6 managers who had a pop at their own fans after Pep Guardiola outburst

Manchester City face Chelsea on Saturday with Pep Guardiola having angered some fans ahead of last week's draw at Southampton.

The City manager incurred the ire of some supporters for urging more of them to turn up to the Etihad, after 38,062 watched their Champions League win over RB Leipzig.

The general secretary of City's supporters' club hit back by explaining the difficulties some fans have in going to midweek games, while other fans highlighted the cost of buying tickets – while followers of rival clubs trolled the club with 'Emptyhad' jibes on social media.

While the dust is now settling on that particular dispute, Guardiola is not the only coach to have ended up in a row with his own supporters.

Here, Daily Star Sport looks at six times managers have taken on their fanbase – including one famous case when things got physical.

Rafa Benitez (Chelsea, 2013)

Benitez hit out after Chelsea fans chanted their opposition to him during a 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough in 2013.

The former Liverpool boss launched an astonishing rant in his post-match press conference, taking issue with being called an 'interim manager', and reiterating that he would be leaving when his contract expired at the end of that season.

But he was most outspoken in his tirade against a minority of fans who had jeered him at the Riverside Stadium, accusing them of damaging the club's image.

"What they have to do is concentrate on supporting the team," Benitez said.

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"It's a team in transition – they don't realise. In the past, we had [Didier] Drogba, [Michael] Essien, [Salomon] Kalou. These players, it was a very strong squad, players with experience in the Premier League.

"Now we have a group of players with talent, really good players with talent, but they need time. It's a time of transition.

"But they don't realise it was a time of transition when I came here. It doesn't matter what they say. I am a professional, I have experience and I will do my best.

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"But if they carry on in the same way, they have to take responsibility because they are damaging the image of the club and the rest of the fans because people think all the fans are the same.

"The Chelsea fans are really good, they support the team, but if they continue with their agenda, I don't think they do any favours to the team."

Brian Clough (Nottingham Forest, 1989)

Legendary manager Brian Clough literally took matters into his own hands after Nottingham Forest fans invaded the pitch following a League Cup win over QPR.


Joyous supporters ran onto the pitch following a 5-2 victory over QPR in 1989 – but the celebrations were short-lived for a couple of supporters who got a clip round the ear from Old Big 'Ead and were told to get off the pitch.

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Forest fan Mark Wheeler, one of the fans on the receiving end, later revealed he had not taken issue with his treatment from Clough, saying: “Imagine being known as the lads who had done the dirty on Brian Clough.

“We’d never have been able to go to Forest again. We’d have been hated. Even now, it would have been impossible.”

Clough apologised to fans and gave them cup final tickets – but was hit with a touchline ban and a fine.

Jose Mourinho (Manchester United, 2018)

The Special One took issue with United fans jeering Scott McTominay – and days later ranted about what he saw as unrealistic expectations for European games.

Supporters had also booed Mourinho's decision to haul off Marcus Rashford – but it was the negative response to McTominay playing a backwards pass that really ground his gears.

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“The fans they can do what they want,” Mourinho said. “I am not upset at all with that reaction [about Rashford]. But I am upset with the reaction they had with Scott McTominay.

"A kid of 20 years old was making all the right decisions and they wanted him to make the wrong decisions.”

Less than a week later, Mourinho launched a scathing criticism of United's record in Europe since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, following a negative response to his side exiting the Champions League.

With notes in hand, he told Sky Sports: "I say to the fans that the fans are the fans and have the right to their opinions and reactions. But there is something that I used to call football heritage.

"What a manager inherits is something like the last time Manchester United were in the Champions League final which didn't happen a lot of times, was in 2011.

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"Since 2011, 2012: Out in the group phase, the group was almost the same group we had this season. Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania. Out in the group phase.

"In 2013 out at Old Trafford in the last 16, I was on the other bench. In 2014, out in the quarter-finals. In 2015, no European football. In 2016, comes back to European football, out in the group phase, goes to Europa League and on the second knockout out of the Europa League.

"And if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 12/13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth. So in the last four years the best was fourth."

Mourinho even rubbed salt in the wounds by pointing out Manchester City's superior record in the Premier League in the previous seasons.

"In the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth, in the last seven years Manchester City was champions twice and if you want to say three times, they were second twice. That's heritage," he said.

Ouch, that must have hurt.

Sam Allardyce (West Ham, 2014 and 2015)

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Sam Allardyce had a pop at "the West Ham way" after leaving the Hammers – having also called fans "deluded" while he was still in charge.

Big Sam criticised supporters for jeering his team following a victory over Hull City in 2014, saying: "I've never been in a place where I've won and got booed.

"Fans affect players. We don't need them on players' backs when we are coming off three defeats. They have to stay and help them win."

He added: "At half-time, the players were talking more about fans booing them than the game. I had to make sure they kept focused on the field.

"I started playing at 16, got in a first team at 18 and am 59 now, but I've never been in place where I won and got booed."

After parting company with the club more than a year later, Allardyce was even more savage, blasting: “I once called the supporters deluded and I stand by that. I don’t know who invented the West Ham way phrase, but it’s a millstone around the club’s neck."

John Carver (Newcastle United, 2015)

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John Carver got involved in a heated exchange with fans during a defeat to Swansea, in a campaign which saw Newcastle avoid relegation on the final day of the season.

But the Magpies boss had a novel approach to resolving the situation – he invited the supporters to his office for a cup of tea.

Explaining why he had offered his hospitality, Carver told a press conference: "I think it's important that I speak to these two lads and explain some of my actions."

He added: "We've now got two home games, and they sit in a very important part of the stadium which is right next to the technical area – and it's a privileged area to be quite honest, you see everything that goes on.

"But it's important that they get behind the team and try not to distract me from doing my job. I've got to be focused."

Nigel Pearson (Leicester, 2014)

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Nigel Pearson stood his ground when offered the chance to apologise after allegedly swearing at a fan who had offered his critique from the stands.

“There certainly won't be any apology," said the tough-talking Leicester boss as he faced the media, before being asked whether season-ticket holders paid for the right to give their opinion.

"Depends on how they do it, and they can't then bleat on about it if they get a taste of their own medicine," Pearson replied.

After saying the club's owners had received some stick from box holders, the manager said: "I find it incredible that anybody could question the integrity and commitment of our owners. I think it's nothing short of disgraceful."

And he added: "If people were offended by what happened in some ways that is regrettable but there’s no need for me to apologise to someone of that ilk."

That'll be a no to the apology, then.

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