A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 04, 2015
“He should be left back…in the changing rooms” (soccer joke)

A position in soccer (or “football") is the full-back; there are positions of centre-back, right-back and left-back. A popular joke is told about a poor player—“He should be left back...in the changing room(s).” That is, he shouldn’t be on the playing field.

“Pallister SHOULD be left back. In the changing rooms!” was cited in print in 1997.


Wikipedia: Association football positions
In the sport of association football, each of the 11 players on a team is assigned to a particular position on the field of play. A team is made up of one goalkeeper and ten outfield players who fill various defensive, midfield and attacking positions depending on the formation deployed. These positions describe both the player’s main role and their area of operation on the pitch.
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Full-back
The left-back and the right-back (generally referred to as the full-backs) are the defenders stationed either side of the centre-backs to provide protection from attacking wide players. They often have to defend against the opponent’s wingers, who will try to take the ball past them down the flanks in order to cross or pass into the penalty area to their attackers. Full-backs traditionally do not go up to support the attack but may move up as far as the half way line depending on the defensive line being held. In the modern game, there has been the tendency to prefer the use of the attacking full-back (wing-back) role though they are more often than not still referred to as right- or left-backs.

Google Groups: rec.sport.soccer
How did they ever play for England?
jaysnet
7/28/97
I agree! Pallister SHOULD be left back. In the changing rooms!

LFC (Liverpool Football Club) Online
Heskey should be left back next time
By David Anderson, The Mirror
Updated Thursday, 26th September 2002
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After this display, though, his next position should not be left wing, but left back - in the changing room.

phpBB
by Kaiser’s Chief » Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:51 pm
Don’t give Pele ideas! :x
Gilfillan should be left back.......in the changing room.  :D
Poor joke, I know.

Google Groups: uk.sport.football.clubs.west-ham
Next Week’s Line Up
Garry Douglas
3/10/08
(...)
He should be left back in the changing room!

Twitter
James Morgan
‏@RealJamesMorgan
@mattmorgan1 left-back....left-back in the changing rooms. Obvious I know.
10:58 AM - 14 Mar 2009

Forever West Ham
Who should be left back in the changing rooms?
Date: 30th August 2012 at 11:52 am
Written by: David Bowden
The arrival of record signing Matthew Jarvis has meant the position of Matthew Taylor is under threat, meaning it is likely that if Taylor is to get in the team it is likely to be a battle with George McCartney for the left back slot.

Live4Liverpool
Downing: Left Back, Or Left Back In The Changing Rooms?
Date: 30th November 2012 at 4:00 pm
Written by: Daniel Thomas
I FEEL sorry for Stewart Downing.

The Telegraph (UK)
Paul Scholes: Phil Jones ‘not quite clever enough’ to play centre-half
Former Manchester United team-mate says defender is better at left-back as he tends to get dragged out of position if he plays in the centre

By Telegraph Sport 2:23PM BST 07 Jun 2015
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COMMENTS
drc203 • a month ago
Is this a suggestion that Phil Jones should be left back… in the changing room… or a simple mistake?

Vital Birmingham City
July 5, 2015
Caddis: Defender or Midfielder?
(...)
As the old joke goes, he should be left back… in the changing rooms.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, July 04, 2015 • Permalink