Paddy Mulligan: Modern players too petulant to cope with "bust-ups"

Ex-Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Ireland defender on healthy tension within a club

Paddy Mulligan, Chelsea

Picture by: Henry Browne / EMPICS Sport

The term "bust up" is one that arises often in media coverage of football clubs.

Training ground fisticuffs and rows are deemed a sign of something wrong within a club.

But as is often said as well, that level of tension can actually be a good thing.

For example, ex-Arsenal defender Sol Campbell told The Times that, "You need players who will be honest about themselves and their teammates and not be too embarrassed to demand that of each other."

You can listen to the full chat with Paddy on the podcast player: 

 

Speaking to Newstalk.com, former Ireland, Chelsea and Crystal Palace defender Paddy Mulligan says a training ground and dressing room row was part and parcel of life in a football team.

"It was a regular occurrence because you're going hell for leather in training. I've seen many, many 'bust-ups' and then you go out on Saturday and stick together and play together," he said.

"The 21st century professional soccer player seems to be so petulant that if he has a bust-up with one of his colleagues, he carries it on when there's absolutely no need to.

"There are times in the clubs that I've been at - at Palace, at Chelsea and at West Brom - where there were bust-ups. The only club where there wasn't any bust-up was at Shamrock Rovers back in the '60s when we were all one happy family.

"Yes there were bust-ups elsewhere and near enough on a weekly basis as well between different individuals. When you have 11, 15, 16 players as it was in those days with very small squads, there's bound to be bust-ups. Not everybody likes each other, not everybody agrees with the manager or the way that you play. They mightn't like you off the pitch, they mightn't like you on the pitch. It's just a question of going and dealing with it."