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7 Of The Most Bizarre Excuses Used By Football Managers

James Carroll
By James Carroll
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola took excuses to another level last night after his side's penalty shoot-out victory against Wolves in the Carabao Cup.

The Catalan conjured up the excuse that the Mitre ball used in the tournament was 'unacceptable for high level competition.'

While City did eventually win, this certainly goes down as one of the better excuses in the book. In the end though, it is just one of the many peculiar justifications that managers have used over the years, especially when their sides have lost a match. Here are seven of our favourites.


Kenny Dalglish

“The balls were too bouncy!”

Following the unexpected 1-1 draw between Stevenage and Newcastle in the third round of the FA Cup, the then Newcastle manager Kenny Dalglish spoke to the assembled press to give his reflections on his side's draw. He, too, had some issues with the balls.

Newcastle won the replay but it did result in the Stevenage supporters singing a 'Your balls don't bounce enough,' chant.



Steve Staunton

'We are usually strong in March'.

The Republic of Ireland came within eight seconds of suffering their most embarrassing result ever until back in 2008, until Stephen Ireland spared manager Steve Staunton's blushes with a 93rd minute winner against the part-timers of San Marino.


The match took place on February 7 2007, and afterwards, one of the reasons Stan gave for the performance was the odd timing of the game. Ireland don't usually play international qualifiers in February, and the manager thought we took a chance in playing the game then. Against San Marino. OK.

Ironically, we were strong that March. Ireland took six points from six when we defeated Wales and Slovakia in Croke Park.



Jose Mourinho

"There were no ball-boys in the second half"

The Manchester United manager proclaimed recently that he 'never cries about injuries,' which is weird as he is a fan of a rogue excuse after a defeat. In 2011, while manager of Real Madrid, he blamed their Supercopa loss to Barcelona on the lack of ball boys.

It also said it was something that was "typical of small teams". He had just lost at the Nou Camp.



Alex Ferguson

“The players don’t like the grey strip. They find it difficult to pick each other out. We had to change the strip.”

Manchester United lost four and drew one of their five (or four and a half) games in the notorious grey kit back in the '90s. The Scot had enough by the time his side were losing 3-1 at half time to Southampton, and ordered the team to change strip during the break. They still ended up losing the game 6-3.


Ferguson said the players confused fans in the crowd with teammates when wearing probably the most infamous kit in Premier League history.

Mohammed Al Fayed

"This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price"

We know, he is not a football manager, but he was one of the more colourful football club owners before other foreign investment started to flood into the English game.


Al Fayed sold Fulham to the Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, and the club were relegated soon after.

The former ownder blamed the club's relegation on the removal of his crown jewel, the Michael Jackson statue outside Craven Cottage.


Alan Pardew

“Today was a little bit unfair on us. We couldn’t move the game to Sunday because of the Notting Hill Carnival”

'Pardiola' is a fan of a wild excuse from time to time. In 2012, he blamed a 2-0 loss his Newcastle side suffered at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on a festival that has been running ever since 1966. Logical . . .


Barry Fry

Birmingham City had repeatedly failed to reach the top flight of English football, apparently due to a gypsy curse at St. Andrews, and their manager, Barry Fry, attempted to eradicate the curse by urinating in the four corners of St. Andrews' pitch

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.


David James

“I was getting carried away playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider for hours on end.”

Another non manager here, but feck it.

Isn't it crazy to think that David James once held the record for the most clean sheets in the Premier League? James developed into a fine goalkeeper and a sensible and interesting character later in his career. It wasn't always like though.

Not only was he an error prone keeper early in his career, but he sometimes a bit of an oddball too. Maybe it had something to do with his gaming addiction, which he blamed his consistent mistakes on.

SEE ALSO: Aaron Mooy Gets Surprising Win Bonus For Beating Man United, Thanks To A 9 Year Fan


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