Mané and Sané become the latest members in football’s Fisticuffs Hall of Fame | Soccer
Craig Bellamy attacking John Arne Riise with a golf club. John Hartson booting Eyal Berkovic in the mush at West Ham’s training ground. Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer whaling into each other on the field at St James’s Park. The history of football is littered with incidents of teammates getting their fight on in the kind of scenes commentators feel compelled to announce nobody wants to see, even though we know plenty of folk who’d pay good money for CCTV footage of a half-naked Norwegian being chased through a hotel corridor by a Welshman armed with a mashie-niblick and a sense of grievance over his prey’s refusal to sing Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship at a Portuguese karaoke bar.
Earlier this week, Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané became the latest members in football’s Fisticuffs Hall of Fame, when an on-field dispute that began during Bayern Munich’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City continued into the visitors’ dressing-room at the Etihad Stadium. Unable to settle his differences with Sané through the usual channels of diplomacy, Mané attempted to do so with a right hook, splitting his teammate’s lip in the process. Bayern later announced that Slugger Sadio would be sitting out this weekend’s Bundesliga match against Hoffenheim on Das Naughty Step and fined an undisclosed amount of pocket money.
Needless to say, the dressing-room scrap and its aftermath featured prominently on the agenda of Thomas Tuchel’s press conference earlier and the Bayern manager was pleased to report that both players had trained together without the eruption of further violence, and that Mané had accepted the consequences for swinging that expensive haymaker. “I am the first one to defend Sadio,” tooted Tuchel. “I have known him a long time and I know him as a top pro. He is football pure. He has my deepest trust after the mistake he made. Everyone can make a mistake. It went against the team’s code of conduct. That’s clear.”
With Bayern out of their domestic cup, as good as out of Big Cup and just two points clear at the Bundesliga summit with seven games remaining, Tuchel needs all his players pulling in the same direction rather than swinging at each other for the season’s run-in. “It was important that it was cleared quickly,” he added. “That had a cleansing effect. It was important that he remained in training even if he has this one-match ban. Because we had to deal with it and it was a blatant incident we had to clear it before the next training. We did it yesterday. We cleared the air so we can train in a positive way.” In a season disrupted by knack, Mané has struggled to scale the heights since leaving Liverpool last summer, and his days at the club could still be numbered. That shot he landed on Sané’s gob was only the 12th time he’s hit the target this season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You wouldn’t ask a five-year-old what they want at Christmas and if they say ‘a Ferrari’, you would not say: ‘Oh, that is a good idea.’ I never understood why we constantly talk about things we theoretically cannot have” – Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp sticks it to the kids after comparing the pursuit of Jude Bellingham to unattainable present demands.
FOOTBALL DAILY LETTERS
As someone who closely follows Italian football (and is also one of the Football Daily pedants), I can assure you that the statement ‘the perfect football match result is 0-0’ was not originaly an invention of the great journalist Giani Brera (yesterday’s Football Daily letters), but of the late Annibale Frossi, former Inter player and manager (in the middle of the previous century), who later worked as a columnist for the Corriere della Sera” – Bogdan Kotarlic.
It’s all fun and games at Bayern. My understanding is that Mané and Sané had a Bané” – Adam Smith.
Send your letters to email@example.com. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Adam Smith.
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