Top 10 Decent Teacup Throwers
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 physical...
No. 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 !
No. 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.
No. 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!"
No. 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 !
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 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 and staff.
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 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.
Best of the rest...
Trevor Francis' man management skills have often been questioned, buts hats off to him for giving Alex Kolinko a clip round the ear after he spotted the Latvian goalkeeper sniggering when Bradford scored past him against Crystal Palace. Kolinko was spotted sniggering again, rather sheepishly, when Francis was later fined by both Palace and the F.A.
And no self-respecting list of furious managers would be complete without a nod to Graeme Souness. There were plenty of changing room fireworks when he was in charge at Rangers but he was made to eat a healthy slice of humble pie after one occasion at St Johnstone in 1990. Having booted over a tea-urn in a fit of fury, the St Johnstone tea-lady confronted him and demanded to know "Would you leave your home like that?"
And 10 gaffers who will probably never make the tea-cup list..
So whilst some gaffers are ranting and running around the changing room as if they've just spent a fortune on the latest gear at Decathlon, there are others who are the complete opposite, and much more sedentary at the interval.
So here's our bonus top 10...
- No. 1 Sven - Sven's idea of angry is the infamous tap on the side of the dugout routine.
- No. 2 Christian Gross - More likely to make you a cup of tea than hurl one at you.
- No. 3 John Rudge - The quietest manager ever ?
- No. 4 David Pleat - Too busy droning on about tactics than kicking things over.
- No. 5 Peter Shreeves - With that squeaky voice ? We don't think so.
- No. 6 Osvaldo Ardiles - The likeable Argentinian was far too polite to throw anything at his players except compliments.
- No. 7 Gerald Houllier - Too busy looking surprised to be handing out rollockings.
- No. 8 Nigel Worthington - Too nice.
- No. 9 Glenn Hoddle - Too religious.
- No. 10 Jacques Santini - Too French.