Football Manager 2005 sent me this


1. Kevin Keegan v Alex Ferguson

Keegan’s Newcastle had beaten Leeds 1-0 to build a ten point Premiership lead before he gave a now infamous interview to Sky Sports. Keegan claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson had implied Leeds would rollover against Newcastle, and that the Magpies should never have played a testimonial game for Stuart Pearce against Forest soon after. The rest, as they say is history. Cue Kevin: “Things which have been said over the last few days have been almost slanderous. I think you will have to send a tape of the game to Alex Ferguson don’t you,” he said. “Isn’t that what he wants? You just don’t say what he said about Leeds, he said it about Stuart Pearce, he is objecting to us playing a testimonial at Nottingham Forest but that was set up months ago. I would love it if we could beat them. Love it. He’s gone down in my estimation. Manchester United haven’t won this yet, I’d love it if we beat them.” Manchester United were, of course, crowned Champions in the very near future

2. Graeme Souness v Fenerbahce

While managing at Galatasaray, one of the directors at arch-rivals Fenerbahce labels Souness “a cripple”, unfit to manage his team on account of his recent heart attack. As a result, a fired- up Souness and his Galatasaray side steamroller Fenerbahce away from home in the Turkish Cup final. Souness then marches onto the pitch at full time and plants a massive Galatasaray flag in Fenerbahce’s centre circle. A small riot ensues

3. Brian Clough v John Robertson

When Clough arrived at Nottingham Forest, Robertson was, to be blunt, a bit fat, smoked and wasn’t particularly quick. He had tremendous natural ability but lacked the work ethic that Cloughie wished to instil in the side. Previous coaches tried in vain to help Robertson but had given up and placed him on the transfer list. Clough told him he was a fat waste of space and would amount to nothing if he kept up his ways. Robertson buckled down, Clough moved him out wide. The result? One of the greatest players in the clubs history. The evidence? Two European Cup winners’ medals, having supplied the cross for Trevor Francis to score the winner versus Malmo in 1979 and having scored himself against Hamburg in 1980

4. Wim Jansen v Scottish Football

Wim Jansen arrived at Celtic with not much success in evidence on his managerial CV and he looked like he had come straight from the Hair Bear Bunch. Nobody could really understand what he said at press conferences and the media made fun of his shabby attire. Jansen made outrageous claims about what he could do with Celtic and the Scottish Football media simply laughed. The result? Jansen signs Paul Lambert, Lubomir Moravcik and an unknown Swedish centre forward called Henrik Larsson. Celtic won the double in his first and only season with the club

5. Brian Clough and everybody

Another appearance in the top ten for old big ‘ead, but it was always a case of what do you leave out. Never one to over-complicate matters, Brian Clough treated his opponents to his version of the footballing gospel. “I’ve not watched any videos of the opposition, why should I? My team are good enough to beat anyone if they are concentrating on their game and not the opposition’s”

The result? A league title, two European Cups and an unbeaten 42 game unbeaten run

6. Eric Cantona v The Press

Following the announcement of Cantona’s 9 month ban for the infamous Kung-Fu kick, Cantona then appeared before the press to deliver the statement: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown in to the sea”. Already a footballing great, the mercurial Frenchman ascends to iconic status through poetry. Following a nine month ban, he scores on his return against Liverpool and Manchester United retain the Premiership title

7. Ally McLeod v Scotland

After an impressive qualification campaign for the 1978 World Cup and boasting some of the best players ever to wear the Scottish shirt, manager Ally McLeod proclaimed that his team could win the World Cup. The official team song even included the lyrics “We’ll really shake them up, when we win the World Cup”. The team are despatched from Glasgow airport with the cheers of an eager nation ringing in their ears. The result? “Ally’s Tartan Army” are beaten by Peru, draw against minnows Iran and then, despite spectacularly beating eventual finalists and tournament favourites Holland 3-2, thanks to a goal from Archie Gemmill that has past into the annals of legend north of the border, still go out on goal difference

8. Mourinho v The English Media

Famed for his well disciplined defences, his “fragile” forwards and his sides’ adept “time management”, the previously unflappable Jose Mourinho explodes after Chelsea are held to a goalless draw at home by Tottenham. Spurs’ defence “parked a bus in front of their goal” and the outfield players “fell as if they were dead and for five minutes each time”. The result? Watch this space. Jose’s millionaires are sitting pretty in the UEFA Champions League and look like they will mount the most serious challenge to Arsenal in the Premiership

9. Wenger’s 90 minute blindness

Arsene Wenger is a world class coach with more silverware in his trophy cabinet than most. His tactical ability is unsurpassed and he has a remarkable talent for spotting promising youngsters before his opponents get a look in. However, should one of his players commit a horrendous foul, be awarded a dubious penalty or get into an altercation with the opposition or the referee, then Mr Wenger suddenly develops temporary blindness. The result, legions of flabbergasted journalists with no quotes to write up beyond the obligatory “I didn’t see the incident”

10. Gerard Houllier – turning so many corners he eventually found the exit

The last few years of Houllier’s inconsistent spell at the helm of a consistently erratic Liverpool were characterised by an extraordinary reliance on one single phrase. So frequently was the expression “we have turned the corner” employed that Houllier can have had no complaints when, at the end of another season of underachievement for the former giants of Europe, the board decided that the team had been going around in circles for too long and it was time for new managerial blood in the form of Rafael Benitez.

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