The infamous snood – a tubular scarf – has had its day in the cold January sun. It was ubiquitous last season, as chilly players tried to preserve some neck warmth, but Fifa, showing its famous nose for what matters most, banned them. "There was not even a discussion," said Sepp Blatter.
Short sleeves and gloves
At first glance, an absurdity: if it is so cold that one requires gloves, how can one also wear short sleeves? The fact is that a sportsman's extremities are particularly liable to cold, in a way that the forearms – which are full of blood and muscle – are not. Whoever got frostbite of the forearm?
Never too inconspicuous, the Chelsea defender wears tights beneath his socks and shorts to keep those thrusting legs and knees warm. Tights are the antithesis of the traditional garb of the English sporting winter – which makes them perfect for the antithesis of the traditional English centre-half.
Has anyone better embodied the values of the English sporting winter than the Manchester United veteran? Like an emissary from the era of Nat Lofthouse, he exposes knees, thighs, neck, arms and fingers to the worst the winter can throw at him. No protection, no comfort, no blanket: his only focus is the game.