10 Premier League 2015-2016 moments to forget

From West Ham United fans attacking Manchester United's team bus to Louis van Gaal threatening to pull a reporter's hair, once again the Premier League saw it all in 2015-2016.

West Ham United Manchester United Louis van Gaal Premier League

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal managed to make the list twice Source: AAP

Here, we trawl the annals of shame for 10 moments to forget from another campaign heaped with controversy.

1. Jose Mourinho abuses Eva Carneiro

On the Premier League's opening weekend Mourinho unwittingly signed his own Chelsea death warrant by abusing club doctor Carneiro for daring to run onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard. Chelsea were held to a 2-2 home draw by Swansea City that day, but the real damage to the champions' title defence was inflicted by Mourinho himself. The self-proclaimed 'Special One' lost the backing of Chelsea's dressing room, and Carneiro later took the club to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal. Mourinho muddled on until December, before being forced out of Stamford Bridge for the second time in his career.


2. Gabriel's red card after running battle with Diego Costa

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is a notorious wind-up merchant and Arsenal defender Gabriel was sucked in and sent off after kicking out at the Spain international after he had tussled with Laurent Koscielny during Chelsea's 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. Costa seemed to get away with both pushing and striking Koscielny, but Gabriel then lost his cool. A needless and niggly way to receive a red card.

3. Manchester United boss Van Gaal threatens to pull a reporter's hair

Louis van Gaal made his own players squirm by claiming he wanted them "horny" before big matches, but the Manchester United boss took the bedroom references a step further after his side's 1-1 home draw with Leicester City on 1 May. The Dutch manager defended Marouane Fellaini against his elbow on Robert Huth by claiming the Leicester defender had pulled his player's hair. Van Gaal said such practices were only in 'sex masochism' and then reached behind the camera as if to pull the hair of Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davison, who later said the Dutchman did not actually go through with it.

4. Mousa Dembele's attempted eye-gouging shame

Only victory could enable Tottenham Hotspur to stop Leicester securing the Premier League title. Chelsea scrambled a 2-2 draw to delight their fans and end Spurs' title dreams. Ugly clashes at half-time later showed Dembele attempting to gouge Diego Costa's eye. Midfielder Dembele later received a six-match ban for his actions, with the authorities desperate to send a message of deterrence.

5. Upton Park farewell tainted by louts attacking Manchester United team bus

Co-owner David Sullivan was forced to apologise for initially claiming West Ham fans had not attacked the Manchester United team bus ahead of the final match at Upton Park. A night which was meant to celebrate the East End focal point before the Hammers' switch to the Olympic Stadium quickly descended into chaos, even before a ball had been kicked. West Ham won out 3-2 on the field to hand the Boleyn Ground a fitting on-field send-off, but the ugly scenes off it marred the occasion.

6. Embarrassing defending underpins Newcastle United's woeful fight against relegation

Steven Taylor's masterclass in how not to defend encapsulated all that was wrong with now-relegated Newcastle in a hapless 3-1 defeat at Southampton on 9 April. Taylor was so poor he was withdrawn at half-time by boss Rafael Benitez. Newcastle's manifold problems off the pitch doubtless remain front and centre of the relegation blame game, but rarely has a Premier League team defended so poorly and appeared so disjointed as in this woefully inept, heartless performance.

7. Pellegrini forced into admitting his time at Manchester City was up

Manchester City fans unfurl the banners with pride, proclaiming Manuel Pellegrini as 'This Charming Man', and the Chilean has certainly kept his dignity intact at the Etihad. But the former Real Madrid coach must have fought to keep his cool when effectively forced to announce his own departure in a February press conference. City bosses were itching to confirm the worst-kept secret of Pep Guardiola's arrival, and Pellegrini duly relented to the pressure. City's league form faltered almost immediately, ending any hopes of taking their title challenge to the wire.

8. Chelsea fans boo star players and accuse squad of turning their backs on Jose Mourinho after the Portugese manager's sacking

No sooner had Jose Mourinho been removed by Chelsea than the club's fans made their feelings known before kick-off against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on 19 December. Blues fans booed Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa when the three stars' names were announced to the crowd in the team line-up. Supporters waved banners branding all three 'rats' as Chelsea fans vented frustration with the team appearing to withdraw support for Mourinho in the run-up to his dismissal.

9. Beleaguered Newcastle manager Steve McClaren rows with journalist

Just seven days before being sacked by Newcastle, former England boss McClaren proved his desperation by attacking a journalist in a press conference to preview the 5 March clash at home to AFC Bournemouth. In a bid to deflect rumours he was facing the sack, McClaren launched several smears against one of the journalists present at the press conference. The journalist and McClaren were then involved in a public spat, before later apologising and discussing the matter in further detail. Surely this unedifying episode must rank high among McClaren's many ill-judged and fruitless endeavours on Tyneside.

10. Louis van Gaal loses the right to criticise his players for diving

Unorthodox Manchester United boss Van Gaal employed another ill-conceived trick during the Red Devils' 3-2 home win over Arsenal on 28 February. In a bid to overemphasise his frustrations with apparent diving by Arsenal, Van Gaal threw himself theatrically to the ground in front of a nonplussed fourth official. The United boss later apologised for his antics, but the damage was already done.

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6 min read
Published 16 May 2016 at 3:36am
Source: PA Sport