Yaya Toure's Forgotten Birthday and Strangest Complaints in World Football
Typically, it's Kolo Toure who makes headlines for ridiculous reasons, but his brother Yaya has this week inferred that he may leave Manchester City because no one at the club wished him a happy birthday.
In light of this bizarre complaint that is surely intended to leverage a deal away from the Premier League champions, here are some of the strangest grumbles in the history of the beautiful game...
Roberto Mancini Wasn't 'Holistic' Enough
When Roberto Mancini was relieved of his duties at Manchester City in May 2013, the club issued a statement explaining their actions.
In addition to failing to win the league, City claimed the Italian had been dismissed out of a desire to "develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club."
A year later, no one still knows what this complaint really means, but Manuel Pellegrini must be very holistic at the moment.
Ukraine Kept Awake by Frogs
In their opening game of the 2006 World Cup, Ukraine were decimated 4-0 by Spain. After the game, they didn't blame their terrible defending but instead cited loud frogs outside the team hotel as a reason for their poor performance.
Defender Vladislav Vashchuk explained the problem:
Because of the frogs' croaking we hardly got a wink of sleep. We all agreed that we would take some sticks and go and hunt them.
Newcastle's Ball Issues
Back in the days when the FA Cup still had a modicum of magic—1998—Newcastle were held to a draw by non-league Stevenage.
Reflecting on the Magpies' failure to dismiss their lower league opponents, an irate Kenny Dalglish said that the balls were too bouncy. Seriously.
Blackpool's Ghostly Visitor
Blackpool faced Bradford in a 1996 Second Division play-off semi-final and managed to let a two-goal lead slip to lose the chance of a trip to Wembley.
The Tangerines' principal complaint? Their boardroom was being haunted by the ghost of Lord Nelson.
Apparently, the oak panelling in there was salvaged from his flagship, the Foudroyant. The ship was beached in Blackpool in 1897, so it makes perfect sense for his spirit to make the team lose a single game 99 years later.
Rotherham's Chrome Dome Conundrum
Rotherham's goalkeeper Chris Mooney once had the embarrassment of letting a simple shot trickle through his legs into the goal.
Rather than lament his lack of co-ordination, Mooney blamed the bald head of his defender Nick Smith, as it reflected the sun so badly that it blinded his vision.
Mourinho Complains About Barca's Ball Boys
It's hard to believe, but Jose Mourinho has said some things in the past that have either been hypercritical or utterly bizarre.
After his Real Madrid side's Spanish Supercup loss to Barcelona in 2011, the Special One complained about a lack of ball boys:
We came here to play. What I'm about to say is not a criticism, I'm just stating a fact: there were no ball-boys in the second half, which is something typical of small teams when experiencing difficulties.
Mou was particularly ungracious in defeat that day, as he famously plunged his thumb into Tito Vilanova's eye.
Alan Hansen's Freaky Friday
In one of the greatest-ever finishes to an English league season, Arsenal travelled to Anfield on Friday, 26 May 1989, needing three points and a two-goal winning margin to snatch the league from Liverpool.
Against all odds, the Gunners did it.
Afterwards, Alan Hansen complained that the only reason Arsenal won was because the game was played on a Friday night.
Presumably, in Hansen logic, the Reds would have won comfortably if it had been contested on a Saturday.
Sutton's Need for Silence
A Sutton United player named Adrian Bradnam once missed an open goal and proceeded to blame it on the crowd being too noisy.
Having personally been to Sutton's Gander Green Lane ground many times, this seems like a ludicrous complaint. It's not exactly the Maracana during the World Cup Final.
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