Conor Gallagher had a season to remember on loan at Crystal Palace, scoring 8 goals and assisting an additional 3. However, he is yet to find his footing in this Chelsea first XI yet.
The 22-year-old, who made his first start for Chelsea just over a week ago against Tottenham Hotspur, recently became the target of a meme after his poor performance against Leicester City FC.
The player played for just 28 minutes after he was sent off while contributing very little to the stat sheet. This led to the cardio meme pictured below which basically says that he just ran around for 25 minutes without having any impact on the game.
This trend makes light of the players who contribute very little to the game but may cover a lot of distance. Players who have a high work rate but lower contribution in terms of numbers have frequently been the subject of this cardio meme.
It has been used previously for the likes of players like Willian (Chelsea and Arsenal), Sterling (Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea), Fred (Man Utd), Asensio (Real Madrid), etc.
Even established players like Messi and Ronaldo have been subjected to this meme on bad days.
The reason why Gallagher’s is the one to go viral could be because of the creator linking the cardio meme with the YouTube thumbnail meme.
The YouTube format is a newer version of this trend and it adds more focus on the fact that the player was not playing football at all, and was instead focusing on getting cardio content for his YouTube video.
YouTube and football memes have a long-standing history, from the absurd thumbnails to ironic highlight reels after bad games.
What’s next for Gallagher?
One could make the case that Gallagher didn’t need to be memed this hard as he did have 3 successful tackles and 4 recoveries in the span of 28 minutes, which is a pretty good showing when you compare it to Chelsea’s ever-present Jorginho, who had just 1 tackle and 5 recoveries in the full 90 minutes.
However, Chelsea fans expect a lot more from their players and are worried about his future as the starting CM for their club.
Chelsea themselves haven’t had the best start of the season – losing 3-0 to Leeds, drawing to Tottenham, and scrapping wins against Everton and Leicester.
In times like this, fans expect to see the new players shine and take the workload of the team, especially since the front three of Mount, Havertz and new signing Sterling have contributed to just 2 goals and 0 assists in the four matches so far.
With the ruthless behaviour of fans, coupled with teams and players underperforming, it is safe to say that we could be seeing a lot more cardio memes coming soon.