Branislav Ivanovic was a one-man band of comedy backpasses last night, gift-wrapping two chances for Swansea which Michu and Danny Graham duly took. It puts Chelsea on the verge of losing their last straw to clutch at of the season, but never fear, here’s some more equally or possibly worse backpasses to make everyone feel a little better.
#1 Steven Gerrard [Liverpool] (v Arsenal 2005/06)
Stevie G has a bit of the track record in the ill-advised backpass department. But this is surely the ill-advised Daddy of them all. Against Arsenal when they were still genuine title contenders, he gifts Thierry the ball in the Liverpool penalty area and as he’s not yet an aging cheat, the Frenchman cooly round Pepe Reina to score. Gerrard’s mistake is made all the worse for the fact he can been seen actually looking up for deciding to play his opponent in.
#2 Gillingham (v Northampton 1992/93)
It’s the early 90s and the ‘goalkeeper not being able to pick up and ball and bore us into a tearful submission’ rule is still in it’s infancy. It’s not a rule that everyone has grasped, judging by this backpass the Gillingham defender sends into the stratosphere before getting his goalkeeper to deal with. To his credit, the goalkeeper pulls off some heroics to keep it out. Despite kamikaze defending like this, the Division 3 Gills still managed to get a draw on the day and avoided dropping down to the Conference by a comfortable four points. Bad luck Halifax.
#3 Lyon (v Barcelona 2001/02)
In many ways, this clip is very similar to what happened to Gillingham. But in other ways, it’s the Champions League at the Camp Nou, so it’s nothing like anything that has ever happened to Gillingham. This was another example of a defender sending his goalie up the river without a paddle, but using all his agility, intelligence and French surliness, Gregory Coupet manages to recover and make one of the all time great double saves.
#4 Ryan Blake [Ebbsfleet] (v Farnborough 2011/12)
A lot of crap backpasses simply end up with the team conceding a goal and people laughing about it on the internet, but Ebbsfleet brought calamitous defending to new levels last season. With about six seconds on the clock, the Fleet’s left back, Ryan Blake sold his goalkeeper very short. In the attempt to salvage the situation, goalkeeper, Preston Edwards brings the striker down, ending his involvement in the game some 89 minutes and 50 seconds from the end. To make matters worse, Farnborough scored the resulting penalty and without a goalkeeper on the bench, had to stick midfielder, Tom Phipp in goal for the substantial remainder of the game. It finished 3-0 to the vistors, which considering the woeful start to the game, isn’t the worst of outcomes.
#5 Stefan Denkovic [Hapoel Haifa] (v Maccabi Haifa 2012/13)
This one is from just a couple of weeks back. We’re not calling Denkovic a bad player at all. In fact, in this clip he shows the deft touch of a classy player. Sadly for his team, he chooses to show off his deft touch with a feathery backpass that falls well short of his goalkeeper. As you’d expect, it gets pounced upon by Munas Dabbur en route to a facile 6-2 victory for Maccabi Haifa in Israel’s top flight. Hapoel are currently bottom of the Ligat Ha’al, would you believe?
And don’t get too smug Swansea, your players aren’t immune from it either: