Whether it’s Kevin Keegan ‘loving it’ a bit too much, Jose Mourinho calling Pep Guardiola a Nazi paedophile or Alex Ferguson blaming the referee for being a useless twat every week, nothing beats a good-old fashioned personality clash in sport.
And with the Premier League down to a two-horse race already, and only two English clubs left in the Champions League, we need our blinkered illogical blasts more than ever to make the season interesting. So bless the twin saints of football (Saint James and Saint N’Greavsie) for the Lord has seen fit to furnish us with Andre Villas-Boas.
The Chelsea boss became increasingly jittery during the club’s poor run early in the season to the point where his pent up belief that it couldn’t possibly be his fault, finally exploded in fine table-thumping style at a press conference. So who was to blame for Chelsea’s miserable start? An ageing squad perhaps? The spectre of Mourinho’s ghost floating through Stamford Bridge? Well according to AVB, one man was the cause of all his woe – Gary Neville.
Neville invoked Villas-Boas’ fury after suggesting Blues defender David Luiz played as if he was controlled by a 10-year-old on a Playstation after the club’s loss to Arsenal. That clearly rankled with the Portuguese man o’ war.
“I’d say this to his face with most pleasure,” fumed Villas-Boas. “What does he know about the Chelsea dressing room? What does Gary Neville know about our dressing room?
“How can you imagine what is going on in the Chelsea dressing room? How can you know?
“I’m normally indifferent, not watching on the telly to see what these people say. But I was watching the television at that moment, and I was gobsmacked.”
Being the man’s man he is, Neville stood up for himself the only way he knows how. By getting his brother Phil to say something.
“Even though he is a die-hard Man United fan I don’t think anyone can label what he has said – since he’s been on Sky, I think he has been pretty impartial,” said the in-no-way bias younger sibling.
By Peter Simpson and Richard Gadsby