Hawk Eye’s fail isn’t the only controversy from the return of the Premier League – the player’s lockdown haircuts are also coming under close scrutiny.
While some looked suitably shaggy – step forward Matteo Guendouzi and Matt Targett – others looked surprisingly sharp.
With most of us in the UK desperately waiting for the re-opening of hairdressers – fingers crossed on 4 July – some barbers felt a few of the barnets on show were amazingly professional.
“I was angry, I know a good haircut when I see one,” says Steve, a barber in Norwich. He watched last night’s matches paying close attention to the player’s hair. He’s had his chain of salons shut for months.
There’s no evidence any footballer’s broken lockdown rules on trims, but it does beg the question – how did Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac or Man City’s Gabriel Jesus manage such a smart do?
“You know, I feel they’ve approached certainly their wives and girlfriends,” explains Steve.
We don’t know the answer to how many of last night’s players have hairdressers in the family, and although there’s no denying several looked sharp – some were still clearly suffering from the lockdown look.
You know, a bit Rapunzel at the back with a hint of scarecrow at the sides.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was freshly shaved at the back and sides – but on top his flowing locks had to be tucked away in a French plait.
Arsenal’s Aubameyang has let his hair grow – as has Aston Villa’s Matt Targett who was wearing an Alice band to hold his mop back.
None of the four clubs have commented yet on how their players were turned out. The Premier League has no regulation around haircuts and says Project Restart – aimed at football’s comeback – is focusing entirely on the game.
For hairdressers (and those of us who need a sheep shearer after three months) those sharp dos seemed to be a little galling.
“Barbers, like myself, are respecting the guidelines” says Steve from Norwich.
“We’re trying to gear up for 4 July at the earliest. We’ve been given some money from the government but the rent in my shops is very, very high and that money will run out.”
However footballers manage their hair during lockdown – maybe Villa keeper Orjan Nyland can blame his for getting in the way of his fumbled goal/no goal.
As for the rest of us, covid cuts have, at least, been keeping us amused.
And if you’ve had your own hair disaster, help yourself to our DIY video.