Five biggest bust-ups between players and managers in England
In this era of modern football, the relationship between a player and his manager takes the driving seat undoubtedly. It is that chemistry which defines the way things are run at the club, and which affect the performance of the team. Recently, we saw how the spat between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho hampered Manchester United’s fortunes. Here, we take a look at some relationships between player and manager to have hit a rough patch.
5. Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini
It is not just team-mates who can sometimes end up clashing with each other on the training ground. A bad bust-up between then Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and controversial striker Mario Balotelli made headlines in January 2013. The Italian forward was ordered off the training pitch following an unnecessary lunge he made at Scott Sinclair, but he unsurprisingly refused to leave. That prompted a visibly angry Mancini to attempt to drag the player away, and the two Italians were eventually separated by assistant boss Brian Kidd.
4. David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson
The Manchester United superstar was left with a reminder of his eyebrow after Sir Alex caught him just above the eye by a boot the latter had sent flying, in the wake of a 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Arsenal in February 2003. “It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!”, the Scot said later. Beckham left Old Trafford for Real Madrid that summer.
3. Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy
During the build-up to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, the Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane was unimpressed with the squad’s training facilities. Keane spoke his guts out in a meeting with manager McCarthy, after which he was unceremoniously sent home and replaced as skipper by Steve Staunton.
2. Alan Shearer and Ruud Gullit
The Dutch manager Ruud Gullit dropped the legendary Alan Shearer and strike partner Duncan Ferguson for the Tyneside derby against Sunderland, with television footage showing the pair standing behind him in the teaming rain as Newcastle were beaten. They were not exiled for long, with Gullit sacked and Shearer quickly restored as skipper.
1. Paul Gascoigne and Glenn Hoddle
Ahead of the 1998 World Cup in France, and amid concerns over the fitness of a then 31 year-old Gazza, England manager Hoddle made the call of axing the Middlesbrough midfielder from the final squad. Hoddle apparently informed the players at different times about the news. A furious Gascoigne did not take the news well, trashing the room.