7 managers who fought back against the fans (and why they had to)

Nigel Pearson, Leicester

After Carlo Ancelotti flicked the middle finger to Hertha Berlin supporters, Tim Ellis picked out other bosses who were feisty enough to give some back

1. Lombardi fuels fight at petrol station

Unpleasantries were exchanged, and Lombardi was determined to hold his own

Disgruntled Sarmiento fans found manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi filling up his car at a petrol station after the side's latest loss saw them fall to the bottom of the Argentine top flight last year. Unpleasantries were exchanged, and Lombardi was determined to hold his own.

"One began to say things to me," he explained. "I looked at him and asked him what was wrong with him. He said that I was scared and that we were going to be relegated. It was chaos. I don’t understand."

The 54-year-old eventually resigned two months later, although he did at least keep Sarmineto up.

Ricardo Caruso Lombardi

Lombardi was buttonholed during a quick stop at the petrol station

2. Pearson turns the air blue

It's our club not yours," one punter shouted, followed by: "you're all out of a job and you know it"

Nigel Pearson came under the cosh following Leicester's 3-1 defeat by Liverpool in December 2014, which kept the Foxes rooted to the foot of the table. "It's our club not yours," one punter shouted, followed by: "you're all out of a job and you know it."

Pearson duly told the fan to "f*** off and die", although his official (and edited) reaction later on was slightly more considered. "I had a spat with a fan towards the end," he said. "If they can't see the players are having a proper go maybe they need to stay at home."

Thankfully, the supporters continued to turn out en masse as Leicester completed a remarkable escape act to stay up.

3. Mick offers 'em out

McCarthy launched a withering attack on the Town fans who were “up and down like a bloody fiddler’s elbow”

After a 1-1 draw with East Anglian rivals Norwich at the beginning of the 2016 campaign, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy launched a withering attack on the Town fans who were “up and down like a bloody fiddler’s elbow”. One pleasant type 

The no-nonsense Yorkshireman went on to express his discontent at one supporter in particular, suggesting that the offender would be welcome to a pint if they’d been in closer quarters. Well, sort of.

"I get sick to death," McCarthy fumed. "We play one bad half and we’re all s*** and we can’t play. The manager doesn’t care. Get somebody who cares.

"I’m a boring c***, somebody called me last week. I wish they would call it to my face on my own because he would have been wearing his pint of lager."

Mick McCarthy

It would take a brave (or foolish) fan to pick a fight with Big Mick

Ipswich beat Preston the following week, with McCarthy describing the victory as “a real bloke’s performance”. Must have had someone in mind…

4. Ex-Gunner Nelson goes gung-ho

In 2013, Nelson Vivas was dismissed from his managerial position at Argentine Primera Division side Quilmes for punching an abusive supporter in the head

In 2013, Nelson Vivas was dismissed from his managerial position at Argentine Primera Division side Quilmes for punching an abusive supporter in the head following his side’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Rafaela.

The Quilmes fan on the receiving end, known as Carlos in the local media, had a surprisingly sympathetic view of the incident. "He shouldn’t have to apologise to me because it was all in the heat of the moment," he told the press. "I think Vivas should continue."

Club president Aníbal Fernández disagreed, though, and insisted the former Arsenal man had to go. "Professionals like Vivas can’t get angry about these things; they need to be able to show level-headedness," he huffed. "What happened was crazy."

Vivas has done just fine since, though: he's currently bossing Argentine giants Estudiantes and a now-41-year-old Juan Sebastian Veron.