Villa scuffle joins list of teammate altercations

Aston Villa
Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings stole the spotlight for all the wrong reasons on Monday night as the Aston Villa team mates nearly came to blows.

Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings stole the spotlight for all the wrong reasons on Monday night as the Aston Villa team mates nearly came to blows.

El Ghazi was lucky he didn’t see red in the goalless draw with West Ham after pushing his head into Mings following a heated exchange between the pair during the first half.

A VAR check decided there was no need for referee Mike Dean to take any action and Villa skipper Jack Grealish says it was all sorted out in the changing room during half-time.


While it was a sight boss Dean Smith won’t want to see, it could have been a lot worse based on previous examples of team mates facing off on the pitch.

Just like a work’s Christmas night out, even when the boss is present it can be tricky to keep your cool, as these famous head-to-heads go to show.

To St James’ Park in 2005 first for one of the most infamous incidents of colleagues clashing on the pitch. Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer were the two men squaring off with the squabble having all started over Bowyer’s belief that Dyer was deliberately not passing him the ball.

With the game going on around them, both players let fly and were rightly given their marching orders. Newcastle quickly arranged a press conference with boss Graeme Souness sat between the pair like a teacher having separated two naughty school boys.

Bowyer was fined six week’s wages for the scuffle, while Dyer was also hit in the pocket, failing to get then chairman Freddy Shepherd to change his mind having maintained his innocence to this day.

Going back another decade from Bowyer v Dyer and we come to then champions Blackburn Rovers falling out amongst themselves. Rovers had made a disastrous start to the defence of their title and were not enjoying their first taste of Champions League action.

Frustrations finally boiled over on a cold night in Moscow when just four minutes into a 3-0 loss to Spartak, England internationals Graeme le Saux and David Batty came to blows.

The two men had clearly taken some animosity onto the field for the game for a scrap to occur so quickly and the confrontation did nothing to help the rumours that boss Ray Harford had lost control of the dressing room.

Going back a further two years and we come to the charismatic Bruce Grobbelaar, who was used to creating headlines. Not one to shy away from a fight, the Liverpool goalkeeper took exception to a poor clearance by a young Steve McManaman in a Merseyside derby clash.

McManaman didn’t back down after being grabbed by his team mate around the neck as the pair needed to be pulled apart, the scrap compounding a miserable day for the Reds as they lost 2-0 at Goodison Park.

2008 proved to be a vintage year for team mates colliding as we had two incidents, firstly when Arsenal team mates Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bentdner got physical in a north London derby at White Hart Lane.

It was already a memorable night for Spurs fans as they ran out 5-1 winners against the Gunners and the sight of the much-maligned Bendtner and Adebayor clashing only added to the spectacle. Adebayor is alleged to have head butted his Danish colleague on the field as tensions finally boiled over between two players who infamously never got on.

Adebayor was no stranger to confrontations with team mates having also scrapped with Kolo Toure when at Manchester City in 2011. After his antics on social media last week, you can perhaps understand how the Togo striker rubs up people the wrong way.

Our final example comes from Christmas 2008 when Stoke were playing at West Ham. The Xmas period can be a stressful time and it was clearly getting to Ricardo Fuller, who decided it was a good idea to slap his captain Andy Griffin.

Fuller was shown a straight red card and went on to claim Griffin had been “very rude and disrespectful” before things got physical.

The Potters lost the game 2-1 but Fuller would bounce back, ending the season with 11 goals in the club’s first season in the Premier League.