Managing in football is always a difficult job. The media limelight is fixed firmly on the man in the dugout and the pressures of coaching a team can often take its toll on the person in question. This often leads to clashes with sections of the media, be it in a press conference or an interview after a match. We often see a manager storming out of a press conference or replying irritably to pointless questions. Other individuals take a more humorous approach to answering the journalist’s questions, using sarcasm or funny anecdotes to lighten the mood somewhat.
It isn’t always the managers who produce quality answers for the media, as players can often produce pearlers of their own and there’s nothing better than watching someone in the footballing world take on the media at their our game. We’ve compiled a list of 25 press conference/interview answers that either made us giggle, dropped our jaws or made us shake our heads in disbelief:
25. Mick McCarthy – Wolves had just survived on the final day of the 2010/11 season, but Mick McCarthy got a soaking he didn’t quite expect. His response? Sheer optimism.
24. Kevin Keegan – King Kev resigned as England manager after a 1-0 defeat to Germany in the final game at the old Wembley. Although Keegan’s demise was expected, what the media didn’t understand is why he chose the Wembley toilets as the perfect place to break the news.
23. Eddie Mitchell – Bournemouth Chairman Mitchell had an unpleasant spat with Mark Chapman on a 606 Phone-in after he rather unfairly sacked his manager, Lee Bradbury. Mitchell took offence to the line of questioning and resorted to a rather fouled-mouthed way of responding.
22. Mario Balotelli – Imagine one of the worst things that could happen during your announcement as the new caretaker manager of Inter Milan. Microphone not working? Journalists throwing tomatoes? Nobody showing up? Well, having former Inter star Mario Balotelli turning up uninvited can’t be much better. Yep, that’s what the Manchester City star gets up to on his day off.
21. Harry Redknapp – They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Well, not in the case of Mr Redknapp who dismantled a hack who asked him a daft question after Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Leeds in the 2010 FA Cup.
20. John Terry – Player revolution? What player revolution? John Terry did nothing at the 2010 World Cup to mask claims of a revolt against coach Fabio Capello and the rumours started all over again.
19. Alberto Malesani – What better than an extreme meltdown from a foreign manager who goes absolutely ballistic with his national press? Alberto Malesani of Panathinaikos, take a bow.
18. England 1998 – With Glenn Hoddle as your coach, a sense of humour is most certainly necessary at a major tournament. The England team had a wager on who could fit the most song titles into press conference answers during the 1998 World Cup and left many members of the media a little red in the face when they realised.
17. Jose Mourinho – You could almost produce an entire list of quotes from one Mourinho press conference, but the Portuguese manager has produced some exceptional lines over the years. After ranting about referees, Jose then goes on to question Mr Ferguson’s wine cellar. Priceless.
16. Sir Alex Ferguson – Sir Alex is well known for getting tetchy with reporters during interviews and one tested his patience a little too much before the Champions League final with Barcelona. For the record, I’m not sure Sir Alex really wanted to pick Javier Mascherano out of all the Barcelona team.
15. Cristiano Ronaldo – After Manchester United won the title, Ronaldo proved that he could literally do anything, turning from star player to star reporter. He even translated Anderson’s poor English and made a quip about the midfielder’s lack of playing time.
14. Harry Redknapp – Another classic from Mr Redknapp who seemed to take offence at being struck on the back of the head during his time in charge of West Ham. Had it been Tottenham, I’m sure Darren Bent would have got the blame.
13. Ray Hudson – One of the more bizarre press conferences was conducted by Miami Fusion’s English manager Ray Hudson who seemed rather unsatisfied after his side beat Tampa Bay Mutiny 5-0. He stormed into the media room, saying ‘I’ve got nothing to say’ before paradoxically asking ‘Any questions?’ and then storming out. Temper, temper.
12. Kenny Dalglish – The Luis Suarez race row got taken to a new level after the Uruguayan petulantly refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before United and Liverpool clashed in the Premier League. Dalglish seemed to borrow Arsene Wenger’s eyesight in regards to the insight, before losing his rag when questioned about the incident.
11. Roberto Mancini – The pressure seemed to show occasionally last season as Roberto Mancini chased a first Premier League title, but he still found the time to enjoy the odd giggle with the media. Mario Balotelli was often the subject of his attention towards the end of last year, but he was the butt of Mancini’s joke here.
10. Joe Kinnear – Want to watch the world record for most amount of swear words used in a minute? Look no further than Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear who did his dodgy heart no favours with his one-man crusade against the media.
9. Roy Keane – Roy Keane is a scary man to cross. So it’s probably not a clever idea to leave your phone tuned on in his press conferences. Do so at your peril.
8. Gordon Strachan – The Scot was a difficult man to get a straight answer out of at the best of times, so it’s not a good idea to ask him stupid questions. Otherwise you’ll get the response you deserve.
7. Ian Holloway – Football’s greatest interviewee. Ollie’s as mad as a box of frogs and always provides anecdotes that have the press in stitches. Just don’t try and make any sense of what he says. Here’s just one example.
6. Sir Alex Ferguson – Was the Ryan Giggs affair a touchy subject for Sir Alex? You betcha. Operating on a Gestapo level of censorship, the Manchester United boss acted swiftly to remove the offending reporter.
5. Kevin Keegan – Football’s greatest rant ever? Look no further than Mr Keegan who provided one of football’s funniest moments when he got slightly annoyed in the run-in of Newcastle United’s title challenge. Who says Fergie’s mind games don’t work?
4. Ian Holloway – Ollie’s best piece of work? Well, no other manager in the history of football has ever compared a scrappy win to a night on the pull. He sounds well practised in the art!
3. Jose Mourinho – This simply needs no introduction. Arrogance at it’s greatest, but Mourinho’s supreme confidence won him many plaudits.
2. Sir Alex Ferguson – Need to capture a manager’s emotion after the greatest triumph of his career? Think this should suffice…
1. Harry Redknapp – Sky Sport’s Rob Palmer rather hit a nerve during an interview with Redknapp, but what else what you call his transfer dealings?