Toughest Player Manager Relations

A lot of people don’t like their bosses; footballers are no different from the rest on this subject. So, there are have been some very well-known and fired up feuds between players and managers all over the football world.

Professional football is a harsh environment to be in; there are lots of pressures to perform, media attention, fans’ expectations and money on the line, plus big egos to handle, it makes it the perfect breeding ground for personality clashes.

These problems between the head coach and a player or team can have a profound effect on the game:

  • Under-performing athletes
  • Inadequate communication between team and manager
  • Directions from the head coach not being followed
  • Negative physiological environment for both team and manager

One small fight can turn a whole season around, especially if it’s between the star player and the head coach, take a look at the most well know and toughest player-manager relations:

David Beckham vs Alex Ferguson

These two started amicable enough as Beckham joined Manchester United, at first the player impressed Ferguson. The feud began Beckham married the ex-spice girl Victoria Adams, and the two started living a very public life which Ferguson did not like.

At one time in football history you could place a bet on whether or not the two would have a confrontation during a game on any English football betting website!

At the height of their disagreement, Beckham took a football boot to the head from Ferguson which lead to his eyebrow getting stitched, and a quick deal with Real Madrid to get him out of Ferguson’s command. The two have patched things up since then, thankfully.

Mick McCarthy vs Roy Keane

These two football personalities are known for their toughness, so it figures there would be some tension between them.

The worst came when McCarthy was coaching Keane at the World Cup in 2002; after critiquing Keane at a press conference, the player went on one of his most famous tirades, calling the manager a liar plus other colourful words. Keane was then dismissed from the squad and sent home, never to play for McCarthy again.

Wayne Rooney vs David Moyes

Moyers coached Rooney at Everton, it’s unclear when the bad blood began between the two, but Rooney has said that it played a big part in him leaving the club; allegedly Moyed pushed to get him out to Manchester United.

The footballer also claimed in his autobiography that the manager sold his secrets tabloid publications, further damaging the relationship and affecting Rooney’s private life as well.

Mario Balotelli vs Roberto Mancini

A very complicated relationship because Mancini cared very deeply for his players, especially Balotelli, who he considers talented but reckless. It played like a father-teen son bond, as Mancini tried to discipline and tamper Balotellist attitude and antics.

During the 2012-2013 season, the feud escalated, even more, reaching a peak with a fight on the training ground, the beginning of the end type turning point for their relationship. Mancini and Balotelli had one of the most compelling and unforgettable dynamics in football and played some great games together.

Carlos Tevez vs. Roberto Mancini

Mancini is the only name in to make this list twice, the head coach has faced down some of the most prominent characters in football, and it’s left its mark for sure.

This time against Carlos Tevez when the Argentinian start refused to play for Manchester City in a Champions League match against Bayern Munich in 2011; no one can blame Mancini for deciding Tevez was then “finished” with the City team. Challenging circumstances in the least and outright disrespect at the most.

After all of that Tevez proceed to disappear in Argentina without permission from the team, he came back and moved on to Juventus later.