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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 12:06 GMT
When managers attack
Alex Ferguson shouts at his players
Would you want to get in the way of this man?

David Beckham is sporting two fresh stitches above his eye after reportedly being struck by a football boot kicked by an angry Sir Alex Ferguson.

But Becks shouldn't take it personally. This is merely the latest in a long line of manager versus player bust-ups...

Steve Claridge v John Beck
Beck, never the calmest of individuals, often resorted to unorthodox tactics during his first spell in charge of Cambridge.

But merely ploughing the Abbey Road pitch pales into insignificance compared to having a full-on fist fight with your star striker.

Cambridge were in second place in the old Second Division, battling for promotion to the inaugural Premier League, when Beck and Claridge sorted out a mid-match dispute with their side-line slug-fest.

It was the beginning of the end for Beck's United, who sold both Claridge and John Taylor that week, slid down the table, were hammered in the play-offs and gradually slipped back into the league's lowest reaches.

Lawrie McMenemy v Mark Wright
Deep-voiced Saints legend McMenemy, furious at a poor display from his central defender Wright, let rip in the dressing-room post-game.

Lawrie McMenemy watches Southampton in 1980
McMenemy: Fun and frolics in the showers
But not for Wright the simpering apology that most players would have given.

Rising to the occasion, he shoved McMenemy into the showers - where both men, still fully clothed, proceeded to slap each other about like stroppy schoolkids until pulled apart by ashen-faced colleagues.

Brian Laws v Ivano Bonetti
Bonetti was beloved of Grimsby fans for part-funding his transfer to the club from Serie A.

Sadly Mariners boss Laws did not feel quite the same level of affection towards the aged Italian, and reacted to a 3-2 defeat at Luton in February 1996 by throwing a plate of chicken wings at him instead.

Skilful footballer though he was, Bonetti was unable to shift himself out of the way, clocked the wings and plate full in the face and hit the deck with a fractured cheekbone.

Brian Clough v Roy Keane/Nigel Jemson
During his final few seasons at Nottingham Forest, when he was, in his own admission, drinking heavily, Clough went through a particularly aggressive phase.

Brian Clough scratches his head
Clough: Big hit at Forest
Having punched a fan who was blithely taking part in a pitch invasion, Clough repeated the treatment to Nigel Jemson when he felt the young striker had not been trying hard enough in a reserve team game.

Next in line, according to his biography, was Roy Keane, knocked to the floor by Cloughie after another Forest defeat.

Perhaps more surprising is that Keane accepted his slap with grace, claiming he could sympathise with the pressure his manager was under at the time.

Trevor Francis v Alex Kolinko
Tricky Trev took a leaf out of his old gaffer Clough's book when he spotted Kolinko laughing after Bradford took the lead at Crystal Palace last August.

Barely had the Latvian international's grin spread across his chops when Francis' fury hit home in the form of a clout round the back of the head.

Francis was later fined by both the club and the Football Association.

Alex Ferguson v Peter Barnes
Maybe Beckham should have adopted the cunning tactics of former United winger Peter Barnes.

In his first season at Old Trafford, Alex Ferguson went hunting for Barnes after a game, keen to give the former England winger a characteristic ear-bashing.

Barnes was sitting in the home team's communal bath when he heard Ferguson on the war-path.

Thinking quickly, he took a deep breath and ducked under the surface of the water, only surfacing when Ferguson had chuntered off, unable to find him.

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18 Feb 03 | Football
17 Feb 03 | Man Utd
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