Imagine yourself travelling back to the beginning of the previous century. Football is seeing a huge increase in popularity all over the world. Especially in Europa. A thirty one year old bloke named Gus Mears has recently acquired an athletic arena. As an avid football fan, he envisions turning the arena into a football stadium. But none of the existing teams are interested in playing there. What does he do? He launches the Chelsea Football Club.

Fast forward more than one hundred years and Chelsea Football Club has grown into one of the worlds most popular football clubs, a regular fixture at the Premier League and to many a symbol of British pride. In recent times, the high transfer rate of players has both been criticized an praised. While some feel that this is the result of an ill drafted recruitment policy, only serving the purpose of decreasing the unity of the team, there are some who consider a flexible and dynamic approach to team building the only way to make headway in todays fast paced world.

No matter how you look at it. The drama is at an all time high. Which also ties into a different source of British pride. Namely talking bollocks. But do note that we use the term in its highest sense. In the world of football, this has more universally become known as talking trash. But what is trash talking?

“[\ˈtrash-ˌtȯk\] Insulting comments that are made especially to an opponent in a contest, game, etc.” – the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

So, what has provoked this influx of trash talking? It has always been part of the game. But let’s look at some recent developments. Newcomer manager Antonio Conte has been very clear about his intent to exert greater control of the club, and is known for his emotional and sometimes stern way of dealing with players. This is reflected in the many ongoing and potential player trades. He hasn’t been able to secure all the players he reportedly is interested in and some trades, such as the much-publicized Alvaro Morata deal, are very uncertain. And this has unfortunately had a detrimental effect on the public faith in the current management.

The talking of trash
So, what purpose does it serve? Trash talking has the unique ability to both build and tear down confidence. An infographic by 888poker explains some of the major trash talking incidents in the sports history. Both players and supporters with a quick wit can put themselves at the center of attention and actually effect the outcome of events they otherwise wouldn’t be a part of. In a way, just as with politics, trash talking is a way of controlling your environment. It also ties into the old gambling concepts bluff and poker face. By diverting attention with a real zinger while making sure that your true intentions are clouded, you can see to it that your opponents are mislead to your advantage.

On the upside. There are several things to the gained from carefully crafted lines of trash. But it is important to note that both delivery and timing are vital factors.

  • Putting your opponent off guard, giving you a window of opportunity
  • Demoralizing to the point of your opponent losing faith in the game

When looking at the downside. Engaging in the activity can blow up in your face and have a completely reverse effect.

  • Realizing you’re facing an opponent with even greater trash talking abilities
  • Being too rough around the edges causing public opinion to go against you

These are only a few points and the outcome will depend on wit, delivery, timing and public support.

But there are other things to consider. Bets have always been a part of the football world. And with the enormous growth of on-line casinos, more people than ever are wagering the odds of a certain outcome. And in this context, trash talking also serves a purpose. Especially if you’re betting face to face. Properly crafted trash talk can make your opponent think that you’re in a better position than you really are. Thus affecting his, or hers, way of betting. But if this is the route you’re taking, make sure to consider both pros and cons.