Saturday 17 March 2018

Sports quotes of the year: 'If I am the bad cop, he's the bad, bad cop'

With our 'Quotes of the Year' round-up, Cliona Foley reminds us of those moments when sports stars skipped the cliches in 2013

19 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during the pre-match warm up. Friendly International, Poland v Republic of Ireland, Municipal Stadium, Poznan, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
19 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during the pre-match warm up. Friendly International, Poland v Republic of Ireland, Municipal Stadium, Poznan, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Roy Keane
Lance Armstrong confesses to Oprah
Davy Fitzgerald was at his prophetic best in 2013 SPORTSFILE
Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the retiring type
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

"I'm flawed, deeply flawed. I didn't invent the (doping) culture but I didn't try to stop it and that's my mistake and that's what I have to be sorry for" -- Lance Armstrong tells Oprah he takes some of the blame ... but not all of it.

"It was like being hit by a bus or a train ... whichever is worse" -- Mayo football manager James Horan on losing a second consecutive All-Ireland final.

"Sometimes you have to put your balls on the line" -- Warren Gatland on dropping Brian O'Driscoll for the last Lions test.

"I rang Brian on Wednesday. He was choked. It's the greatest kick in the b*****ks he could ever get. Horrific" -- Ronan O'Gara on that decision.

"My life's been 22 yards for 24 years" -- Sachin Tendulkar's farewell to cricket is as pitch perfect as his batting.

"This has been a terrible year for me. For an Olympic medallist to be fighting in front of that kind of crowd (100 people at EU Championships) is just disappointing. It looked like women's boxing was taking a step backwards" -- Olympic champion Katie Taylor on a frustrating 2013.

"The hardest part of Roy's body is his tongue ... it was frightening to watch and I'm from Glasgow" -- Alex Ferguson on Roy Keane.

"Up at 4.50am, out the door at five for the 6.30am flight from Dublin. The best case scenario means me walking back in the front door at 8.15 or 8.30 that evening. By the time the week's over I may have seen my children for a couple of hours" -- Ruby Walsh explains why he gave up his first-choice role with Paul Nicholls.

"What do I want in a (international) manager? Someone is honest and who has balls and doesn't take any s**t from anyone" -- Robbie Keane's wish was met twice.

"I don't need a psychologist but my approach to dealing with referees has to change" -- Dylan Hartley whose loose lips cost him a Lions tour.

"If you drive a Ferrari you can win: if you drive a Fiat Cinquecento probably not" -- Roberto Mancini's verdict on how to win the Champions League.

"I rang the Turkish federation as well. They were like, 'em we will ring you back' and I was like 'OK, can you tell someone Derval O'Rourke rang, D.E.R.VA.L.' I spelt it for them and everything but no one rang me back" -- O'Rourke on waiting to be elevated to a medal after Turkey's European indoor champion failed a drugs test.

"The only person in my corner will be Damien Hirst. He loves me and I love him and we're best mates, and everybody else will fit around what we do" -- Snooker looper Ronnie O'Sullivan reveals his unlikely bestie is the enfant terrible of British art.

"I only came back because I was bored and I was struggling for money, there was none coming in and I needed some for my kids' school fees" -- O'Sullivan reveals he's going to retire again.

"I hear people saying this is 'do-or-die for Kildare', but I've been hearing that for so long now. Inter-county football is like a conveyer belt. You step on and you step off, it still carries on with or without you" -- Kildare giant Johnny Doyle ahead of their Leinster semi-final against Dublin.

"I told them I wanted nothing to do with it. I went to my room, locked the door, lay on the bed and cried" -- Johnny Sexton on some of his contract negotiations with the IRFU.

"I've no hard feelings towards them. They made the decision. They didn't rate me as highly as I rated myself, maybe" -- Sexton again on heading to France.

"I'm still a fan. And I'm going to give it to my friend James because he's a big fan" -- British teen golf sensation Charley Hull on beating Paula Creamer in the Solheim Cup and then asking for her autograph.

