Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce’s attempt at delivering a humorous, tongue-in cheek observation about his managerial capabilities back-fired spectacularly over the weekend.
After claiming his managerial style would be more suited to that of La Liga giants Real Madrid, Allardyce was immediately ridiculed by the British media who labelled him as ‘arrogant’ and ‘delusional’. Allardyce’s comments may not have gone down well, but here’s some that did, from some of football’s most famous faces:
‘I did not see the incident’ is one quote usually attributed to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, however the Frenchman has a deeper, philosophical side which he likes to revel in from time to time.
‘Le Professeur’, who once claimed to have started his football education talking to locals in his parent’s French pub, delivered this timeless classic when questioned about his attacking philosophy at Arsenal. Although looking back, he may have just been talking about Swedish winger Freddie Ljungberg’s pants. Wenger revealed:
“When you’re dealing with someone who only has a pair of underpants on, if you take his underpants off, he has nothing left—he’s naked. You’re better off trying to find him a pair of trousers to complement him rather than change him.” Indeed.
Current Blackpool manager Ian Holloway earnt his reputation as something of a wordsmith following his entertaining post-match interviews in the Championship, before his recent revival of the Seasiders.
After overseeing a languid QPR win against Chesterfield in 2003, Holloway poetically compared his side’s display to a night out on the pull.
“To put it in gentleman’s terms if you’ve been out for a night and you’re looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they’re good looking and some weeks they’re not the best,” Holloway explained.
“Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She weren’t the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let’s have a coffee.’
Sir Matt Busby Manchester United’s Sir Matt Busby revealed the secret behind his phenomenal success at Old Trafford later on in his career. Busby identified George Best as the man at the centre of his tactical plans, saying:
‘It was a very simple team talk. All I used to say was: “Whenever possible, give the ball to George Best.”’
Simple as that.
Harry Redknapp Just a quick one from Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, explaining the problems of communicating with his side’s foreign contingent:
“Samassi Abou don’t speak the English too good.”
Bill Shankly Liverpool manager Bill Shankly never missed an opportunity to wind up local rivals Everton, bringing the club’s Red supporters closer together in doing so. Shankly’s most famous speech will forever remain his views on football, life and death, however the one below remains one of my favourites.
“When I’ve got nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along.”
Brain Clough had wit, charm and charisma in abundance and his humorous quotes could have easily filled a list of on their own. After announcing himself as in ‘the top one’ managers in the game, Clough was also keen to emphasis how he believed the beautiful game should be played. He famously said:
“If God had wanted us to play football in the sky, He’d have put grass up there.”
Jock Stein is regarded as one of the finest managers in the history of football after becoming the first manager to win the European Cup with a British side in 1967. Stein was an uncompromising figure who strived to be the best; his philosophy was summed up when he uttered the immortal words:
“Celtic jerseys are not for second best, they don’t shrink to fit inferior players.”
Self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho arrived at Chelsea in 2004 and soon developed a habit of winding up rival managers. One memorable moment was Mourinho claiming he was more afraid of catching Bird Flu than of Manchester United winning the title, while one of his most controversial was his description of Arsenal’s Wenger:
“I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur,” said the Portuguese coach. “He likes to watch other people.
“There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”
Bob Paisley was Liverpool’s most successful ever manager with six league titles and three European Cups. Despite his success, Paisley never forgot the bad times:
“Mind you, I’ve been here during the bad times too – one year we came second.”
Sir Alex Ferguson
A list of famous football quotes wouldn’t be complete without a mention for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. When asked by a journalist what his greatest challenge was, he replied:
“My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch. And you can print that.’