6 of the Best Training Ground Bust-Ups


Maybe it's that time of year, as the strain begins to take hold of football dressing rooms, or maybe it really does happen fairly often but we just seldom hear about it. But the fact remains this week has seen two high profile training round bust-ups at Premier league clubs.

Following the news that Chico had allegedly wielded a brick at Swansea team-mate Gary Monk, today we learned that Southampton have suspended bad boy Dani Osvaldo for two weeks for fighting with teammate Jose Fonte.

So, to commemorate this news, we decided to trawl the archives and bring you five of football's most memorable training ground bust-ups…


6. Barton v Dabo

No stranger to controversy, Joey Barton has sparked brawls and stubbed lit cigars on teammates. 

As you can see, Ousmane Dabo was left with severe facial injuries after Barton savagely attacked him in 2007, an incident which led Dabo to press charges. Barton, who soon left City as he sought a fresh start and a reinvention of his image at Newcastle, Barton spoke for the first time about the incident during his stint in France some years later. "I'm not a monster," said the Scouser, "and I don't like fighting." You could've fooled us, Joey.  

 

5. Balotelli vs Mancini (and Richards, Boateng and Kompany)

For a quiet, retiring individual like Mario Balotelli, he sure gets into a lot of scrapes. If he’s not fighting the towering Jerome Boateng or grappling with the stacked Micah Richards or kicking off with Manchester City’s club captain Vincent Kompany, or letting off fireworks from his apartment balcony, then he’s having a scrap with the boss! The commentary in above video is in Italian so you may not understand what is being described, but rest assured, the pictures tell the full story - needless to say Super Mario's days at The Etihad were numbered.  

 

4. Carroll vs Taylor

When Steven Taylor spent a few months out with a broken jaw and Andy Carroll was sidelined with a hand injury, not everyone put two and two together. But Tyneside is as fierce a rumour mill as anywhere, and it soon emerged that big Andy had thumped his Newcastle teammate in the face after discovering that his ex-girlfriend had been exchanging flirty texts with Taylor. Carroll was soon shipped off to Liverpool, but not before kicking off with Charles N’Zogbia on his way out.

 

3. Hartson vs Berkovic

This incident at West Ham's training ground wasn’t so much a fight as it was a ruthless kick in the teeth. Literally. Hartson caught Berkovic late during a keep ball exercise, Berkovic lashed out and the strapping Welshman put him in his place with a swing of his left boot right to the chops. Berkovic was hospitalised and forced to eat through a straw for two days.

 

2. Craig Bellamy vs John Arne Riise

It’s not often that fisty cuffs turns into something more violent, but that’s exactly what happened when Craig Bellamy attacked John Arne Riise... with a golf club! Like all great drunken brawls, this one was triggered by karaoke. During a training camp in Portugal, Riise refused to join in Bellamy’s sing-a-long. So the fiery Cardiff lad took a swipe at the Norwegian with his 7-iron. Unnecessary? Yes. Cowardly? Probably. Funny story to tell the grand kids? Absolutely.

 

1.Ljungberg vs Mellberg I & II

Having just won the ball with a well-timed, clean tackle, Ljungberg was then inexplicably sliced in half by a brutal, vicious attack by Sweden teammate Olof Mellberg in preparation for the 2002 World Cup. Ljungberg wasn’t concerned by the fact that Mellberg was a bigger, stronger specimen than him and launched himself at the former Aston Villa defender before the pair scrapped it out for all to see. And then they did it all over again four years later in the dressing room after a match against Trinidad. Not the best of friends then.


Will Southampton win this weekend in the FA Cup without Osvaldo? Check the latest odds.