Football fans took to Twitter en masse after discovering a strange omission from Garth Crooks’ Premier League Team of the Year that appears to be baffling just as much as whimsical.
The former footballer now turned pundit has built a notorious reputation thanks to remarks and observations that have come in for plenty of stick in the past.
In keeping with this convention, Crooks committed another blunder recently when picking his team of the year for BBC Sports.
Leaving aside his other picks which may or may be contentious, depending on how one sees it, the general consensus concerned Crook’s inexplicable exclusion of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah in the playing XI.
The Egyptian winger has been in sublime form this season, continuing his exploits from the year before, having already bagged 15 goals so far to lead the goalscoring charts, making him an obvious choice for consideration into any team.
However, that wasn’t enough to earn Salah a place in Crooks’ team, understandably incurring the wrath of Red supporters in the process, who were quick to slam him with disparaging comments and memes online.
A BBC ‘pundit’ is trying to get attention by not putting Mo Salah (37 goals in 2021) in the Team of the Year. Don’t bother giving them the attention or clicks.— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) December 31, 2021
It’s always easy to disagree with someone’s opinion but when it’s Garth Crooks it’s very, very easy to disagree😂.— Regi Fontana (@FontanaRegi) December 31, 2021
Saka, Antonio and Rice in his team of the YEAR but no Mohammed Salah, Ballon d’or runner up Jorginho or Cancelo etc🤔. NO SALAH?!?#teamoftheyear #bbcfootball pic.twitter.com/hs9GCXFuGS
Garth Crooks’ team of the year is a classic.— GoalScorer Challenge ⚽️ (@GoalscorerC) December 31, 2021
• Alexander-Arnold in a position he’s never played just to shoehorn him and James in
• Bernardo Silva at LWB
• Saka ahead of Salah
One fan minced no words in sharing his opinion, branding Crooks’ team “horrendous”, as well as calling the analyst “clueless” while urging fans not to heed too much into his judgement.
Stop letting Garth Crooks and his horrendous team of the season get under your skin, mates. He has a team of the week piece every week where he automatically includes defenders who score, even if they concede a shedful of goals. The man’s clueless, crack on with your day— Bolshevik Bannerman ☭ 🚩 🇵🇸 (@TheLeftwaffe) December 31, 2021
Another fan, who appears to have held a critical opinion on Crooks since long, was reassured once and for all, suggesting Salah’s exclusion had “sealed the deal” for him.
I’ve long held the opinion that Garth Crooks is THE very worst pundit out there. And there are plenty to choose from.— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) December 31, 2021
Not picking Salah in his team of 2021 has sealed the deal… https://t.co/bBq1VVYkVX
Taking the piss, another fan called Crooks’ team a “masterpiece”, one to be “hung” in the Louvre.
Trent Alexander-Arnold at right centre-back, Bernardo Silva at left wing-back and no Mo Salah – ladies and gentleman, a Garth Crooks masterpiece. Hang it in the Louvre. https://t.co/CHUuqk13tH— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) December 31, 2021
Considering the multiplicity of opinions in disagreement with Crooks, it might perhaps be safe to assume he got this one wrong all along.