Football managers’ funniest post-match interviews

Words: JJ Dunning
Images: Hykha/YouTube

It’s tough to keep your cool in football. How many of these funny post-match moments do you remember?

Being a football manager is stressful. If the strain of trying to win 90-minute matches, twice a week, at least 38 weeks a year, doesn’t make them twitchy enough, modern gaffers also have endless media commitments.

At full-time, come wind or rain, delight or despair, a microphone will be shoved in their face. Sometimes, what happens next is pure gold.

Do you remember…

  • Kevin Keegan’s classic rant
  • Martin O’Neill sounding like he might cry
  • The moment we wondered if Roy Keane could kill a man
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Martin O’Neill is close to tears

Martin O’Neill is famous for leaping around on the touchline, living every minute of his team’s performances and generally looking like he’s enjoying himself. 

However, in a Champions League opener in 2001, he definitely wasn’t having a good time. When his Celtic team lost to nine-man Juventus, courtesy of a dubious late penalty, he sounded like he might start blubbing.

“The players, they’re devastated in the dressing room as I am myself,” he rants. “It’s shocking.”

Nigel Pearson asks a journalist if they’re an ostrich

Nigel Pearson didn’t have the best relationship with reporters during his tenure as Leicester City boss. The nadir came at a post-match press conference following his side’s home loss to Chelsea in April 2015.

Pearson, unhappy with a question from journalist Ian Baker, demanded to know if he was an ostrich. What followed was bizarre, awkward and compelling, without anyone really understanding what the hell was going on.

A few days later, BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy challenged Pearson to explain his behaviour. What followed was excruciating…

Roy Keane melts a reporter with his death stare

Roy Keane has never seemed like the kind of guy you could have a laugh with. When a BBC journalist asked the then-Ipswich Town manager if he’d be resigning due to the team’s poor form, it seemed like a dangerous move. Look closely, and there’s a split second where it seems Roy may be assessing how best to silence his interrogator.

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Mourinho has nothing to say (for once)

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea won the Premier League in 2014/15. However, the following season his team collected a paltry 15 points from their first 16 games and the Portuguese was sacked. In the midst of the bad spell, after a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton, Mourinho showed signs of cracking with this piece of post-match pantomime.

Despite criticising the match officials in an interview with Sky Sports News, when speaking to BT Sport he sidestepped the issue completely and instead insisted that he had “nothing to say”. Well, there’s a first time for everything. 

Gordon Strachan calls a referee’s performance “unforgettable”

Gordon Strachan is sharp-witted when it comes to interviews. For instance, when once asked by a journalist for a quick word, he replied “velocity” and immediately left.

In the example above, which occurred during his tenure as Coventry City manager, he carefully avoids criticising referee Matt Messias, describing his performance as “unforgettable”.

“He could have been unforgettably good, unforgettably bad, or mediocre,” says Gord, “but I’ll not forget it.”

Keegan’s classic rant

At one point during the 1995/96 season, Newcastle United were 12 points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Gradually, though, their position was corroded by Alex Ferguson’s mind games. Manager Kevin Keegan’s infamous rant live on Sky Sports showed that the strain of the title race was becoming too much and the Magpies succumbed to five defeats in eight matches to hand the Red Devils the title.

Big Ron gets in a tizz

If it hadn’t been for Kevin Keegan’s “love it” rant, Big Ron Atkinson’s hissy fit might have been the most memorable post-match interview of the 1995/96 season. After watching his relegation-threatened Coventry City team lose 1-0 to Southampton, he took exception to Richard Keys’ negative line of questioning. In the end, he was right to – Coventry stayed up on goal difference.

‘Appy ‘Arry Redknapp isn’t very ‘Appy

If you’re ever in the tunnel after a game with Harry Redknapp and you fancy a laugh, try asking him about his reputation as a “wheeler dealer”. Go on. We dare you.

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