Friday, 17 February 2017

When good gaffers get mad — the art of lashing out in the technical area

So West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has escaped with an £8000 fine for trashing a TV microphone boom against West Brom. It’s not easy for an irate gaffer to find a new inanimate object to trash near his technical area. Presumably the FA gave Bilic some credit for his innovative choice, rather than just kicking the traditional water bottle.

The FA's decision will inevitably annoy Jose Mourinho who was given a touchline ban after theatrically kicking a water bottle against the Hammers in December. As Bilic quipped after the game: “The problem is that he hit that bottle like — well it was a great volley, to be fair. He should have miskicked it! He hit it too good.”

Water-bottle kicking has also been exploited by Arsene Wenger, who once beat the ground with an imperfectly closed water bottle against Spurs and greeted a disallowed Arsenal goal at Old Trafford by kicking a water bottle only to get his angles all wrong and scoop it up into the air with his right foot.

Hitting the bottle can be a dangerous exercise for the modern gaffer. Tim Sherwood managed to pull a hamstring backheeling a water bottle when Aston Villa drew with Sunderland in 2015

Lashing out can take many forms. Tim Sherwood was also prone to chucking his gilet on the ground in a fit of pique, while more bellicose bosses have taken it out on opposing players. Alan Pardew, then at Newcastle, was banned from the touchline for seven games after going head to head with Hull’s David Meyler in 2014 while Leicester’s Nigel Pearson ‘light-heartedly’ placed his arms around the neck of the prone James McArthur in 2015.

Premier League bosses are uneasily caged in their technical areas; ready to lash out at just about anything that comes close. Perhaps we should credit Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp for resisting the urge to stamp on his own glasses during Liverpool’s recent poor run.

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