Matt’s Midday Mass(on): There’s more than one way to hold a Press Conference

From cool to fuming and everything in between, managers different approaches to press conferences. Following the then-Stoke manager, Mark Hughes’, recent walk-out of the press conference after the Newcastle game. I think it’s time to take a look at some of the more memorable press conferences and see who (if any) did it right…

Jose’s special introduction

In July 2004, a young Jose, arrived as Chelsea manager, fresh off —doing a bit of an “early-Leicester” — winning the Champions League with underdogs, Porto. Although they were holders of the UEFA Cup, so not quite 5000-1.

Mr Mourinho made future headline writer’s lives a little bit easier when he said the following words: “I am European Champion so I am not one of the bottle, I think I am a special one.”

Jose has charmed and infuriated both his own and rival fans in countless press conferences since. The real question now is: if he’s as special as the Spaniard across town?

Rafa and his FACTS!

No, not this Spaniard! But no rundown of barmy pressers would be complete without Rafa Benitez’s factual rebuttal against Sir Alex Ferguson in 2009.

The Liverpool manager, famously, produced a sheet of paper with a number of “facts” explaining why the fixture schedule was not actually favouring his team, as Fergie had previously said.

“At Christmas, United played on the 29th and the rest of the teams played on the 28th. We were away against Newcastle two days after playing Bolton. They were playing about 40 hours later, they were not complaining then.”

“You can analyse the facts and come to your own decision and ideas.”

The fact of the matter is that that’s not the only time that Fergie’s mind-games were the cause of another manager’s bizarre behaviour…

Kev would (probably) love to have kept his cool…

Now admittedly this is a post-match interview —not a press conference—so maybe the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan, still had the adrenaline of the game (Newcastle beat Leeds 1-0). But this is another example of how that wily Scottish knight had gotten under a rival’s skin.

With Keys & Gray —pre-sexist rants— posing the question from the sky studio,

the scouse manager appeared to have a very public meltdown: “we’re still fighting for this title, and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and…I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it!”

Newcastle had a 12-point lead in January 1996, but the Geordies let the lead slip and the Old Trafford-club eventually won the title by seven points.

Schteve’s Double Dutch

People often say that Brits abroad just speak English louder to try to be understood. So hats off to Steve McClaren for fully-immersing himself in the culture and way of speaking when manager of Dutch side, FC Twente in 2012/13.

Admittedly this loses something in writing, just imagine Goldmember in Austin Powers —MASSIVELY exaggerated Dutch accent.

Before Twente’s match against English opposition in the Champions League, the Dutch Media were informed by McClaren that: ‘This match against Arshenal is big newsh in the Englisch media.”

(Honourable mention to Joey Barton for doing a pretty good impression of Inspector Clouseau in interviews with the local press, while on loan at Marseille, also in ‘12/’13.)

Trapatonni and being weak like an empty bottle!

Giovanni Trapattoni is the most successful coach in the history of the Italian Serie A. The master tactician had a bit of wobbly in 1998, when speaking to the German press as manager of Bayern Munich.

Trap went one better than Schteve: he used the native language (not just the accent.) and even managed to invent a few entirely new phrases. Bayern had just lost to Schalke leaving them 7 points behind the leaders Kaiserslautern.

Unhappy with the commitment of some of Bayern’s stars, the Italian informed the world that: “In this game, there were two, three or four players who were weak like an empty bottle!”

Thomas Strunz had voiced his displeasure at being substituted —big mistake: “STRUUNZ! Strunz has been here for two years, has played 10 games, and is always injured – what right does he have to speak?”

Giovanni WAS angry, but nothing compared to…

Malesani’s Greek tragedy

We’ll finish our round-up with —possibly— the most explosive of all the press-conference melt-downs. In ’05-‘06, Italian manager; Alberto Malesani was managing Greek side Panathinaikos.

His team had just drawn with lowly: Iraklis, he vented his frustration on the waiting press AND his own fans in an expletive-laden post-match rant:

“I’m here 24 hours a day. Every single f***** day! Where the f*** are we? What has football become? A f****** jungle?! With you guys, I have to be an a** kisser, like those fans, and I’m not one of them f****, okay?!”

Did you feel the anger there? If not, have a look for yourself..