‘But the dog ate my homework Miss’. Some excuses are better than others and in the high pressure, emotionally-charged football sphere, managers up and down the land pedal them week-in week-out.
No doubt Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will be all smiles (can he smile, or are those jowls pinned down?) if his side return to the top of the Premier League this weekend – where they are a super skinny 2/11 to defeat Stoke, or a more attractive-sounding 3/1 to win by two goals.
However, after his side’s galling loss to Barcelona in midweek, the Chilean positively lost his rag when aiming his bitterness towards referee Jonas Eriksson for apparently just ‘being Swedish’ after he was left little choice but to show Martin Demichelis red for scything down Lionel Messi.
That topped a fairly excuse-heavy few weeks for top-tier bosses, so we’ve selected a few of the best.
Manuel Pellegrini raged: “I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an important match, and a referee who made an important mistake against Barcelona in a previous match. Today he arranged it.”
Tim Sherwood got straight to the bottom of the problem after Totteham went down 1-0 to Dnipro in the first leg of their Europa League tie, despite £26m Roberto Soldado shinning one over from four yards.
“I haven’t seen it again, but I’m not sure he’ll (Soldado) be too complimentary about the pitch,” said Sherwood. “He would expect to score, I am not using the pitch as an excuse, not for the chance, as both teams played on it.
“But I am sure that it must have played some part in Robbie missing that one. The pitch was a disgrace, it is possibly the worst pitch I have experienced in a long time.”
Arsene Wenger was typically accepting of a referee’s decision after Wojciech Szczesny crashed into Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben in the Champions League to get himself stupidly sent off.
“The referee made a decision that killed the game. Our keeper went for the ball, he touched Robben, who made more of it.”
Jose Mourinho was particularly humble in the wake of drawing at home to West Ham.
“I cannot be too critical because, if I was in this position, I don’t know if I would do the same. But at the same time this is not Premier League. This is not the best league in the world. This is football from the 19th century.”
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