Comedians, go home. Football managers going off-script and on YouTube will never not be funny.
Being a football manager must be one hell of a tough gig. There's the stress of developing/babysitting modern day players, the routine threat of your P45 and the dull ache that your own playing days are an ever-disappearing speck in the rearview mirror. It's no wonder, then, that these greying, tactic-touting mavericks have something of a habit of getting angry and going rogue. And when they do, it's guaranteed comedy gold.
Whether directing their 'feelings' at their players, the media or merely the nearest video camera, the manager rant adds a much needed laughter track to the beautiful game, and is every bit as fundamental as goalposts, linesman and Jim White's face on deadline day.
(Images: Rex, YouTube)
1. Harry Redknapp gets hit by a ball
Illustrated even more recently during QPR's Championship clash with Millwall, Harry Redknapp is a big fan of football, just not footballs - especially when they slap him round the face. After being struck by an errant shot by a Pompey reserve player, 'Arry first tries to express his rage primarily through winking eight times per second, but inevitably boils over into a scathing takedown of the player, who we can only assume is no longer with us._______________________________________
2. Kevin Keegan loves it
As the old saying goes - play mindgames with Alex Ferguson, you're gonna get burned. We think that's it, anyway. Newcastle manager Keegan allowed his emotions run away with him in an interview with pundit-cum-misogynists Richard Keys and Andy Gray during the 1996 title race, earning himself a catchphrase and probable hernia in the process. The Toon, who were leading the pack at the time, went on to lose out to United. Obviously.
3. Rafa Benitez talks about facts
Another man who knows all too well about being burned by ash-faced Fergie is Rafa Benitez. Coming armed to a press conference with detailed notes (nay 'facts') about the Manchester United gaffer was never going to end well, and Rafa's Liverpool, top of the league at the time, went on to lose out on the title to Ferguson's Red Devils. Obviously.
4. Phil Brown's on-pitch team talk
Forget Mourinho, Wenger or Clough, Phil Brown was a force of nature during his two (nearly) year tour of service in the Premier League. With skin thick with tan and face full of beard, Brown followed up an on-pitch singsong after Hull limped to safety in 2008 with an even more ridiculous pitch performance the following season, berating his squad like naughty schoolchildren after a dire first half performance against Man City. Brown was sacked a few months later, and Hull were promptly relegated. Obviously.
5. Ian Holloway comments on everything ever
A man who could fill this entire list at a canter, Ian Holloway is the West Country clown in grown up clothes currently entrusted with managing Crystal Palace. Not the biggest fan of the media and yet ever-ready with a soundbite, this clip of 'Ollie' - then manager of QPR - gives comprehensive insight into his genius/insanity, as he tackles every topic from players' shorts to Tony Blair.
6. John Sitton's 'bring yer dinner' rant
There's a good reason cameras are rarely allowed in football changing rooms, and the sharp-tongued stylings of former Leyton Orient manager John Sitton is somewhere near the top. In 1995, after an embarrassing first half performance, Sitton decided to sack one of his players and offer two more out for a fight. Sitton was sacked two months later, and Leyton Orient finished bottom of the Second Division. Obviously.
7. Sir Alex Ferguson and the balloon
Sporting a face redder than a baboon's bum cheek and with the demeanour of a man who'd sooner kill you than speak to you, Alex Ferguson's not afraid of anything, right? Wrong. Pop a balloon in his vicinity and the knighted Scotsman will cack himself, before swearing profusely and ingesting four more packets of Wrigley's.
8. Graham Taylor isn't a fan of frowning journos
A few days away from England's crunch game against Holland in 1993, the man known affectionately (not affectionately) as Turnip Taylor decided to spend less time discussing his starting XI or how his Three Lions could overcome the 'shexy football' of the Dutch, and instead focused on the unsmiling face of one particular sports reporter. England lost the game, failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup and 'Turnip' was forced to resign. Yep.
9. Paolo Di Canio fights his own player
Given he was famed for Nazi salutes and pushing refs during his playing career, it's no surprise that professional lunatic Paolo Di Canio would eventually start on his players when making the move into management. After this altercation with Leon Clarke, the then-Swindon boss vowed the striker would never play for Swindon again. He was right, too, and somehow stayed clear of blame or reprimand himself.
10. Joe 'F*cking' Kinnear is born
A few short days into his reign as Newcastle's interim manager in 2008, JFK (as he soon became known) tore the media industry a new backside by taking umbrage to how they reported his arrival, and specifically, his choice to take a day off on his first day. Expletives ensued. 52 of them._______________________________________
11. Mick McCarthy gets a fright
It must be scary being Mick McCarthy. Mirrors, spoons or indeed any reflective surface can reveal his scary Sam the Eagle face to his own eyes - it's the stuff of nightmares. We can only presume a Wolves fan was brandishing one of the above listed items just out of shot here, as Mick receives an inexplicable fright, leading him to do a weird, jolty dance.
12. Shteve McClaren adopsh a Dutch acchent
Comprehensively fulfilling the eye-wincingly awkward stereotype of Englishman abroad, one-time 'Wally with a brolly' McClaren endears himself to his new Dutch pals with a Dick Van Dyke impression. It probably would've gone unpunished back home in Blighty, had televisions, the internet and a sense of hearing not been invented yet. Sadly for Shteve, they had.
13. Jose Mourinho gets egg on his face
They say you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. Jose Mourinho hasn't heard that idiom. He prefers the one about 'homelettes and heggs', where if you don't have expensive, Class 1 heggs, then you can't ruddy well make a nice homelette. Sadly, Roman Abramovich had already spent around a quarter of a billion pounds on heggs, chickens and all manner of poultry from Jose's shopping list, and sacked him not long after.
14. Brian Clough vs. Muhammad Ali
One was the greatest entertainer the world has ever seen, with talent almost as big as his stadium-sized mouth and who'd defeat opponents before they even entered the arena with a barrage of unstoppable trash talk. The other... is Muhammad Ali.
15. Ron Atkinson makes an Arse(nal) of himself
The irrepressible Pierre van Hooijdonk, who actually went on strike during Big Ron's ill-fated reign at Nottingham Forest, probably put it best when he said it often felt like he was being managed by Rowan Atkinson. And, before his first game in charge had even kicked off, Ron (not Rowan) produced a sublime Mr Bean-esque moment by sitting in the away dug-out, alongside confused Arsenal staff.