• August 1, 2021

Exclusive: Gennaro Gattuso was public enemy No. 1 at Tottenham after headbutting Joe Jordan in fiery Champions League clash

 Exclusive: Gennaro Gattuso was public enemy No. 1 at Tottenham after headbutting Joe Jordan in fiery Champions League clash


Tottenham have reportedly turned their attention to Gennaro Gattuso in their search for a new manager – and that is unlikely to please former coach Joe Jordan.

Talks with Paulo Fonseca have collapsed, just like they did with Antonio Conte, while moves for Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag also failed to materialise.

Gattuso is one of football’s most famous hot heads

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Gattuso is one of football’s most famous hot heads

It leaves them chasing Gattuso, who just left Fiorentina after 23 days in charge due to a dispute with the club.

The questionable managerial pedigree of the former AC Milan and Napoli boss won’t bother Spurs fans as much as his clash with Jordan in 2011.

Ten years ago, during a Champions League round-of-16 match at the San Siro, Gattuso absolutely lost it against Tottenham.

Jordan’s refusal to flinch is iconic

AFP

Jordan’s refusal to flinch is iconic

A fiery encounter, during which the former midfielder got booked and suspended for the second-leg, ended 1-0 to Spurs thanks to a Peter Crouch goal.

But it was remembered for its violence, from Mathieu Flamini’s horror tackle on Vedran Corluka to the touchline fracas between Gattuso and Jordan.

The Spurs coach, himself a bit of a hard nut during his playing days, stared Gattuso down and took a hand to the face as things boiled over in the second half.

Things got even more heated at full-time

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Things got even more heated at full-time

Still fuming at full-time, Gattuso marched over to Jordan and headbutted him, causing another melee on the side of the pitch as the Tottenham coach refused to back down.

Unsurprisingly, it landed Gattuso in hot water, and an apology wasn’t enough to prevent a four-match ban from UEFA.

Gattuso said afterwards: “I lost my head, I did things I should not have done and I take responsibility for that.

“Jordan busted my balls for the whole second half, but I should not have reacted like this. I apologise, and if a ban arrives I will accept it.”

Gattuso losing his temper wasn’t anything new

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Gattuso losing his temper wasn’t anything new

Such angry scenes were a hallmark of the Italian’s playing career, and he remains one of the fiercest tacklers the game has ever seen.

However, his agent was adamant Jordan was at fault for the clash and accused the coach of provoking the midfielder.

Claudio Pasqualin alleged: “Jordan, after having continuously heckled him, insulted him with truly low phrase, saying ‘f****** Italian bastard’.

“For one like Rino, who has a strong sense of his Italian identity, I think this is the most disgusting and unjustifiable of insults.”

The match was not a friendly one, especially with this tackle from Flamini

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The match was not a friendly one, especially with this tackle from Flamini

Meanwhile, Jordan said of the clash: “I just happened to be there. Whether he knew me or not I don’t know. I don’t think it would have mattered to him.

“He’d lost it during the game, got booked and couldn’t play at White Hart Lane. And then he lost it in my area. He was the captain and you’ve got to be disciplined.

“I’ve lost it a few times. Not that many. I very rarely got sent off. I wasn’t going to move, put it that way. Definitely not.”

Speaking to talkSPORT back in 2011, then Spurs boss Harry Redknapp expressed his shock at the melee – admitting that he thought Gattuso was going to apologise to Jordan.

“It was strange, Joe Jordan is one of the quietest men in the world, but he’s a hard man,” Redknapp explained.

“You definitely wouldn’t want to pick a fight with him, he just gets on with stuff.

“He’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet and I don’t know what happened with Gattuso.

“He just lost his head over something and when he walked across at the end of the game I thought he was coming over to apologise to Joe.

“I shook hands with him and thought ‘well he’s ok, he realises he’s made a mistake’ and he’s gone and nutted Joe.

“Not that it had much effect on Joe, he’s like you Andy [Gray], he’s got a hard head after heading all those balls over the years.”





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