5 Football Managers Who Hit Back at the Media

Tony MabertContributor IDecember 7, 2011

5 Football Managers Who Hit Back at the Media

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    Following Chelsea's 3-0 win over Valencia, which saved them from Champions League elimination, manager Andre Villas-Boas could not issue a verbal riposte to the media.

    The press have spent the past few weeks hinting that the Portuguese boss would not last long in the job, having fallen well behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and scraping through their group in Europe. 

    Villas-Boas greeted those same members of the press and had a pop back at them, saying: "We've been continually chased by different kinds of people, but today we've given everybody (those critics) a slap in the face.

    "We have become your target, we have to accept it. Tomorrow, it's unfortunate for you guys because you'll have to report on a brilliant win for Chelsea and finishing first.

    "Tomorrow is difficult for you guys. I'll never pick a fight with you guys."

    In honour of AVB's biting back at the media, here are five more managers who have not been afraid to have a go back at the hacks.

Giovanni Trapattoni

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    During his spell at Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, where the eccentric Italian spent two years before taking over the Republic of Ireland national team, "Trap" became impatient with journalists criticising his training methods.

    As one of the most decorated managers in the history of the game, he has a right to have his voice heard, and he put the Austrian press pack in their place.

    In his trademark broken German he said: "Our training is strong. It is modern. Training wins (matches) also.

    "I have 21 trophies. There is blah, blah, blah from you. Fools write who know nothing. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

    "I am a professional in psychology. We train to get fitness. You people always make qua, qua, qua. S*** fools!"

Harry Redknapp

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    The Tottenham Hotspur manager has built a reputation as a canny mover in the transfer market during his stints in charge of West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Portsmouth (again) and Spurs.

    With his easy-talking cockney manner and his eye for a bargain, it would be impossible to count the number of times he has been described as a "wheeler dealer."

    Shame no one ever told Harry himself, because when Sky reporter Rob Palmer referred to him as such in a postmatch interview, he threw a strop.

    Redknapp told Palmer where to go in no uncertain terms and stormed off, muttering about being a "f****** football manager, not a f****** wheeler dealer."

    The incident was caught on camera and became a YouTube hit. Needless to say, no member of the press has been brave enough to call him it since.

Diego Maradona

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    In October 2009, Maradona was under severe pressure as Argentina's coach. His erratic, haphazard management had seen him call up over 100 different players in his bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, but poor results meant his team had to beat Uruguay in their final group match to avoid a playoff.

    The Albiceleste won, securing their place in South Africa the following year, and Maradona unsurprisingly hit out at all those who who had criticised him.

    He said: "They can suck it and carry on sucking it. This is for all Argentines, minus the journalists.

    "I don't usually read the newspapers or listen to sports programs, but my daughters do and they told me what had been said about me.

    "So, I repeat, to all those that said anything against me, keep eating your words."

Joe Kinnear

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    The football world was united in bafflement in September 2008 when—after an internal row led to Kevin Keegan leaving the club for a second time—the club appointed Joe Kinnear as his successor.

    That bafflement turned to shock when the former Wimbledon boss marked his first big job in almost four years with a foul-mouthed rant at the north-east football writers who criticised his appointment and reported that he did not turn up for his first day on the job.

    Here are some excerpts from Kinnear's first press conference at Newcastle.

    Joe Kinnear: "Which one is [Daily Mirror writer] Simon Bird?"

    Simon Bird: "Me."

    JK: "You're a c***."

    SB: "Thank you."

    JK: "Which one is [Daily Express writer Niall] Hickman? You are out of order. Absolutely f****** out of order.

    "If you do it again, I am telling you you can f*** off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that f****** crap. No f****** way, lies. F***, you're saying I turned up and (Newcastle's players) f***** off."

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

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

    SB: "It doesn't say that. Have you read it?"

    JK: "You are trying to f****** undermine my position already."

    SB: "Have you read it, it doesn't say that. I knew you knew they were having a day off."

    JK: "F*** off. F*** off. It's your last f****** chance."

    Kinnear won five of his 26 games in charge of Newcastle, and they ended the season relegated.

Alex Ferguson

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    The undisputed king of the manager-media beef, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has always had a tempestuous relationship with reporters.

    Back in August, Fergie ended a seven-year boycott of BBC after a documentary portrayed his agent son, Jason, in a poor light. That's seven whole years of the manager of the biggest club in the country not speaking to Britain's national broadcaster. The feud was finally ended without an apology from either side.

    In the build-up to last season's Champions League final, Fergie responded curtly to one reporter asking a question about Ryan Giggs, who has at the time embroiled in the tabloid scandal that so destroyed his reputation. While the reporter's question was football-related, Ferguson was caught on mic a few minutes later whispering to a United press officer to get him banned from future press conferences.

    Every seasoned hack will have a story or two to share about being on the receiving end of Ferguson's anger, but perhaps the most famous incident of him taking a roomful of journalists on single-handedly was when he was forced to defend his big-money signing of Juan Sebastian Veron.

    Responding to reports that the Argentina midfielder had got into an argument with some of his teammates following their defeat in the 2003 Champions League semifinal against Bayer Leverkusen, Ferguson addressed the media thusly:

    "People are always going on about f****** Veron. You tell me, what's wrong with Veron?

    "What's this thing about fights and all the rest of this s***? It's absolute nonsense, you know it's nonsense. Absolute lies. On you go. I'm no f****** talking to you. He's a f****** great player.

    "Youse are f****** idiots."