There is a lot to be said about graciousness in defeat – but there’s even more to be said about making us all laugh with a ridiculous excuse.
The beauty of managers being interviewed so soon after full-time in football is that, with emotions still running high, they often say things they wouldn’t dream of saying with the benefit of time to calm down.
It has led to some hilarious excuses and moans over the years, with floodlight operators and statues among those memorably blamed.
Pep Guardiola – The ball
“It is not acceptable, the ball was unacceptable for a high-level competition. It is too light, it moves all over the place, it is not a good ball. It is impossible to score with a ball like that and I can say that because we won, I’m not making excuses.
“All of my players said: ‘What is that?’ I’m sorry Carabao Cup is not a serious ball for a serious competition. It’s [for] marketing, money, OK but it’s not acceptable – [it has] no weight, nothing.”
Jose Mourinho – The floodlight operator and the fans
“I think the man responsible for the lights was in the same mood as the crowd because everyone was sleeping.
“It took him 20 minutes to understand that it was dark, but it took me 30 minutes to understand that the stadium was not empty. When we scored was when I realised the stadium was full.”
Sir Alex Ferguson – Manchester United’s grey away kit
“The players don’t like the grey strip. They find it difficult to pick each other out. We had to change the strip.”
On this day in 1996, Southampton beat Man Utd 3-1 at The Dell with Alex Ferguson famously blaming his sides first-half showing on United's grey kits. Goals from @KJMonkou @mattletiss7 & @neilshipperley did the damage for The Saints #Keepit90s pic.twitter.com/wJxsbXFiJs
— The 90s Football Podcast (@AK90s) April 13, 2018
Alan Pardew – The Notting Hill Carnival
“Today was a little bit unfair on us. We couldn’t move the game to Sunday because of the Notting Hill Carnival”
Tony Pulis – On why he couldn’t select Wilson Palacios
“One day the excuse he gave not to play me was that it was ‘too windy’.”
Christian Panucci – Socks
“The thread that these socks were made with is too rough.”
Vladislav Vashchuk, Ukraine defender – Frogs
“Because of the frogs’ croaking we hardly got a wink of sleep. We all agreed that we would take some sticks and go and hunt them.”
Manuel Pellegrini – The cold weather
“We played very well in the first half, but maybe it was too cold in the second half.”
Mohamed Al Fayed – The statue of Michael Jackson
“This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price” – Fulham were relegated.
📆#Onthisday in 2013, Fulham removed the statue of Michael Jackson from Craven Cottage.
The weirdest thing ever at a football stadium? 🤣 pic.twitter.com/3egN0vmhqK
— Football FanCast (@FootballFanCast) September 25, 2017
Kenny Dalglish – The ball, again
“The balls were too bouncy.”
David James – Too much PlayStation
“I was getting carried away playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider for hours on end.”
Barry Fry – Gypsy curses
“We went three months without winning … We were desperate, so I pissed in all four corners, holding it in while I waddled round the pitch. Did it work? Well, we started to win and I thought it had, then they fucking sacked me, so probably not.”
Against all odds, it became the Mertesacker final.
You’ve got 22 to get. Easy, right?
The league winners don’t come out on top.
Ashley Young isn’t actually young, it turns out.
David Beckham + Pepsi adverts = pure gold.
Funny Wenger, angry Wenger, philosophical Wenger.
There’s one clear winner.
Twelve to get. Easy, surely?
“What I went through that day was not right.”
Can club rivalries really be used as an excuse?