Tony Pulis increasingly open about hatred of football, friends report
Sources close to West Brom boss Tony Pulis have spoken of their unease at how passionately the manager has begun railing against the sport of football.
It has been an open secret for some years that there’s no love lost between Pulis and football, but the intensity of the Welshman’s animosity towards the game and all who play it has recently become a worry.
“There was a time when Tony would at least appear interested in football and could engage in smalltalk about the game when needed, which is a useful skill when you’re a football manager by profession,” Martin Bradshaw, the author of Pulis’s biography That’s The Sound Of Da Pulis, told FourFourTwo.
“Of course, as soon as he was behind closed doors he’d revert back to favoured topics like lacrosse, opera and zero-point gravity, but he’d at least be willing to feign interest in the game for an hour here or there.
“But lately he’s taken to referring to football as ‘shit ball’ quite openly, even in press conferences and in front of the players. He’s also banned all talk of football from the dinner table and, more worryingly, the training ground.”
Irritation and fury
During West Brom’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton, Pulis cut an increasingly agitated figure on the sidelines, partly due to the trace levels of football on show and partly due to frequent buffering during a science podcast he likes to listen to during games to ‘take the edge off’.
“The gaffer was livid after the final whistle,” midfielder Jake Livermore told FFT.
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“In fairness, he wasn’t angry with us because we really didn’t play any football at all, but he was frustrated that late on there was such a flagrant episode of football just when he thought he’d got through the 90 minutes with the minimum amount of football possible.”
Some frustrated West Brom fans called for Pulis to resign after the Baggies’ latest outing, but those close to the manager believe that isn’t likely.
“In a way you’d think quitting would make a lot of sense, but for Tony that’d be the ultimate defeat,” Bradshaw explained.
“He’d know that football was going on unfettered by his influence. He’s no hero and he knows he can’t stop all the football in the world, but he just wants to do his bit.”
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