A Manchester United Legend On Strike & 5 Players Who Refused To Play

Saido Berahino was expected to return to training at West Brom today after supposedly going on strike and claiming he would never play under Jeremy Peace’s regime ever again. The Baggies forward has become disillusioned with life at the Hawthorns after the club turned down four bids for his services from Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

With said strike apparently over, we thought we’d take a look at previous players who had opted to take to the picket line and see just how they got on. Some of these may prove a warning for the young England striker, others may suggest his future is still pretty bright.

Paul Scholes

Long revered as the gentleman of the English game. Quiet and inoffensive (before he started enlightening the world to his negative manner as a pundit) Scholes was everyone’s favourite Man United player. However, it is regularly forgotten that the ginger genius once refused to pull on the famous red shirt.

The Manchester-born midfielder had been left out of a league game against Liverpool back in 2001 and was absolutely enraged when he was named in a second string side to play Arsenal in the following League Cup tie. As if being overlooked for the likes of Nicky Butt and Quinton Fortune wasn’t enough, he was now being asked to play alongside the likes of Danny Webber and Bojan Djordic.

Scholes refused to play and was then given the inevitable rollicking of his life by Sir Alex Ferguson. After picking himself up off the floor Scholes slipped back into the side for the next game and went on to boss the Red Devils midfield for another 10 years.


Carlos Tevez

Carlito. A fiery character at the best of times, but what he is probably remembered best for, unfortunately, is his now infamous run-in with Roberto Mancini on an autumn night in Munich.

The Argentine was on the substitute’s bench in a Champions League clash against Bayern back in 2011 and with Man City 2-0 down his manager called for him to warm-up. Angry at being left out in favour of Edin Dzeko, Tevez was riled even more when Mancini decided to overlook him when substituting the Bosnian.

The Italian then opted to use the burly frontman but the former Man United striker refused to move from the bench, sparking heated scenes in the dugout area.

The Citizens manager claimed Tevez would never play for the club again and he did not return to the training for five months. Perhaps the worst part of all this for the striker was that he angered Graeme Souness, and that, is never a good idea.


French National Team

Now we all know the French love a strike, but their football team took it to new levels in South Africa. The players caused absolute carnage at the World Cup as they fell apart and all turned on their coach Raymond Domenech.

Nicolas Anelka reportedly told the manager what he thought of him, which wasn’t very much, this led to the striker being suspended from the squad. What followed was a full on strike led by the ever-affable Patrice Evra. The players refused to train, the left-back got in to an almighty fracas with the fitness coach and then they staged a lock-in on the bus.

It is worth noting that this didn’t go too well for the France players. They failed to win a game, finished bottom of their group and a lot of them were hit with pretty hefty fines and bans when they returned to Europe.


Pierre van Hooijdonk

The Dutch striker became something of a cult figure in his time in England and hit 29 goals as he led Nottingham Forest to the First Division title in the 97/98 season. However, after the team sold his strike partner Kevin Campbell that summer the former Celtic man decided he would not play for the club again because of ‘broken promises’.

The long and short of it was that he didn’t feel they had spent enough money, it turned out he was right as they finished bottom of the table.

The Midlands club had to recall the striker out of sheer desperation, but he had annoyed his team-mates that much that when he scored against fierce rivals Derby they refused to celebrate with him. He inevitably jumped ship that summer, returning to Holland with Vitesse.


George Eastham

You may not know who he is, but you definitely are aware of his legacy. The Newcastle midfielder was refused permission to leave the club in 1959, despite the imminent expiration of his contract. Eastham went on strike and decamped to Guildford, where he sold cork for two months. No, really.

Eventually the Toon gave in and allowed him to move on to Arsenal. Nevertheless, Eastham took the north-east club to the High Court where he won his case and set the precedent for the modern day transfer system.

He became a legend at Highbury and was part of the England World Cup winning squad of 1966.