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Football managers can be hard to deal with at times. When results are not going their way, they can be notoriously spiky when journalists ask the difficult questions. Press conferences are always interesting as they can tell you exactly what a manager is feeling.
Some of the more charismatic managers are capable of showing their light-hearted side too, whether it be picking up and answering a journalist’s phone, or making fun of a question with an outrageous answer.
Others are less comfortable in a pressurised setting—and it often shows.
Here are 11 of the best press conference moments:
Roy Keane – “Are you just going to let it ring?”
The former Republic of Ireland captain was a tricky customer on the pitch, famously hard to please and rarely cracking a smile. As a manager he was no different, so when a journalist’s phone rang in the middle of one of his Ipswich Town press conferences, he was not happy.
Keane bemoaned the journalist’s poor manners, asking “are you just going to let it ring?”
It is doubtful he is on the Keane family Christmas card list.
Marcelo Bielsa – “Isp-wich”
Another press conference moment involving Ipswich Town is this one with Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine manager requires an English translator at all of his media outings, and in this instance, needed assistance with the pronunciation of Ipswich Town. Bielsa stumbles through the two-syllable word, before announcing, “Okay, I give up”; a comment met by laughter from the room.
Thierry Henry – The Importance of Manners
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry may not be fondly remembered at AS Monaco for his coaching ability, however he will be remembered for one press conference moment involving a young player.
Following the conclusion of their media duties, Henry and teenager Benoît Badiashile get up to leave the room, but as they do so, Henry gestures towards the young defender as if to say “tuck your chair in”. Manners maketh the man.
Steve Bruce – “How was the bacon, did you say?”
Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce clearly had other things on his mind at this press conference, as a reporter asked him, “How was the break then, Steve?”
Bruce instead heard something different, and repeated back to the journalist what he thought was said, “How was the bacon, did you say?”. Crispy, hopefully.
Rafa Benitez – “I have to talk about facts”
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One of the more famous press conference moments from the 2000s belongs to then-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard – angered by the perceived favourable treatment afforded to Sir Alex Ferguson – sat down to discuss that exact topic. It is not often Rafa loses his cool, but in this instance, he certainly did.
Nigel Pearson – “You are an ostrich”
In the midst of a relegation battle in 2015, Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson had had enough. Losing his temper in a relatively calm manner, he claimed a certain journalist’s question was “unbelievable”.
What followed was quite something as Pearson himself appears as though he does not quite know what to say after his ostrich outburst.
Jose Mourinho – “I am a special one”
One of the most iconic press conference moments of all time, Jose Mourinho announcing himself as the “special one” as he was presented Chelsea boss in 2004 goes down in Premier League history.
It displays his now-customary arrogance and self-belief in his ability. He certainly would have looked rather foolish if he had not delivered two Premier League titles in back-to-back seasons in his first stint as Blues boss.
Which manager's press conference quote do you think is most memorable? Let us know in the comments section.
Jurgen Klopp – “A very erotic voice”
A Champions League press conference is a very serious matter; questions asked ahead of Europe’s premier competition.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – a maverick as ever – took a more light-hearted line with a French translator back in 2018, complimenting him on his “very erotic voice”. Oh, Jurgen.
Marcelo Bielsa – Spygate
One of Bielsa’s iconic moments as Leeds United manager came in the mid-winter of the 2018/19 campaign. With accusations of spying on Derby County’s training sessions levelled at the club, Bielsa set out to show the extreme lengths he and his staff go to, to analyse an opposition team.
The Argentine called a press conference on a whim, speculation subsequently swirled over whether he would resign, before delivering a lengthy presentation detailing every aspect of Derby County’s season, style of play and personnel.
David Moyes – “Kroos, Ramos…Irramendi”
A 364-day stint as Real Sociedad manager was largely uneventful for recently-sacked Manchester United boss David Moyes. However, it will be remembered by football fans for one press conference moment in particular.
Ahead of a game with Real Madrid, Moyes set out to list Los Galacticos’ star players, naming Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Asier Illaramendi, a former Sociedad player. The only problem was, he mispronounced Illaramendi with some gusto in his voice, before trying to correct himself and mispronouncing it again.
Mick McCarthy – “No, I’m not stripping”
Irishman Mick McCarthy is no stranger to a smart quip at a press conference. He has been known to criticise and make fun of former clubs, or himself and his own teams.
However, in this instance, it is a journalist’s technological mishap he makes the butt of the joke.
As a phone rings out with an unmistakably Burlesque ringtone, McCarthy is quickest to speak. His comment drew much laughter from the rest of the room, and probably left a sorry journalist red-faced.
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- Champions League
- Premier League
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Jurgen Klopp
- Jose Mourinho
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