Football's 12 Most Awkward Press Conferences

Charles Lawley@@charleslawleyContributor IFebruary 21, 2013

Football's 12 Most Awkward Press Conferences

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    This week’s most bizarre moment of Champions League football so far is undoubtedly Arsene Wenger’s press conference prior to the Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich game.

    In the press conference, the aggravated Arsenal manager fell short of standing up, adopting a cockney accent, spreading his arms and bellowing “Oi, whatchu’ lookin’ at? You mug!” then crushing a can of premium lager against his forehead.

    So make sure you’re wearing clothes that can mask obvious cringe stains, as we are celebrating Wenger taking on the press by running through world football’s most awkward press conferences.

12) Aggressive Arsene

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    Arsene Wenger must be quite glad that Bayern Munich put on such a fabulous display Tuesday night, as a drab goalless draw would have meant his awkward meeting with the press would still be the main talking point of the night.

    Wenger got shirty with journalists after being asked about claims he is signing a new two-year deal at Arsenal and over a question about being dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.

    The highlight of this video is an obviously uncomfortable Mikel Arteta, who is sat next to Arsene, looking like he wants the ceiling to collapse on him.

11) Trap Attack.

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    Bayern Munich haven’t always been on the better side of awkward press conferences.

    In March 1998, the Trap hit the fan when then-Bayern manager Giovanni Trapattoni lost his cool, following three successive defeats and players openly talking about an inharmonious backroom (after watching this video, goodness knows why), in the style of a brutal dictator, who is just coming to terms with losing a war, delivering a speech and looking for a scapegoat.

    The highlight of the video is him saying "[Thomas] Strunz, I don't mention has only played 25 percent of the game."

    Well, this probably isn't the best time to break it to you, Trap, but you did just mention it.

10) Le Awkward Monsieur Joey Barton

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    That awkward moment when you suddenly become French.

    Following his loan move from Queens Park Rangers to Marseille in August 2012, Joey Barton just seemingly decided to stop being Liverpudlian and start being French.

    For some reason, he didn't think people would notice.

    They did.

9) Eric, Seagulls and Trawlers

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    And now for someone who actually is French this time.

    A press conference, following Eric Cantona's attack on a Crystal Palace fan in January 1995, saw Eric sit down and confidently tell the waiting media: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much."

    And then he got up and left, so the press couldn't ask any further questions. Like "what on Earth does that even mean?"

    At least he did it all in his own accent.

8) Sir Alex Tells Journalists How Naughty They Are

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    Following Wayne Rooney quite publicly trying to leave Manchester United in 2010 (SPOILER ALERT: He didn't), Sir Alex Ferguson was asked questions about the saga during a pre-match press conference for a Champions League game. 

    This led to Sir Alex to going all "Scottish state school headmaster" on the press in attendance. The illusion of an angry teacher is helped by the fact we all have to call him "Sir" anyway.

    The highlight of this video is Fergie reprimanding journalists for "the way they behave" and telling them they "don't deserve to come to a press conference."

    Sorry, Sir. It won't happen again, Sir.

    Thank goodness he didn't have a cane handy.

7) Mick McSweary

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    When asked how he felt about conceding an own goal after just 60 seconds in a match against Reading in 2009, then-Wolves manager Mick McCarthy replied, dropping five f-bombs in the process:  

    "******* abysmal, that was what I ******* thought of it. C'mon, let's get to it, I'm trying my best here. What did I make of it? I thought it was the best bit of ******* football I've seen in a long time. Do me a favour. It was a crap start to a game. There you have it, can you print all that? ******* rubbish, absolute tosh. Drivel. *****. ********. That's what I thought of it. Did that help? I'm quite pleased, apart from the fact that's given them the poxy result, I'm ******* livid about it – of course I am. So, there you have it."

    ...OK, Mr McCarthy, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

6) Harry Redknapp, Football Manager

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    WARNING: The attached video contains expletives.

    Harry Redknapp has a bit of a reputation of being a wheeler dealer.

    But for the love of all that is holy, never tell him that.

    If you do you might get the same response Match Of The Day's Rob Palmer got following an interview with the football manager and not wheeler dealer, Harry Redknapp, after his Tottenham Hotspur side lost to Wigan in 2010.

5) Phonecall for Mr Keane

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    When he was Ipswich Town manager, the cuddliest man in football, Roy Keane was taking questions when one of the journalists' phone went off.

    In this video you can visibly see something snap behind Roy's eyes as soon as the phone rings. In half a second he’s already listed in his head 4,000 ways to kill a man with his bare hands.

    Following this I think we'd all love to see Roy Keane as the world's most psychotic librarian.

4) Ian Holloway Gets Deep

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    Finally an appearance for the post-/pre-match conference's favorite son, Ian Holloway. When he was Blackpool manager, Hollers was asked about the same Wayne Rooney transfer saga that caused Sir Alex to admonish the journalists in entry No. 8.

    How are a room full or journalists meant to respond when Ian Holloway questions the morality of human kind when he should really be talking about transfer rumors?

    ...and someone's already said to him "we'll take you and we'll pay you some of that money we should have paid Man United 'cause you can walk out on a free." What are we actually saying as human beings? Is that right? Do you want to sign a person like that? Do you want to play for a club who says that to you? How do we know it hasn't happened? And the game is spoiling that. The game is wrong. The people in charge of the game are wrong.

    Erm...any injury concerns for Saturday, Ian?

3) Rafa Benitez Isn't Happy. Fact.

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    When Rafa Benitez was Liverpool manager, and not the darling of Stamford Bridge like he is now, he was embroiled in mind games (but one of those games where people fight to the death—e.g. The Hunger Games) with Sir Alex Ferguson.

    In a 2009 press conference, Rafa got a little riled by Fergie's comments.

    And that is a fact.

2) Alex Ferguson Struggling with a Question

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    But just because Fergie made Rafa lose his rag in a press conference doesn’t mean he’s immune to misplacing his cool either.

    He stormed out of a press conference last season after a journalist claimed United and City were struggling in Europe.

    The highlight of the video, apart from him storming out of course, is Ferguson saying “Struggling?” in the style of Robert De Niro’s “Are you talkin’ to me?” in Taxi Driver.

1) Joe ******* Kinnear

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    WARNING: The attached video contains expletives. Big time.

    This list has been compiled in no particular order, apart from this one. This is the undoubted No. 1 most awkward press conference in football history.

    What is more awkward then a manager singling out a member of the press and calling him the rudest word possible?

    It was Joe Kinnear's first press conference as Newcastle United's interim manager and he took exception to The Daily Mirror's Simon Bird and The Daily Express' Niall Hickman (who were both in attendance) reporting that his under-performing players had been given a day off on Monday.

    He took exception in the style of Gordon Ramsay after realizing he left a fork in a bowl and he'd blown up the microwave. Swearing 52 times in six minutes.

    You know a press conference is going to be awkward when it starts with the manager sitting down and immediately saying:

    Joe Kinnear: Which one is Simon Bird?

    Simon Bird: Me.

    JK: You're a ****.

    SB: Thank you

    JK: Which one is Hickman? You are out of order. Absolutely ******* out of order. If you do it again, I am telling you you can **** off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that ******* crap. No ******* way, lies. ****, you're saying I turned up and they ****** off.

    SB: No Joe, have you read it, it doesn't actually say that. Have you read it?

    JK: I've ******* read it, I've read it.