Infamous football manager v player bust-ups

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Updated: October 4, 2011

Football is a passionate game. The stakes are high for players, managers, and supporters alike. Everyone has different opinions of which way is best to achieve success for your club. But what happens when these views clash spectacularly?

With Carlos Tevez currently suspended from Manchester City, and awaiting to hear on his future with the club, for apparently refusing to come on as a substitute during his team’s Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, I take a look at recent headline making manager v player bust-ups.

Here are a few of my personal most memorable:

Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham (2003)
During one of Ferguson’s infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatments after a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in a FA Cup 5th round match, not content with merely yelling at Beckham, Ferguson kicked a boot at the England international. The tantrum resulted in Beckham receiving a cut above his left eye, which required stitches.
Ferguson made light of the incident saying: “It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again.” Not that David’s wife Victoria would have granted him another try.
Beckham left for Real Madrid soon after. The free-kick specialist who now plays for MLS side LA Galaxy, still maintains that he has the utmost respect for the Scot and calls him a father figure who made him the superstar that he is now.

Joey Barton and Alan Shearer (2009)
Toon hero Alan Shearer had been appointed manager as a last-ditch effort to save his beloved Newcastle from being relegated, and putting shrinking violet Joey Barton on the pitch in a do-or-die game against Liverpool wasn’t the best decision he ever made. Barton was sent off for a straight red, and got into a massive bust-up with Shearer in the Anfield changing rooms.
Barton allegedly accused Shearer of being a ‘s**t boss’. Newcastle sought legal advice over curtailing Barton’s contract, but had to settle for an indefinite ban, one which was soon lifted when Shearer was relieved of his duties as Newcastle were relegated.
Tempers recently flared up between the two again when Barton tweeted of Shearer’s performance on BBC’s Match of the Day: “Bad shirt, shoes and views from Shearer again. Sort it out slaphead.”
Not on each other’s Christmas card list just yet.

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy (2002)
The daddy of all fall-outs for Irish football supporters. Roy Keane was never someone who was subtle in his words or in his actions. The Corkman criticised the Republic of Ireland’s preparations for the 2002 World Cup finals to the Irish Times. The midfielder was reportedly not satisfied with the team’s facilities in Saipan. The claims infuriated manager Mick McCarthy. The two became involved in an argument in front of the whole squad, with Keane launching a foul-mouthed tirade at his manager resulting in him being sent home from the finals.
A statement from McCarthy at the time read: “I cannot and will not tolerate being spoken to with that level of abuse being thrown at me so I sent him home. I have never witnessed such an attack from any human being. It was vicious and it was unjust.”
Ireland eventually lost out to Spain on penalties in the second round of the World Cup. After leaving Saipan, Keane was photographed for most of the summer walking his golden retriever. A lot.

The entire France 2010 World Cup Squad and Raymond Domenech
It takes some man to fall out with an entire squad. Raymond Domenech was that man.
Domenech’s side scored two goals and took one point from their three group games but their miserable trip to South Africa will be remembered more for what happened off the pitch.

Nicolas Anelka was sent home after a foul-mouthed outburst at Domenech, which proved the catalyst for the team’s widely derided refusal to train ahead of their World Cup match against hosts South Africa, and Patrice Evra being stripped of the captaincy and dropped for that game.

France’s flops then had to explain the disaster that was World Cup 2010 upon arrival back on French soil, as their government, journalists and fans demanded answers from a team they believed had shamed their nation.
Thierry Henry admitted on French tv afterwards Les Bleus could have handled their grievances better.
Yes that was a Thierry Henry/handled quip. Sorry, couldn’t resist. A lot like him obviously.

Nominated for 2011 Realex Web Awards

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