Manchester City face Chelsea on Saturday with Pep Guardiola having angered some fans ahead of last week’s draw at Southampton.
After 38,062 people watched their Champions League win against RB Leipzig, the City manager drew the ire of some fans by urging them to come to the Etihad.
City’s general Secretary addressed City’s supporters club, explaining that some fans struggle to get to midweek games. Meanwhile, other fans highlighted the difficulty of purchasing tickets. While rival clubs’ followers trolled City with ‘Emptyhad jibes on Twitter, the general secretary of City’s supporters club hit back.
Although the dispute is over, Guardiola isn’t the only coach who has been in conflict with his fans.
Here, Daily Star Sport looks at six times managers have taken on their fanbase – including one famous case when things got physical.
Rafa Benitez (Chelsea, 2013)
Benitez hit out after Chelsea fans chanted their opposition to him during a 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough in 2013.
In his post-match press conference the ex- Liverpool boss unleashed an extraordinary rant, calling himself an “interim manager” and repeating that he would be leaving after his contract expires at the end.
However, he was the most vocal in his tirade of a few fans who had mocked him at Riverside Stadium and accused them of causing damage to the club’s image.
“What they have to do is concentrate on supporting the team,” Benitez said.
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“It’s a team in transition – they don’t realise. In the past, we had [Didier] Drogba, [Michael] Essien, [Salomon] Kalou. These players, it was a very strong squad, players with experience in the Premier League.
“Now we have a group of players with talent, really good players with talent, but they need time. It’s a period of transition.
“But they don’t realise it was a time of transition when I came here. It doesn’t matter what they say. I am a professional, I have experience and I will do my best.
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“But if they carry on in the same way, they have to take responsibility because they are damaging the image of the club and the rest of the fans because people think all the fans are the same.
“While the Chelsea supporters are wonderful, they support their team. But, if they continue to pursue their agenda, I don’t think they will do any favors for the team.”
Brian Clough (Nottingham Forest, 1989)
Legendary manager Brian Clough literally took matters into his own hands after Nottingham Forest fans invaded the pitch following a League Cup win over QPR.
Joyous supporters ran onto the pitch following a 5-2 victory over QPR in 1989 – but the celebrations were short-lived for a couple of supporters who got a clip round the ear from Old Big ‘Ead and were told to get off the pitch.
Forest fan Mark Wheeler, one of the fans on the receiving end, later revealed he had not taken issue with his treatment from Clough, saying: “Imagine being known as the lads who had done the dirty on Brian Clough.
“We’d never have been able to go to Forest again. We’d have been hated. Even now, it would have been impossible.”
Clough apologised to fans and gave them cup final tickets – but was hit with a touchline ban and a fine.
Jose Mourinho (Manchester United, 2018)
The Special One took issue with United fans jeering Scott McTominay – and days later ranted about what he saw as unrealistic expectations for European games.
Mourinho was also booed by supporters for his decision to expel Marcus Rashford. But it was McTominay’s negative reaction to McTominay’s backwards pass that really shook him.
“The fans they can do what they want,” Mourinho said. “I am not upset at all with that reaction [about Rashford]. They had a bad reaction to Scott McTominay.
“A kid of 20 years old was making all the right decisions and they wanted him to make the wrong decisions.”
Less than a week later, Mourinho launched a scathing criticism of United’s record in Europe since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, following a negative response to his side exiting the Champions League.
With notes in hand, he told Sky Sports: “To the fans, I tell them that they are the fans and can express their opinions and reactions. Football heritage was something I used call it.
“What a manager inherits is something like the last time Manchester United were in the Champions League final which didn’t happen a lot of times, was in 2011.
“Since 2011, 2012: Out in the group phase, the group was almost the same group we had this season. Benfica, Basel and Galati from Romania. Out in the group phase.
“In 2013 out at Old Trafford in the last 16, I was on the other bench. 2014: Out in the quarter-finals. In 2015, no European football. 2015: European football returns. In the group phase, the team goes to Europa League. The second knockout is the Europa League.
“And if you want to go to the Premier League, the last victory was 12/13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth. So in the last four years the best was fourth.”
Mourinho added salt to the wounds by pointing to Manchester City’s superior record in Premier League play in previous seasons.
“In the last seven years the worst position of Manchester City in the Premier League was fourth, in the last seven years Manchester City was champions twice and if you want to say three times, they were second twice. That’s heritage,” He said.
It must have hurt.
Sam Allardyce (West Ham, 2014 and 2015)
Sam Allardyce had a pop at “the West Ham way” after leaving the Hammers – having also called fans “deluded” while he was still in charge.
Big Sam criticised supporters for jeering his team following a victory over Hull City in 2014, saying: “I’ve never been in a place where I’ve won and got booed.
“Fans affect players. They shouldn’t be on the sidelines of players after three defeats. They need to support them and stay.”
He added: “Half-time saw players talking more about the fans cheering than the game. I had to ensure they remained focused on the field.
“I started playing at 16, got in a first team at 18 and am 59 now, but I’ve never been in place where I won and got booed.”
After parting company with the club more than a year later, Allardyce was even more savage, blasting: “I once called the supporters deluded and I stand by that. I don’t know who invented the West Ham way phrase, but it’s a millstone around the club’s neck.”
John Carver (Newcastle United, 2015)
John Carver got involved in a heated exchange with fans during a defeat to Swansea, in a campaign which saw Newcastle avoid relegation on the final day of the season.
The Magpies boss, however, had a different approach to solving the problem. He invited his supporters to his office to have a cup of tea.
Explaining why he had offered his hospitality, Carver told a press conference: “I think it’s important that I speak to these two lads and explain some of my actions.”
He added: “We’ve now got two home games, and they sit in a very important part of the stadium which is right next to the technical area – and it’s a privileged area to be quite honest, you see everything that goes on.
“But it’s important that they get behind the team and try not to distract me from doing my job. I have to remain focused.”
Nigel Pearson (Leicester, 2014)
Nigel Pearson stood his ground when offered the chance to apologise after allegedly swearing at a fan who had offered his critique from the stands.
“There certainly won’t be any apology,” said the tough-talking Leicester boss as he faced the media, before being asked whether season-ticket holders paid for the right to give their opinion.
“Depends on how they do it, and they can’t then bleat on about it if they get a taste of their own medicine,” Pearson replied.
After saying the club’s owners had received some stick from box holders, the manager said: “I find it incredible that anybody could question the integrity and commitment of our owners. It is disgraceful.”
And he added: “If people were offended by what happened in some ways that is regrettable but there’s no need for me to apologise to someone of that ilk.”
Then, it’ll be a “no” to the apology.