These are unprecedented times for the world, as well as football, and everyone is dealing with the ramifications of COVID-19 in different ways.
It might be the most important of the least important things, but football is a livelihood for many more people than just the players. Managers, coaches, officials, commentators, pundits, broadcasters and journalists all make their living from the beautiful game.
But after Thursday’s announcement, the Premier League will be on hiatus until at least April 30 and it’s likely Europe’s other major leagues will follow. Which means everybody is working from home in the meantime.
So, how are the great and the good of football coping with COVID-19-induced boredom? Luckily we’ve got social media to tell us…
It’s not just players who need to stay sharp and at the top of their game – commentators do too. Clive Tyldsley has one of the most iconic and recognisable voices in the game, but you’ve never heard him provide an audio soundtrack to his wife making lasagne before. No mentions of ‘That night in Barcelona’ though…
There’s nothing boring about the Liverpool midfielder. In fact, Milner plays up to the stereotype and he’s been at it again this week, making sure his precious tea bags are rationed before the big COVID-19 supply chain failure. Sensible and amusing.
James Milner (again)
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) March 17, 2020
With his Yorkshire Tea safely divided up for the next week, the 33-year-old former England star set about his next task: making sure his lawn wasn’t too long. Just don’t offer to do Turf Moor for Sean Dyche, James!
Elsewhere on Merseyside, the Everton forward has taken a particularly novel approach to getting his football fix while COVID-19 wreaks havoc with the fixture schedule. Namely, a kickaround in his back garden in a Neymar shirt sporting the iconic Ronaldo ‘wedge’ haircut. Fenómeno.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 18, 2020
Here at Football Whispers towers (or at least this writer’s study) we’re down with the kids. Which means we follow our favourite players on TikTok. Chelsea‘s very own Captain America, Pulisic, joined this week and in some fashion. Wait for it…
When your partner is a pop star, you’ve got quite a bit to live up to in the dancing stakes. Judging by this video from his Instagram story, Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can more than hold his own. With COVID-19 taking hold, we’re expecting big things in the coming weeks – and maybe even a Strictly Come Dancing appearance in the future!
View this post on Instagram
?? Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends @blaisematuidiofficiel, @albinekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment.⠀ ⠀ Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe ??!⠀⠀ ⠀ New training camp is called …⠀⠀ Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! ??♂⠀⠀ Having fun working at home ? with my brother @victorlindelof!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ (I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey ? I'm just supporting my friends … that's all, nothing more ?).⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ?? A sostegno degli amici di Juventus e Sampdoria @blaisematuidiofficiel e @albinekdal e di tutti gli atleti e le persone del mondo⠀ ⠀ Siate forti, #StayAtHome e fate attenzione ??⠀ ⠀ Il nuovo campo di allenamento si chiama… ⠀ Quarantena PP Arena, aperto 24 ore su 24 ??♀⠀ Mi diverto ad allenarmi a casa ? con il mio amico @victorlindelof!⠀ ⠀ (So che qualche malizioso parlerà del fatto che indosso la maglia della Juventus ?, ma lo faccio solo per dare un segno di supporto al mio amico, non c’è nessun’altra ragione ?).
One of the undisputed stars of social media, it’s no surprise Manchester United enigma Pogba has kept himself busy in this break. Joined by United team-mate Victor Lindelöf at what we can only assume is the PogPad – why else would there be a mural of the 2018 World Cup winner on the wall? – our hero dons a Blaise Matuidi shirt – his countryman and friend has tested positive for COVID-19 – while working out.
The Manchester City full-back-cum-social media influencer has had plenty of practice when it comes to training at home but we think this clip might give an insight into why Pep Guardiola rarely picks the humourous Frenchman…
We’ll finish on a serious note and the reason this piece exists: football is in lockdown as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and Liverpool No.1 Alisson has taken part in the #SafeHands Challenge to promote good habits when it comes to hygiene. As you’d expect for a goalkeeper, the Brazilian’s technique is exemplary. Oh, and he’s a handsome chap too.