File photo dated 09-01-2016 of Newcastle United's Manager Steve McClaren.

6 memorable rows between managers and the media

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren was involved in a furious row with a journalist at a press conference on Friday over a report suggesting top stars were surprised he had not been sacked.

McClaren was pursued by the writer who retorted that the former England boss was “out of his depth” before order was restored.

It is not the first acrimonious incident between a Newcastle boss and a journalist and we start on Tyneside as we recall half a dozen noteworthy media rows…

1. Joe Kinnear

Joe Kinnear
(John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

Kinnear’s short-term appointment as Newcastle boss in 2008 was greeted with incredulity in many quarters – not least the north-east press, with whom he got off on the wrong foot from the start. Railing against perceived negative reporting of his arrival, the combative Kinnear marched into a press conference and demanded to know the identity of a pair of journalists, before launching a barrage of expletives at them.

2. Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson
(Scott Heppell/AP)

Pearson became embroiled in one of the more bizarre press conference exchanges when his Leicester side were in the thick of a relegation battle last year. Pearson bridled when a journalist queried his claim that his club had been the subject of relentless criticism in the media. He retorted: “If you don’t understand that question then I think you are an ostrich – your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.”

3. Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal (Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)

Van Gaal refused to enter into the festive spirit when questioned about his future at Manchester United’s pre-match press conference on Christmas Eve. Amid mounting speculation that he was to be replaced by Jose Mourinho as manager, van Gaal stood up and left after less than five minutes of the press conference and, pointing at a table of refreshments that had been laid on, declared: “Enjoy the wine, and a mince pie – goodbye”.

4. Andre Villas-Boas

Zenit Saint Petersburg's Coach Andre Villas-Boas
(Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas singled out a particular journalist in 2013 over what he claimed were “disrespectful” articles being written about him, specifically in relation to his qualifications for holding such a high-profile job. Villas-Boas signalled the unnamed journalist he was speaking about was “in the room”, leading to a fractious exchange in which both sides sought to set out their cases while the cameras were rolling.

5. Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson
(Matt Dunham/AP)

Ferguson was never one for showing the media much courtesy but among his series of run-ins with the press, his defence of ailing midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron sticks out. United were on the verge of a trophyless season in May 2002 when he was asked about the Argentinian’s form. Ferguson fired an extraordinary response, claiming “youse are all f****** idiots”, before bringing an abrupt end to his press conference and ordering the media to “get out” of the room.

6. Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager
(Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)

Wenger lost his cool with the press ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in February 2013. Wenger was still in a bad mood after his side’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Blackburn two days earlier and believed renewed speculation about his future smacked of a media agenda to oust him from his job. Responding to a question he sarcastically replied: “I want to lose the game tomorrow, so you can all be happy.”

About Edward Lam

Edward Lam
Co-Founder, Managing Director and Multimedia Designer at InTallaght.

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