City star, Man United legend feature in… Five hardest PL players to Manage

As Marko Arnautovic is beginning to behave himself at Stoke, it got us thinking at FFC of some of the players who were even harder to manage than the enigmatic Austrian.

In his current vein of form, Arnautovic is a brilliant threat for the Potters, but, like so many before him, he is always likely to have a nice little strop.

Some managers relish the challenge of the ego-driven stars, whilst others are happier to pick players who they know will listen to what their boss wants and put in the hard yards.

A far cry from Frank Lampard and David Beckham, there have been hundreds of Premier League players who have had all the talent, but none of the application and been constant headaches for their managers.

Arnautovic seems to be happy enough at Stoke at the moment, but there could be any moment that he causes an argument with Mark Hughes and forces himself to move clubs once more.

Here are FIVE players who were even harder to manage than Arnie..

Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona - Leeds United & Manchester United

From posey celebrations to flying kicks, Eric Cantona’s ego was as much a negative as it was a positive for Manchester United.

The Frenchman would probably have been moved on by any other manager, but Alex Ferguson managed to focus his mind and overlook the various discrepancies throughout his career.

Mario Balotelli

Liverpool Training

Fighting with Mancini and infuriating Rodgers, Balotelli seemed to be an impossible player to motivate.

One week he would be dominating defences and scoring goals, whilst the next he would hardly life his legs to make a run into the channel.

The Italians temper and tendency to face long bans must’ve been a nightmare for every manager.

Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa

Currently lighting the world up in Nice, Ben Arfa’s talent was never in question, it just made it all the more frustrating when he wouldn’t apply himself.

Apparently, the mazy dribbler would return back in the summer carrying plenty of weight and was not renowned for being a particularly hard worker in training or on the pitch.

Steve Bruce attempted to give him a lifeline at Hull, but he was so disinterested that the manager terminated his loan and Alan Pardew swiftly moved him on.

Adel Taarabt

Burton Albion v Queens Park Rangers - Capital One Cup Second Round

Adel Taarabt, as I’m sure he would tell you, has all the talent in the world.

However, since getting QPR promoted a few seasons back, the attacking midfield player has shown that an attitude that bad cancels out whatever talent you have.

QPR rightly let their man go, as his inability to contribute anything when out of possession made him an utter liability.

Joey Barton

Joey Barton (QPR)

Now in the Championship, Joey has been on his best behaviour of late.

Since his days of cigarettes in people’s eyes and misbehaving in night clubs, Barton has calmed down and now he uses social media to reflect his interesting views on the world.

The pinnacle of Barton’s erratic behaviour must have been his assassination attempt on Sergio Aguero on the final day of the 11/12 season and managers have had to deal with one monster ego and endless suspensions.

Unlike the others on this, at least Barton works hard, but its not always about football.