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When Managers Attack: Seven bosses to rival Herrera’s rush of blood

| 30.07.2015

In light of Mexico (66/1 to win the 2018 World cup) boss Miguel Herrera’s stunning sacking after reportedly punching a journalist at an airport, despite guiding his nation to Gold Cup triumph, Coral’s football writers remind readers of seven other instances when managers attack.

While we were not able to find video evidence of the incident in Philadelphia, where the 2014 World Cup icon struck the critic of ‘El Piojo’ on the neck, we did carve up earlier footage of another attack he made on a fan as a player in 1994…

Here are seven other moments when managers attack…

Pearson buries McArthur’s head in the sand
Recently, former Leicester City coach Pearson was the centre of attention for his bizarre ostrich insult aimed at a journalist, before then questioning whether he was actually flexible enough to be the flightless bird. He later apologised for his comments.

But that was not the first shocking moment of last season from Pearson as, back in February, in a Premier League loss to Crystal Palace, he reacted after Eagles player James McArthur accidentally toppled the then under-pressure coach.

Pearson clearly had his ostrich obsession back then too as he appeared to strangle and then bury McArthur’s head into the turf (sand).

Fergie boots Becks
This encounter was perhaps one of the strongest hints in football, as then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is not known for holding back, literally booted global star David Beckham.

In Fergie’s autobiography, he explained the footwear-kicking moment happened after an FA Cup loss to Arsenal in 2003. “The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go,” he wrote, later claiming the boot was not meant to actually hit England’s golden boy in the face. “David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson. That was the death knell for him.”

Beckham really did take the hint, and left for Real Madrid that summer.

Clough clobbers Keane
Nottingham Forest icon Brian Clough is not one for holding back either in the medium of words and his fist. He once admitted that he struck down a young Roy Keane, after the feisty Irishman under-hit a back-pass. “I only ever hit Roy the once,” Clough said in defence. “He got up so I couldn’t have hit him very hard.”

Keane, though, clearly didn’t hold any grudges, later saying in his autobiography: “I think Clough’s warmth was genuine.”

Here is another moment when others were on the receiving end of Clough’s fist; his own Forest fans…

Naked Pulis headbutts Beattie
This is one of the more strange and hilarious incidents in football. Then-Stoke City head coach Tony Pulis allegedly clashed with striker James Beattie after the latter had exited the shower, with reports suggesting that not only did he strike the player with his head, but his towel fell down in the process. Thankfully there is no footage of this tale.

While there was much speculation about what happened for many years, Matthew Etherington and Beattie himself later confirmed the incident.

Pardew Meyler headbutt
It seems that managers enjoy doing more than just thinking with their heads, as Alan Pardew showed us all when he nodded Hull City’s David Meyler, when he was manager of Newcastle United.

He was fined £60k and suspended for seven matches by the Premier League, while his club punished him by taking a further £100k out of his pocket and giving a formal warning about his future conduct.

Rossi loses his rag with Ljajic
Pardew has nothing on this man, Delio Rossi, though, who totally lost all sense of dignity on former Manchester United trainee Adem Ljajic, who sarcastically clapped his then-Fiorentina boss when he was subbed off.

Rossi physically attacked Ljajic, resulting in his sacking from the club, with the Italian league also fining and banning him.

Mourinho eye poke
Eye pokes are usually synonymous to rugby, but Jose Mourinho decided to take matters into his own hands (finger) by getting involved in a mass-brawl at the end of a Real Madrid and Barcelona’s El Clasico clash, and poking the late Tito Vilanova, who was Barca assistant at the time, in the eye.

Remarkably, the duo were both punished, getting €600 fines and match bans; the current Chelsea coach missing out on two games and Vilanova one.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.