The Premier League is truly an exciting affair, not just the on field part of it but also the stuff that goes around off the field. Player and manager press conferences play a huge role in these off field talks which could be anything from general news and announcements to meltdown to interviews that are downright hilarious.
The entertainment quotient that these press conferences carry makes a lot of us stick to the post match talks, awaiting a snide dig at another personality or just pure football banter.
As 2016 draws to an end, let’s look at some of the best press conferences of the Premier League this year.
#1 Claudio Ranieri soaked in champagne by Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs
(Video Courtesy: 101 Great Goals YouTube Channel)
Leicester City surely provided us with one of the best moments in sporting history with their magical run in the league which ended with them being crowned the Premier League Champions of the 2015-2016 season. The Foxes were led by Italian Claudio Ranieri who had become a media darling after coming back to the Premier League.
The team that had quite a torrid time in their first season after being promoted, pulled a surprise by going on a superb run of games and narrowly escaping relegation. The next season saw the appointment of ex-Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, who led his team to the title in a typical fairy tale fashion.
The best moment was when Ranieri’s press conference was hijacked by his players Christian Fuchs and Kasper Schmeichel who soaked him in champagne after Leicester City defeated Everton and were crowned the Premier League champions.
#2 Arsene Wenger – 'I am sorry he didn't cost £55 million'
(Video Courtesy: Vldx YouTube Channel)
Over the years Arsene Wenger has come under a lot of flak from the Arsenal faithful for his unwillingness to pay top dollar for premium players in the market. The presser came post the match against Leicester City which ended in a goalless draw. Arsene Wenger had deployed new signing from Bolton Wanderers, Rob Holding and the player put in a solid performance.
The match rightly showed that spending is not always quite the answer, and Arsene Wenger’s press conference was a smack in the face of critics who had called out Arsenal’s inability to perform due to high profile signings. The quote is a deep reminder of how current football pundits are quick to write off players based on their signing fee alone and the focus is only on big money players.
As Wenger rightly put it in the press conference, "Why do you say I'm reluctant? If I buy you tomorrow for £45m, I have spent £45m, and I would have done well because I will have listened to you, but spending the money in itself is not a quality”.
#3 Jose Mourinho – ‘When you play well there's nothing more you can do’
(Video Courtesy: FullTimeDEVILS YouTube Channel)
No list of press conferences is complete without Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager is known for his directness and scathing attacks at football personalities. “The Special One” hasn’t had a good time in 2016 after being sacked by Chelsea and continuing his bad run at Manchester United. The Red Devils have drawn a great number of matches much to the ire of United fans who have been left disappointed with their team’s current form.
The Portuguese lost his cool post the Everton match after his team blew up a one-goal lead in the dying minutes of the game after substitute Fellaini conceded a penalty in the 88th minute. His frustration was visible as he went after the opposition with some not so nice words. The rant was a typical Mourinho meltdown and provided quite a laugh to fans of opposition teams. He also claimed to have not seen Marcos Rojo’s two footed challenge that resulted in a yellow card, although it seemed more like a red.
"You (reporters) have to make a decision," Mourinho said. "Because when my teams are playing pragmatic football and winning matches and titles, you say that is not right and nice. When my teams, like now, play very, very well, you say that what matters is to get results no matter what.”
Typical Mourinho, we would say.
#4 Louis van Gaal – ‘Every human being who is grabbed by the hair, only with sex masochism, then it is allowed but not in other situations’
(Video Courtesy: BeanymanSports YouTube Channel)
The Dutch manager had quite a torrid time during his tenure at Manchester United and was ultimately sacked. During his time at the club, Louis van Gaal came up a couple of times with sexual terminology to describe how he wants his players to play football, but nothing was funnier than his post-match press conference after United’s match against Leicester City.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini was slagged by supporters and critics alike for elbowing Leicester defender Robert Huth, however the manager was quick to come to his player’s rescue as he put the blame back on the defender accusing him of inciting the player.
Van Gaal said, "Every human being who is grabbed with their hair would react."..."Every human being who is grabbed by the hair, only with sex masochism, then it is allowed but not in other situations. They did it several times I think.”
#5 Jurgen Klopp – 'The best word I can say to describe this is: Boom!'
(Video Courtesy: Jeppe Hildebrandt YouTube Channel)
After the appointment of Klopp, the Liverpool team definitely had a huge change in its mentality. Against Manchester City, Klopp’s team played some swashbuckling football and got their vengeance after losing to the same team in the Capital One Cup, as they destroyed them 3-0 at Anfield.
This match was a huge blow to Manchester City’s title hopes and Jurgen Klopp was further delighted after hearing the news that Bayern Munich, his old rivals had lost their fixture against Mainz in the dying minutes of the game.
A jubilant Klopp was thoroughly impressed by his team’s performance and his feelings were clear from how he described the game. The word was actually the perfect term to describe the swiftness and efficiency with which Liverpool played as they ran riot at Anfield. With goals from Lallana, Milner and Firmino, Klopp stamped his team’s superiority over City and earned a well deserved 3 points.