In some form or another, managers have a habit of courting controversy. Whether it is surrounding bad decisions on the field of play or comments made off the pitch, coaches are at the mercy sometimes of the authorities. However, more often than not, managers become cheesed off at the standard of refereeing. After all, this could cost a team more than just a result. It could have a significant impact on the outcome of a league title or worse still a relegation.
Managers plan and prepare all throughout the year in what is a long season whichever league they are based in. On the other hand, they may also have to prepare for a host of other fixtures which may not help matters. This includes the likes of not only cup competitions but friendlies and cup replays. In this way, it can lead to a right royal fixture pile up and exasperate a manager’s mood.
One such example was Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal who recently landed himself in hot water. This was largely in part thanks to his comments regarding a cup match against lower league side Cambridge United. In the end, the Dutch coach steered the Red Devils to victory in a replay at Old Trafford but he was warned regarding his comments. According to several sources, Van Gaal’s biggest gripe was surprisingly that everything was against him including the referee. Nonetheless, he was given a footballing dressing down by the English FA and managed to escape a hefty fine. Yet, many aspects of the game ensure coaches are wound up to the maximum. From on the bench antics to off the field behaviour, here is the official rundown of the Top 10 Most Controversial Managers Of All Time.
10 Alan Pardew
The footballing equivalent of Charles Bronson, Alan Pardew has a string of controversial moments to his name. The former Crystal Palace player and current manager of the Eagles have had a turbulent time as coach to a certain extent. He came to the fore whilst manager at Reading back in 1999. After impressing at the Madjeski Stadium, the door of West Ham United flew wide open. A bitter legal battle ensued and Pardew resigned from the Royals in the end and was placed on gardening leave. In October 2003, he joined the Hammers and one of his most stand out moments was the capture of the Argentine pair, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez.
9 Arrigo Sacchi
8 Paolo Di Canio
Considered to be one of the finest Premier League players of all time, Paolo di Canio has certainly had a chequered career as a coach. As a player for Lazio he was caught up in a bitter racist incident where he made a fascist salute towards home fans. Meanwhile, he was brought in as manager of Swindon Town back in May 2011.
7 Glenn Hoddle
Former Tottenham Hotspur legend Glenn Hoddle had an impressive career as a player. His midfield jiggery pokery knew no bounds, whilst he excelled at international level for England. He played for the likes of AS Monaco not to mention Chelsea and a short stint at Swindon Town. However, it was to all come crashing down when he made the move to manager.
6 Harry Redknapp
5 Ruud Gullit
4 Arsene Wenger
He has been a game changer in the English Premier League for the best part of two decades but Arsene Wenger is guilty of several controversial episodes. His footballing philosophy saw the Gunners enjoy a Double under his helm and more recently another FA Cup triumph in 2014 over Hull City. Yet, his teams have been known to have a physical side.
3 Brian Clough
Arguably one of the most illustrious managers in the history of football, Brian Clough was a unique and special character. His playing career was another success where he played for his hometown of Middlesbrough scoring nearly 200 goals in 213 appearances. Having managed Derby County not to mention Leeds United, he spent most of his managerial career at Nottingham Forest. He last less than 50 days at Elland Road which still remains one of the shortest managerial reigns in history.
2 Jose Mourinho
The most colourful character in today’s game, Chelsea manager has courted controversy several times along his football journey. Ever since he sat for the first time in a press conference and declared he was the “Special One”, Mourinho has been involved in a variety of spats. From poking former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova in the eye to calling Arsene Wenger “a voyeur” he is box office entertainment.
1 Sir Alex Ferguson
If Jose Mourinho is the apprentice then Sir Alex Ferguson is without question the soccer sorcerer. In a coaching career spanning more than three decades, he has had his rivals down the years from Arsene Wenger to Jose Mourinho. After all, which other coach could spawn the phrase “Fergie Time?” The stats back this up as according to Opta there were many games between 2010 and 2012 which involved more overtime, especially where United were trailing. Some of his most controversial moments have involved the lambasting of referees either for their abysmal decisions or in some case being overweight. Furthermore, Sir Alex had a long running dispute with the BBC where he refused to conduct interviews, whilst there’s of course the flying boot kick which left David Beckham requiring stitches.
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