"This is my third time playing in Croke Park in 15 years" -- Limerick's John Galvin after making his comeback from a second cruciate to win a Division 4 NFL medal.

"For me, a three-year plan gives you three years of excuses" -- Leicester Tigers no nonsense boss Richard Cockerill.

"Society needs to value women in sport as much as men and allow the girls role models to aspire to. The fact that it is male-dominated is a society issue. It is changing, but it is slow to change" -- Captain Fiona Coghlan after leading Ireland's women to Six Nations victory.

"It will happen for them. It might not be this year but it will come. They are the real deal. They just need to mature and I hope people give them time to do that" -- Davy Fitzgerald was prophetic after Clare won their first Munster SHC game since 2008.

"It's a bit of tin and I'm sure, in five weeks time, Carlow or Westmeath won't care what Dublin have done. That's all it is: endorsing the work that we have done" -- Dublin boss Jim Gavin after their NFL title success.

"He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a schoolboy that he could sign" -- Bobby Charlton on Alex Ferguson.

"There are people drinking and barbeques and music blaring. At one stage you couldn't nearly see the far goals with the smoke coming from the barbeques" -- Leitrim football captain Emlyn Mulligan recalls his championship debut in New York.

"This is our f**king city!" -- Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz whose post-bombing address at Fenway Park became the rallying cry that led them to World Series victory.

"England donkey-licked us... there was England, daylight and then us" -- All Blacks coach Steve Hansen ahead of November's revenge mission after being trashed in the 2012 autumn series.

"We survived a s**t storm" -- Hansen on their last-gasp victory over Ireland.

"I actually got a bit emotional telling him because I felt I was pitching this 19-year-old into something huge. Did I think he'd have the impact he had? No" -- Davy Fitzgerald on his Shane O'Donnell master-stroke for the All-Ireland final replay.

"Everyone came home the night of the league final saying it's a two-horse race but other teams have decided 'we're going to have a go anyway and see how we get on'. It's far from over" -- Anthony Daly after Dublin's first Championship win over Kilkenny in 71 years.

"They were all queuing up to go 'I am Spartacus!" -- Joe Brolly on the consensus among players that they too, like Sean Cavanagh, would have hauled down Conor McManus.

"I've been putting up with this kind of abuse for my entire life" -- Wexford dual star Lee Chin on racist abuse.

"I got a text that said 'go out and be the man your dad taught you to be and be the man that your kids can be proud and look up to'. That's how I tried to carry myself out there" -- Justin Rose dedicates his US Open victory to his late father.

"Disgusted at what happened yesterday in the game. No place for it in rugby or any walk of life" -- Peter Stringer on being spat at by a Stade Francais player.

"Since when does one believe Lance Armstrong?" -- Former cycling chief Hein Verbruggen on claims he covered up a positive test at the 1999 Tour de France.

"I certainly question everything I see now, in all sports. It's pretty clear just from the numbers of people being caught that drug use is rampant at the top end of sports" -- Former WADA chief Dick Pound.

"In every sport there are drug scandals and problems but people get it done and move past it. That's what we have to do because it's really costing me money now and I'm not too happy about that" -- Usain Bolt's unique perspective on things.

"People have been asking me to pray for Sixmilebridge in today's county final but I'm not going to because if we can't beat Newmarket decent there is no point in beating them at all" -- local priest and respected hurling man Fr Harry Bohan.

"I didn't realise it was as bad, and then I saw it and I realised that, yeah, it's like a scene from Gladiator" -- Dublin hurler Liam Rushe on pulling across Pa Horgan in the All-Ireland semi-final.

"I had 10 years of, if not hell, inner torment, when I was worried too much about other peoples' opinions and I was trying to please everyone" -- Ronan O'Gara.

"The horses kept me here for ever and ever and it was great to have my son and grandchildren there" -- Dot Love, the former Danish three-day eventer who trained the 50/1 winner of the Irish Grand National, Liberty Counsel.

"I'm just some bum from Canada. If I can just get out there and try to play to the same level then I'm happy" -- Clermont hardman Jamie Cudmore.

