Posts Tagged ‘Manchester United


Top six manager rants

Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent rant at the assembled journalists during a Manchester United press conference is nothing new in the footballing world. i don’t mean the fact Fergie was annoyed with the media, this is a new development that the usually media-friendly, bubbly, friendly, smiley-happy Scot must’ve picked up in the last few days. No I’m talking about the ‘manager rant’ which has become as common a sight in football as Chris Kamara’s laugh and Alan Shearer’s ridiculously benign comments. There have been many outbursts by managers over the years some genuinely shocking, others shockingly genuine and some well, just a bit silly and uncalled for really.
Here’s my own personal top five in descending order.

5.Rafa Benitez -Last season the Liverpool manager gave us all a good laugh with his infamous rant against Fergie. The United manager had tried a bit of the old mind games by claiming that then top-of-the-table Liverpool could “choke”. Well Benitez wasn’t having any of it and responded with some ‘facts’ to put United and Ferguson in their place. Unfortunately for Benitez, that place ended up being first where United finally caught Liverpool up in terms of titles won.

4. Joe Kinnear – You’ve gotta love Kinnear, what better way to ingratiate yourself with the Geordie journalists on your second day in the job as Newcastle United manager than kicking off and calling several of them the C -word. Straight out of the Ron Atkinson book of PR, Kinnear’s rant was something of a shock not just for the assembled journalists but also for Newcastle’s press officer who after the outburst stated somewhat incredulously “this is all off the record of course lads.”

3. Sir Alex Ferguson– Of course no list of manager rants would be complete without Fergie, although it is not what we know he’s capable of behind closed doors- boots flying, hairdryer treatments, etc- it’s still good to see the United boss is willing to let loose at the press- unless it’s the BBC of course in which case he’ll just send out Mickey Phelan. A few months ago he got himself into hot water with the FA for criticisng referee Alan Wiley’s fitness, he later apologised, which is apparently only the second time in his 68-years he’s ever done so- the first was for signing Ralph Milne.

3. Diego Maradona– Who could blame every Englishman’s favourite Argentinian for having a pop at the press after his team qualified for the World Cup? After all the qualifying campaign had been a mitigated triumph, a 6-1 defeat to Bolivia, a 3-1 home defeat to arch-rivals Brazil, over 100 players used, and Lionel Messi seemingly struggling to play in Maradona’s system surely meant the Argentinian media would be ready to heap praise on the national coach. Let’s not forget the campaign had also included last-minute wins against the mighty Peru and a late decider against Uruguay completing qualification to clinch the last automatic spot.

Yet for some reason sections of the Argentinian press were a little bit concerned to say the least. Well following qualification Maradona-or ‘Hand of God’ as he’s known in Blighty, thought he’d rebuild his relationship with the press by telling them to, how can I put this? Perform fellatio on him. Here’s his rant with subtitles, those of you who speak Spanish Parental Advisory is definitely advised!

2. John Sitton- This list was originally going to be a ‘top five’ but it suddenly dawned on me I’d nearly overlooked one of the finest rants in modern football history. Sitton was appointed manager of Leyton Orient -along with Chris Turner- with the club at near-bankruptcy and bottom of the Second Division. The club sought to alleviate some financial stress by being filmed for a documentary which should have been titled a comedy.

After a poor perfomance at home against Blackpool, Sitton finally well and truly lost it. His half-time talk is the stuff of legend. How could he motivate such a struggling bunch of despondent men? Sacking defender Terry Howard was his first piece of motivational confidence building, then after labelling the board a ‘circus’ and fans ‘cockroaches’ Sitton accused some of his players of thinking they were “Bertie big b*llocks.”
As if that wasn’t enough he offered two others the chance of fisticuffs after the game, rather bizzarrely suggesting they bring something to eat for the occassion. Genius.

1. Kevin Keegan- There was only ever going to be one winner, Keegan’s outburst is arguably the most famous football interview ever. In 1996 Keegan’s Newcastle United had seen a 12 point lead at the top of the premiership evaporate to challengers Manchester United. Fergie had tried his best at mind games by claiming that teams, specifically Leeds United, were trying harder against Man U, than they were against Newcastle. With one game remaining Keegan took the bait and launched into an hysterical outburst which made the whole country chuckle-it even came 17th on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.


Keep window open in Winter.

Many people criticise the transfer window as an opportunity for the richer clubs to buy there way either a) out of trouble or b) towards some success. The window isn’t just an opportunity for the more affluent clubs managers whimsy it also gives struggling clubs a final roll of  the dice to try and bring in much needed talent.
While the window may be far from perfect I believe it gives every club a fair chance to make signings they need. It’s not just the Manchester City’s and the Chelsea’s that benefit but teams from throughout the league. Everton a perfect example of a club with little finances making the most of the opportunity the window presents, in August the club bought Louis Saha for an undisclosed fee now’s he injured they’ve got Jo on loan for the rest of the season. That’s exactly why I think the window helps keep it all fair, without the window certain teams would be hindered by injuries but they’re given the chance to replace them.
The main reason I support the transfer window is because of the sheer excitement and drama it provides football fans thorough the land. From a journalism point of view  it generates much more news which can only be a good thing.
Last September who can forget the Berbatov saga on deadline day, then the colossal surprise that was felt throughout the world when Manchester City yes City, bought none other than Robinho, let’s not forget this was well and truly one of the most unexpected signings ever. It ranks up there with Man. United signing Cantona or even Cole.
Then there’s the chances the window generates for some of the youngsters that are loaned out to smaller clubs, this gives players the chance to gain real experience something that may not happen without the sense of urgency the window creates.
That’s not to say the window is without flaws, rash decisions are often made due to the lack of time managers have, then there is the old argument of teams with money buying players the poorer teams need but can’t keep hold of.
Firstly rash decisions are more often than not made by managers who are by nature rash themselves so to blame the window for their folly would be like blaming people who have expensive jewellery for encouraging muggers.
Secondly smaller teams can if they really want to hold onto their prized assets, just ask Big Sam Allardyce who stopped Roque Santa Cruz from joining the ‘worlds richest club’ by simply enforcing his contract.
If clubs want to hold on to their players more often than not they can, I just think that for many clubs the transfer window acts as a price-inflator enabling them to receive greater sums than they should for certain ‘stars.’ Manchester City (yes, them again) are believed to have paid around £18 million for Nigel De Jong, a player that they could have signed for just £1.8 million in the summer due to the terms of his contract.
Something new to football always generates a lot of discussion with many people falling into the “if it aint broke” school if thought, but let’s be honest people said that when foreign players entered the English game and look what they‘ve brought to it. Despite what its critics say, I for one hope the transfer window is here to stay.