Yes, footballers wear ponytails, but they shouldn’t

There were so many ponytails on the pitch during the England-Sweden game on Friday. Are ponytails for men actually back?

Katharine, south London

Well, Katharine, your question suggests that the styles donned by footballers have any connection to fashion trends. Were that the case, the Chanel Couture runway would be dominated by Maharishi trousers and string vests, a look I once saw with my own, poor eyes sported by none other than Dwight Yorke in Manchester airport, a sighting that did little to explain to me why footballers are seen as „idols“.

I’m trying to think of a single example of a footballer starting an advisable fashion trend. As Victoria Beckham realised after Baden-Baden, the only way to be fashionable and even tangentially connected to the football world is to dress as if you have nothing to do with it. Hence she swapped hair extensions and hotpants for Herms and Louboutins, upgrading her wardrobe from Jordan to Jackie O.

Ponytails, however, show no such awareness. If anything, they demonstrate the opposite, an embrace of the most cliched of all footballing looks in the mistaken belief that „cliche“ is French for „classic“.

I learned much from Friday’s match. About the male ponytail, anyway. First, I learned that Swedish for ponytail is h?stsvans, which sounds worryingly close to H?agen-Dazs: a connection that both amuses me and grosses me