a few years younger, I might just take a photograph of a man sporting a man bun to one of the street barbers near Hà Nội’s Temple of Literature and ask him to do his worst.
But Harvey, I really think it has to go.
I’m not sure what the reaction of Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool teammates will be to the hairstyle, but I would have loved to have seen the look on Roy Keane’s face if in a previous life, this young kid walked into the Manchester United dressing room with his man bun neatly in place.
In five years, when you have become the best 21-year-old in the Premier League, then sure, go wild, get yourself a man bun. For all I care you can then dye it all the colours of the rainbow because then, and only then, will it not matter.
But for now, as you are still six months shy of turning 17, and you’ve played three times at the top level, do the decent thing Harvey.
Lose the bun. VNS