Five times, footballers forgot their media training and went on a massive rant about rivals

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Footballers learn not only to perform on the pitch but are also taught how to react to it.

Media training is considered essential for any youngster coming through, with players told how to represent their club’s best interest in front of the cameras and Dictaphones.

However, despite their best efforts to reduce the amount of controversy, it doesn’t always work out as planned.

Matches are emotional and players can sometimes let their hair down when they have a microphone in front of them.

Human players, not robots. Sometimes the mask slips enough for a peek behind professionalism.

Here are five occasions when players have ranted when their clubs would really rather they had kept their mouth shut – including one both fans of Arsenal and Watford will recall ahead of today’s game.

Troy Deeney



Arsenal was accused in 2017 by Troy Deeney, of not having the cojones

You wouldn’t think that Deeney would have an axe to grind after Watford’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in October 2017. But you’d be wrong.

Arsene Wenger had lamented the Hornets’ decision to penalize them. Deeney converted it, calling it a “shameful” “scandalous decision”.

Tom Cleverley scored in injury-time to complete Watford’s comeback victory before Deeney went into the BT Sport studio to give his take on the game.

“I’ve heard Wenger’s already blaming (the decision) as the reason why they lost,” he began, before going down a path which would have worried Watford’s media department.

“I’m not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason why they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty.

“You’ll need to be careful what you say. It’s (having), a little bit of cojones and a little bit of nuts.”

He added: “Every time I play Arsenal I’ll think, “Let’s whack the first one to see who wants it.” “I came on today and jumped with [Per] Mertesacker. I didn’t even have to jump, actually – I nodded it down. The crowd gets up – ‘Yeah, we’ve got somebody who can win it’ – and they all just backed off.

“As a player, I think “Happy days”. This is my strength. While I may not be as technical gifted as they are and not as fast, I will fight for you every day.”

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown was present and said his “”Blood would boil” if Deeney were to speak to a current player.

Charlie Austin



Charlie Austin’s rant was a viral hit

Deeney’s words were measured, if controversial. Austin’s efforts were a bit different: so passionate and enraged that he became an unwitting viral star.

Austin’s anger came after Southampton had a goal ruled out for offside by referee Simon Hooper in a 1-1 draw with Watford in November 2018.

VAR hadn’t been introduced in the Premier League. Austin was furious after a match with Sky Sports.

“It’s ridiculous, they (Watford) shouldn’t be in the game,”He screamed.

“We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside. The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside. That is a joke.

“People go on about VAR, they clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need. It’s a joke.”

Austin was not banned by the FA for his rant. However, he did receive the penalty of being a meme. His rant was combined with Blur’s song Parklife to create an instant classic.

Didier Drogba



After losing to Barcelona, Didier Droga was furious at the referee

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“Are you watching this? It’s a disgrace. It’s a f**king disgrace,” screamed a wild-eyed Drogba into the nearest TV camera. Not particularly subtle, but certainly effective.

The Chelsea striker was irate after his side had been knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by Barcelona in 2009.

The Blues drew the first leg 0-0 at the Camp Nou and were leading the second 1-0 thanks to Michael Essien’s stunner when it all went wrong.

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo waved away four separate Chelsea appeals for a penalty as Andres Iniesta’s goal sent Barca through to the final on away goals.

Florent Malouda and Drogba had decent shouts turned down. Gerard Pique somehow survived a blatant handball. And Michael Ballack nearly caused himself some damage by screaming so loudly in pursuit of Ovrebo after another late handball call.

Drogba’s protests saw him collect a six-game European ban, while Chelsea were fined £85,000 for “the improper conduct of their players”.

“Players make many mistakes, coaches make mistakes, referees make mistakes – that’s why we speak about giving them the benefit of the doubt,”Guus Hiddink was Chelsea’s manager after the match.

“But if you have seen three or four situations waved away then [the referee’s performance] was the worst I have seen.”

“It was not my best day really,”Ovrebo later admitted to the confession in an interview with Marca Spanish newspaper. “Some days you are not at the level you should be. No, I can’t be proud of that performance.”

Drogba is not regretting his actions, according to a tweet he sent earlier this year. “Expensive few words , but still a disgrace though,”He wrote.

Roy Keane



Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane had a difficult relationship with Ireland

Keane is not a shrinking violet. The former Manchester United captain also has his fair share rants. His epic feud with Mick McCarthy, ex-Ireland boss, is undoubtedly the best.

The incident occurred at the 2002 World Cup in which tensions were extremely high between them.

Keane had angered McCarthy by conducting an interview with The Irish Times, in which he publicly criticised the team’s preparation for the tournament, while McCarthy had excused Keane of faking an injury to miss a game against earlier in the year.

Things came to an abrupt halt on the training pitch where McCarthy & Keane exchanged X rated insults.

Ireland striker Niall Quinn told BBC Radio Five Live that Keane’s barbs amounted to a “systematic and clever destruction”He wanted to be in the following locations “execute someone verbally”.

The “clever”Although bit is questionable, it worked.

“Mick, you’re a liar… you’re a f**king w**ker,” he reportedly screamed. “I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, and I don’t rate you as a person.

“You’re a f**king w**ker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country!

“You can stick it up your b***ocks.”

Keane returned from Saipan, refusing to play for Ireland. McCarthy was still the manager. Without Keane, Ireland were knocked out by Spain on penalties in the last-16 and McCarthy resigned later that year, paving the way for Keane’s return.

Robbie Savage



Robbie Savage was unhappy after John Toshack dropped him



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2006 was simpler – when players could call in to radio shows to voice their opinions.

Savage was upset at being expelled from the Wales squad by John Toshack. And, having heard former Wales player Leighton James’ take on the matter, he decided to call in to have it out with him live on air.

What followed was probably the best content Real Radio Wales’ phone-in ever enjoyed.

James was constantly challenged by Savage about his abilities, and then they had a bizarre conversation about how to best communicate with Toshack.

“How can a modern-day manager in this day and age not have a mobile phone?” Savage asked, incredulously.

“Why should he?” replied James. “Why can’t you get a number off Craig Bellamy? It is not rocket science.”

“What number? What number?” Savage said. “I have called the Welsh FA and I cannot get hold of the man. I know for a fact that as long as John Toshack is manager of the Welsh team, I will never play again.”

On and on the increasingly bizarre conversation meandered until things got a bit personal.

“You weren’t a bad player but you weren’t the greatest player in the world,”Savage snapped at James for winning 54 caps for Wales.

“You were a technical player but you weren’t the best tackler. And if I played against you nowadays, dear oh dear.”

James shot back with “you wouldn’t catch me son” before offering a prescient prediction: “One day, when you have got a command of the English language Robbie you will perhaps become a pundit.”