Half-time in the changing room - a place of calmness, peace, and tranquillity. A time for some quiet
contemplation of the previous 45 minutes. Nah ! You must joking ! Maybe if Sven's your boss,
but most of the others seem to like nothing more than a good old-fashioned cathartic rant.
Lets have a look at which hot-headed managers like to take it one step further, and get
| No || Manager || Details |
| 1 || Brian Clough ||
Cloughie went through a particularly aggressive patch during his final few seasons at Notts Forest when he was
known to be drinking heavily. The great man didn't particularly worry about slapping
misbehaving fans, so under performing players were definitely fair game... young striker Nigel Jemson
allegedly got punched for not trying hard enough, "Have you ever been hit in the stomach?"
Clough apparently asked him, when Jemson replied "No." Cloughie apparently thwacked him one
in his stomach and said "You have now, son".
Even the fearsome Roy Keane got knocked to the floor by one of Cloughie's blows after
under-hitting a back pass against Crystal Palace in 1991 - "I only ever hit Roy the once",
admitted Cloughie, "He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard".
Cloughie's best treatment was reserved for Mark Crossley though, unhappy that his goalkeeper
had shaken hands with the referee at the end of the game,
he hung him on a peg in the changing room, before punching him firmly in the stomach.
Can you imagine that going on nowadays ?!? Fantastic stuff !
| 2 || Alex Ferguson ||
A strict disciplinarian, Ferguson wasted no time in showing his half-time ranting ability
when appointed as manager of Aberdeen. Ignoring the traditional tea cups he went straight for
the urn instead during one half time, booting it at Willie Miller and his team as he screamed
furiously. And following a reserve game at Forfar he totally lost it, booted a laundry
basket, and a pair of pants flew through the air and landed on the head of a player
(like a hat). The player didn't dare move, he just sat there rigid as Fergie wailed on,
even Fergie didn't notice until the end of his rant when he looked up, saw the player
and shouted "And you can take those f***ing pants off your head. What the hell do you think
you're playing at?".
Having experienced this sort of fury first hand at Aberdeen, Gordon Strachan was hardly surprised
when he followed the raging Scot down to Man Utd only to have a full tray of tea thrown at the
wall above his head during one of his early games. Jaap Stam had a table kicked at him,
Peter Schmeichel was threatened with a cup of tea in his face just for making a hash of a
few crosses, whilst England winger Peter Barnes tried to hide in the bath to escape his wrath !
But these all pale into insignificance
when Fergie decided to dispense with the tea cups and try others things, like stray football
boots and David Beckham's left eye - "Oi Beckham, head this y'bas' !", he probably didn't say.
| 3 || Barry Fry ||
It's said that during his spell at Birmingham, Bazza was so active during half-time he needed a
standing order with Ikea for a monthly supply of their Kaffetar range of tea-cups.
And he's never been afraid to let star players know who was the boss either... in the words of the man
himself : "I had Jeff Astle and George Best at Dunstable Town. We were
losing 2-0 at Leamington and the tea arrived at half-time. I booted the tray in the air and
told the team to f*** off without tea or a talk. We won 3-2, Astle scored a hat-trick and, when
he hit the third, he ran past me sticking up two fingers!"
| 4 || Big Ron Atkinson ||
All soft, cuddly and slightly orange on the outside, Mr Bojangles was well known for fits of
rage in the dressing room if things weren't going as he wanted on the pitch.
At Aston Villa, he apparently chased Dalian Atkinson into the showers and during the melee
punched Andy Townsend and coach Jim Barron by mistake. He also threw a full cup of tea at
Dean Saunders. And why not !
| 5 || John Beck ||
Beck's unorthodox motivational skills, such as hypnotism, ploughed pitch and boot-camp style
training, earned him footballing notoriety during the 90's. But it was the cold water treatment that really made the news
at the time - along with assistant manager Gary Johnson, Beck would make the players have cold
showers before each game and then chuck buckets of ice cold water at them "to get the adrenaline
pumping". It seemed to work for a while as Cambridge surged up the leagues, with an attack
spear-headed by Dion Dublin and Steve Claridge.
However, it all began to go pear-shaped in 1992, whilst battling for promotion to the
inaugural Premiership. Claridge started to question some of his managers strange tactics and
mid match entered into a dispute with his manager, ending in a fight on the sidelines between
the two of them. Beck was having none of it and sold Claridge within a week. The clubs fortunes
started to nosedive and when Beck was sacked less than a year later, Claridge was
immediately transferred back to the club.
| 6 || Harry Redknapp ||
When 'Arry delivers a rollocking it's definitely best to just sit back, get
your head down and try not to catch his eye. Which is what Martin 'Mad-Dog' Allen
should have done during West Ham's trip to Southampton back in 1995.
With the Hammer's gaffer on the war-path for Don Hutchison following a dire performance,
he looked round the dressing room, spotted Allen, and then told him to have a go at his
fellow midfielder as well. When Allen said that he thought Hutchinson "didn't do bad"
Redknapp completely lost it, picked up a platter of sandwiches and hurled it on the wall above
Hutchinson's head, showering him with the whole plate full. Poor old Hutch left the dressing
room smelling distinctly of egg.
| 7 || Lawrie McMenemy ||
A legendary figure at Southampton in the 70's and 80's, the big Geordie knew how to handle himself
and wasn't afraid to let rip at his players in the dressing-room. After a nightmare display
from Mark Wright, McMenemy laid into the centre-back with a torrent of abuse. Wright refused
to accept the criticism and, with both of them now fully clothed, pushed his manager into
the showers where they proceeded to have a full-on rook in front of bewildered team-mates
| 8 || Peter Reid ||
As demonstrated during the BBC documentary "Premier Passions" back in 1998, Sunderland boss
Reid could swear with the best of them.
Ignoring tactics or traditional team-talks, half-time intervals at the old Roker Park ground
seemed to involve the potty-mouthed scouse-Lancastrian just hurling abuse at his players.
Lord knows what he was like when the cameras weren't there.
| 9 || Brian Laws ||
Brian Laws generally seems like a really affable sort of fellow. So imagine everyone's
surprise back in 1996 when they heard what the then Grimsby player-manager had done to
an ageing Italian with a plate of chicken wings. Taking a 3-2 defeat at Luton very badly,
a verbal confrontation between Laws and Ivano Bonetti ended with the club's star player
throwing some food at his boss, who in turn reacted by furiously hurling a plate full
of chicken wings across the changing room. The Mariners' Italian winger may have been
nippy, but not nippy enough to avoid the chicken - hitting the floor and ending up with
a fractured cheekbone. It did at least prove one thing - Laws had been paying full attention to
Cloughie's changing room routines.
| 10 || Gary Megson ||
Following a shocking performance down at Yeovil in 2005, Meggo was so apoplectic with rage that,
unable to actually bring himself to speak to his own players (for fear of some imminent hurling
of tea-cups, urns, plates of sandwiches, grenades etc etc) he decided to invite 2 random
Notts Forest fans into the dressing room to do the hair-drier duties for him.
Did it work ? No. He was out of a job shortly afterwards.