We’re at the business end of the football season and tempers are running high with so much at stake. As such, statements like this, from Gianluigi Buffon after Wednesday night’s last minute defeat for Juventus, are inevitable and should be embraced.
“Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a garbage bin. On top of that, if you don’t have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, drinking your Sprite and eating crisps.
“You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could have told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating. If you can’t handle the pressure and have the courage to make a decision, then you should just sit in the stands and eat your crisps.”
Spectacular, poetic stuff, even if Buffon was utterly wrong, and that he’s landed me with a craving for pop and crisps that isn’t about to quit.
In fact, it’s been a great week for footballing outbursts – see also Neil Warnock strutting like a cock across the Cardiff City pitch away from the placatory handshake of Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo. Not to mention Mick McCarthy’s no-nonsense flit away from his long-term gig at Ipswich, leaving behind the boos of a section of fans and the satisfaction of a 1-0 win.
It’s a perfect time to look back at some of the greatest meltdowns in the game’s recent history…
Mind games are a key part of managing at the very top, and maybe the Newcastle boss was a bit naïve when Alex Ferguson laid a psychological trap for him during the 1995/96 Premier League title run-in. Keegan fell for it hook, line and sinker, giving us one of the most quotable outbursts of all time. Truly an entertainer…
More hugely quotable bile spouted by the then-joint manager of Leyton Orient during a fly on the wall documentary from the 1990s. Massively sweary and if you think you can handle it, ‘you can bring your f***ing dinner’ like Sitts says.
The former manager of Leicester City can be reasonably described as ‘intense’, and that’s best demonstrated here in this diatribe against a journalist that had displeased him. Is he an ostrich? Is he flexible? We don’t get to see the journo in question so we never get a close look at the length of his neck.
It’s in the eyes – do not mess with Walter Smith, as reporter Chick Young finds out in this never-screened interview with the then-Rangers boss. Look at the eyes. The eyes.
Here’s another pretender to the Premier League throne reduced to a gibbering wreck by the might of Fergie’s psychological warfare. Rafa’s trying to hit back with ‘facts’, but sounds like a local crank who has a list of grievances against the bloke at number 54 who he reckons has got his CCTV trained on him.
Again, a well-prepared, coldly-delivered piece of oratory that is designed to sound authoritative, but just makes Jose look like someone who needs a month off.
The Newcastle job can do strange things to a manager if he isn’t up to the task, and Joe Kinnear was seriously found wanting, demonstrated in this rollercoaster of madness and abuse.
Considering he was one of the most articulate, thoughtful players of the past two decades, no words were needed when Cantona chose to express his disgust at a mouthy Crystal Palace fan. Pioneering stuff…