REVEALED: Football's Most Devious Away Dressing Room Tactics

​Football clubs will seemingly do everything to give their players even the slightest advantage in a match.

After their 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg saw them knocked out of the Champions League, Manchester United players complained that their dressing room was too hot.

But what else do clubs do to their away dressing rooms to unsettle opposition players? Here are some of the most devious tactics - as revealed by ​the Telegraph.

Disgusting Decor

Sunderland v Stoke City - Premier League
Sunderland v Stoke City - Premier League

Many clubs often choose something as simple as the colour of the dressing room walls to distract their opponents.

The away dressing room in Sunderland's Stadium of Light is allegedly painted with a blue-yellow tinge.

According to one fan who visited the stadium on a tour, the dressing room is a 'horrid blue and yellow colour' - which apparently has the effect of making players 'cold and ill'.

In the other famous Stadium of Light - Benfica's Estadio da Luz - the away dressing room is plastered with full-length posters of passionate home supporters in an attempt to strike fear in opposition players.


Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League
Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League

A manager's pre-match team talk is an essential part of the build up to a match and it would surely be an advantage if you could somehow disrupt this. Arsenal are giving it their best shot.

According to an article from Neil Ashton in the Mail Online, 'the table in the middle of the dressing room has been raised to a height so that when food and drink are placed on it, the manager's head is not in their field of vision when they look up from the floor.'

A large wooden drawer directly in the centre of the room is thought to be designed to prevent the manager from addressing his team as a whole.


AFC Wimbledon V Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon V Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two

Fiddling with the temperature of the water in the away dressing room is one of the oldest tricks in the book to annoy the opposition.

But in the days of the 'Crazy Gang', Wimbledon went one further and would sometimes turn off the water supply entirely before games at Plough Lane.

Giving the opposition the slip at Anfield

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League
Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League

Though Liverpool fans may still wince at the mention of a slip at Anfield, the Reds try to make their opponents suffer a similar fate.

According to reports, the floor of the away dressing room at Anfield is so thoroughly polished before a match that visiting players have to tip-toe on their boots to avoid slipping on it.

Calming the fight out of the opposition

FC Anji Makhachkala v Tottenham Hotspur FC - UEFA Europa League
FC Anji Makhachkala v Tottenham Hotspur FC - UEFA Europa League

​Though many clubs want to unnerve the opponent and make them uncomfortable, Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala decided to try the complete opposite.

Just before hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League, Anzhi removed the staple dressing room benches replacing them with leather armchairs instead - hoping to instil calm and lethargy.

However, it had the opposite effect as Spurs won 2-0, possibly showing why no other club is following in Anzhi's footsteps.

Unsettling Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League
Chelsea FC v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League

For years Stamford Bridge was a fortress with only the rare few leaving with a point and the away dressing room could be a factor - understood to be the most psychologically affecting dressing room in the Premier League.

For starters, the room is smaller than usual and it is fitted with wall-to-wall obstacles designed to disrupt visitor's preparations - though those are the basics in away dressing room tactics.

In his recent tour of Chelsea's stadium facilities, The Nation journalist Jintana Panyaarvudh noted more features designed to undermine the visitors.

The coat-hangers are said to be fitted very high up to force players to put strain on their ankles, arms and hamstrings; the tactics board is kept of the back of the dressing room door, which must be kept open at all time as a fire exit; a nd e ven the mirrors are designed to unnerve opponents.

Positioned just by the door, they are designed to be significantly narrower than usual to give players the impression of being smaller than they actually are before they leave the pitch.

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