Inspired, emotional and extraordinary: The half-time team talks we'll never forget after Sevilla's sensational comeback

Yahoo Sport UK
Sir Alex Ferguson was famous for his half-time hairdryer treatment.
Sir Alex Ferguson was famous for his half-time hairdryer treatment.

Your half-time team talk. Speak to any player and they’ll tell you the ability to rouse the troops in the break is often the difference between a good manager, and a great one.

For some of course, a bad one speech can spell the beginning of the end – but last night some words of wisdom were spoken that clearly struck a chord.

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Sevilla’s players were told their manager has been diagnosed with prostate cancer half-way through their Champions League group E match with Liverpool. At 3-0 down, the risks of things getting even worse for the team hearing the heart-breaking news were obvious.

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Instead, it totally inspired. Eduardo Berizzo revealed the news and it instantly drew a reaction. Guido Pizarro’s dramatic late equaliser spark wild celebrations – with the unwell manager under the pile.

There’s been some weird, wacky and wonderful – as well as down right Churchillian – half-time motivation over the years.

We’ve seen some managerial meltdowns are well. Here are our favourites:

Sir Alex Ferguson

We may as well start with the best. Years and years the Scot and his club had been waiting for this moment. In 1999 Manchester United, whose fans had take over Barcelona, should have been out of the European Cup final as Bayern Munich went through the gears.

It needed a manager to move his players. “At the end of this game, the European Cup will be only six feet away from you, and you’ll not even able to touch it if we lose. And for many of you, that will be the closest you will ever get. Don’t you dare come back in here without giving your all.”

Like his players, Ferguson didn’t let anyone down.

 

Phil Brown

Perma-tanned, snazzy dressed and with a Britney Spears circa 1999 mic sitting by the side of his face, it’s not always easy to love Phil Brown.

So when he decided to lecture his players at half-time out on the pitch in front of the Hull City fans against Manchester City back on Boxing Day 2008, his stock started to dip.

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It was a risky practice, and went down like a lead balloon. A year later, Hull return to the Etihad and cheeky scamp Jimmy Bullard celebrated his goal by mocking the team talk and Brown’s infamous wagging finger.

Into the frying pan: The Peterborough director of football found TV fame in the 90s
Into the frying pan: The Peterborough director of football found TV fame in the 90s

Barry Fry

Who doesn’t enjoy a good Fry-on-wall documentary? Bazza is one of the game’s great characters, so There’s Only One Barry Fry was naturally TV gold.

We came for the football, we stayed for the Peterborough United manager’s words of comfort to his players struggling with confidence.

Morale-raiser Baz’s inspired rants were legendary. “You’re f***ing hopeless,” he encouraged one unfortunate player. “F***ing hopeless as a defender, f***ing hopeless as an attacker.”

Warning: Video contains strong language 

John Sitton

Struggling club allows cameras into their changing room when things are already going desperately belly up. What could go wrong?

John Sitton, the unwitting star of  Leyton Orient: Club For A Fiver, was captured bellowing out the mother of all dressing rooms dressing downs. There were more C and F bombs dropped than Orient had shots on goal all season. But the immortal, some would say masterful, line came last and should always be remembered.

“And you can pair up if you like,” he screamed at an under performer. “And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner.”

The big moment: But what was actually said at hold time in Istanbul to turn it around for Liverpool?
The big moment: But what was actually said at hold time in Istanbul to turn it around for Liverpool?

Rafa Benitez

If you think of great comebacks, this is high up on everyone’s list. The manager must have got that 15 minutes in the dressing room inch perfect, right? Wrong.

Liverpool were crumbling against AC Milan in Instanbul, but instead of sending his players out with fire in their bellies, Rafa tried to send them out with an extra man!

“I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back,” Benitez wrote in his autobiography. “Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men.”


 

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