Oh dear. Ashley Cole has a broken ankle, and so the chance that Wayne Bridge and John Terry will appear in the same England team has just dramatically increased. With England’s friendly fixture with Egypt on 3rd March just weeks away the question is, will Bridge be able to play in the same side as the Chelsea captain without resorting to a good old fashioned dust up with his former Chelsea colleague? It will be interesting to see what Terry says if the Manchester City left-back is caught out of position against Egypt, or in the World Cup for that matter. England fans must hope the scenario plays out something like this…
Terry: Wayne you plumb, you’re playing everyone on!
Bridge: Don’t start lecturing me on defensive etiquette Jonathan, you had an affair with the mother of my child.
Terry: Oh yeah. Sorry about that son. Carry on…
Bridge: Thank you Jonathan. I forgive you everything. Also I think you’ll find, as usual, it was Glen Johnson out of position.
This is of course, the ideal scenario. If however, Glen Johnson’s failure to read the game doesn’t bring the rest of the England defence together as a collective, we could face the sort of team bust-up that has been the ruin of so many teams down the years. So in the spirit of bad-feeling and tension, let’s take a trip down memory lane and pay homage to some of our favourite inter-team bust ups…
This was a lovely incident because of how pre-meditated it was. With the ball already at the centre circle, Ricardo decided to give teammate Andy Griffin a rubbing down after a piece of shoddy defending which gifted West Ham’s Carlton Cole a goal. As the two players approached each other from distance, both had time to consider that it probably wasn’t best to sort the problem out in front of 30,000 odd supporters. But this didn’t worry Fuller in any case, who walked straight up to Griffin and slapped him around the face.
Fuller then did the honourable thing after he’d had time to calm down, and blamed the whole thing on Griffin, whom he claimed had “disrespected him”. Nice apology.
Old school. One of the best I’d say. Blackburn Rovers were struggling in the Premier League after lifting the Premier League title just months previously, and were in the midst of a disastrous Champions League campaign in the following 1995/96 campaign. On a freezing night in Moscow Le Saux and Batty unleashed their fury on each other just four minutes into the match. Le Saux and Batty collided over a misplaced pass from the former England left-back, as Batty contorted with rage, obviously never having misplaced a pass in his career. Aside from two teammates from the same side coming to blows, it was more amusing that it was Le Saux that smacked hard man David Batty, and probably one the contest overall, although before teammate Tim Sherwood was able to break it up, Batty was doing his best to redeem himself. Batty and Le Saux, as fellow England internationals, not only disgraced their club, but also their country. However, seeing Le Saux throw a punch made it all worth it…
Terry and Bridge need to put their troubles into perspective, because their plight pales in comparison when compared against the gravity of Adebayor and Bendtner’s feud. Adebayor explained to the Telegraph the toxic situation between the two players after he had secured a dream move to Manchester City,
“There was a rule at Arsenal where no one is allowed to come into the dressing room with trainers or house shoes on. I cannot understand why Nicklas came every day with his [house] shoes on… but he [Bendtner] never took them off and things started from there.”
Unbelievable. No wonder Adebayor snapped. The tension between the two culminated in an altercation on the pitch at White Hart Lane on 22nd January 2008. Arsenal were 4-1 down to their North London rivals, and Adebayor allegedly head-butted Bendtner, although video evidence was inconclusive and Adebayor escaped punishment from the FA. Bendtner was left with a bleeding nose however. Adebayor explains that Bendtner showed him the finger, and he had to act. The best part of the row was when everybody’s best friend at the club, William Gallas, split the feud up in a bid to restore some unity. That was just before Gallas and Toure fell out of course. In short, Bendtner and Adebayor’s row was up there with the most entertaining feuds the Premier League has seen, especially as it was over trainers. Now Nicklas put your ruddy shoes on please!
Hartson achieved a reputation for being a hard-man during his playing career for his no-nonsense approach to the game. He also gained a reputation as a bit of a thug however, owing to a training ground incident that was caught on camera.
Berkovic was angry at Hartson’s challenge, and as the big Welshman went to pick the little Israeli up (without much sympathy it must be said) Berkovic, whilst kneeling on the floor, struck Hartson on the leg. Hartson reacted instinctively by kicking Berkovic in the head like he kicked a football, leaving the player unable to eat for two days. Hartson never recovered from his image as a thug, which a move to Wimbledon from West Ham did not exactly help.
This probably happens at clubs from time to time (rumour has it Robbie Keane and Edgar Davids enjoyed fisty-cuffs at the Spurs lodge), but never before has a training ground spat been caught so eloquently on film…
Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer are the last players you’d expect to hit the headlines. I mean, ok Kieron Dyer has appeared in amateur adult films with Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, and Lee Bowyer was accused of attacking a student in Leeds with partner in crime Jonathan Woodgate, but other than that the pair are squeaky clean. However, one afternoon at St. James’s Park, the pair forever tarnished their once wholesome reputations. Both players ended up being sent off leaving the Geordies with just 9 men, as well as ruling themselves out of an FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United in a forgettable afternoon for Newcastle in which they suffered a 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa in the 2004/05 season. Already 3-0 down, Bowyer accused Dyer of refusing to pass to him, and approached him to discuss it in a civilized manner. Dyer read Bowyer’s intentions all wrong of course, and Bowyer ended up with a ripped shirt for his troubles, although he did get the better of Dyer in the fracas.
After the match, the pair stood either side of manager Graeme Souness and apologized to the fans, though not each other. Bowyer is now enjoying a renaissance at Birmingham, whilst Dyer is apparently a West Ham player. However, their glory days at Newcastle will live forever in infamy on youtube.