"We'll have to send him a Christmas card or buy him a pint somewhere along the line" -- Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice on hearing Dublin forward Paul Mannion's equaliser against Donegal had saved the Kingdom's Division 1 status.

"When I hit my shot, he just came up and said, 'here's my card, I'm out of here'" -- Ernie Els on Rory McIlroy's mid-round exit on Day Two of the Honda Classic.

"I'm not in a great place mentally" -- McIlroy's unusual summary of his reported dental reasons for walking out.

"No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there" -- Rory repents.


"O Connell! Kearney says he's sorry for head-butting your foot" -- Clermont fans with a banner that loses nothing in translation.

"He's a brilliant footballer but you can forget about Sean Cavanagh as far as he's a man!" -- Joe Brolly loses it after that tackle on Conor McManus.

"I did not intend to impute anything about his private life. It was unfair, I appreciated that when I looked at it again" -- As close as Joe gets to saying he was wrong.

"Paolo Di Canio? That managerial charlatan. Paolo stepped in there and basically, as weeks ran on, he ran out of excuses. I had a wry smile to myself" -- Martin O'Neill on Paolo Di Canio, his successor at Sunderland.

"I'm not going to lose a night's sleep over not seeing a hurling game" -- Kerry footballer Tomas O'Se on a potential fixture clash.

"How many times have you watched that comedy show? It's so old, so antiquated. It's a funny show and that's what they do. I'd be disappointed if they didn't do that. Real football people know what went on tonight" -- Interim Ireland manager Noel King responds to a kicking from RTE panel after losing to Germany.

"For somebody from Carlow to be lecturing Cork on hurling is akin to Jedward telling Pavarotti how to sing" -- Cork County Board delegate John Corcoran.

"We should be allowed to take tazers onto the course and tazer every muppet who shouts out something stupid. I would laugh then" -- Ian Poulter is less than amused by the vocal crowds at the US PGA.

"A lot of things went through my mind, not just about today but from the past. I'm going surfing for a week and the phone's going off the hook. Then we'll see how strong the medicine is" -- F1's Mark Webber after team-mate Sebastian Vettel defied team orders and overtook him to win the Malaysian GP.

"There are skilful corner-forwards who couldn't tackle a fish supper getting away with maybe six or seven of them in a game and nobody wants to issue them a black card" -- Kieran McGeeney reckons there's a bias against defenders.

"I'm not Arsene Wenger. We're different. I want to win" -- Roberto Mancini.

"My team-mates and I have slept on volcanoes to get ready for this. Here I am being accused of a being a cheat and a liar and that is not cool" -- Eventual Tour de France winner Chris Froome responds to doping questions

"It was enforced in our house that nothing good happens after midnight" -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh on hearing that one of his players was hit over the head with a champagne bottle ... by a stripper.

"I would say if we had all our games in Cusack Park for the next two years we would win a Leinster championship" -- Westmeath boss Pat Flanagan after another drubbing by the Dubs.


"When I came downstairs my son Toirealach said 'what the hell have you done?' and my five year-old was pointing at me: 'You! You! You!'" -- another typical morning in the Brolly household after his Sean Cavanagh tirade was repeated on morning radio.

"A wild lot of people need to die before I could write a book" -- Joe Brolly again.

"I was lying on the couch at the time, eating a bag of Maltesers and a bag of popcorn when I should have been in college. I said to myself 'get up you fat pig, you better go for a run'" -- Tipperary hurler Kieran Bergin (27) on his belated inter-county call-up.

"Last weekend I went home with a dead leg, a concussion and a bleeding ear and she didn't care much for that, she still wanted her feed at seven, three and 11 and I was the man for the job" -- Brian O'Driscoll on life as a new dad.

"The 18th needs a windmill and a clown face." -- Ian Poulter likens the greens at Muirfield to crazy golf.

"I nearly had to stop myself jumping across the table to kiss him, which would have made it really awkward in a room with just two guys!" -- Jamie Heaslip reveals how he reacted to Declan Kidney appointing him captain.

"I remember if someone was too vocal with the criticism, Joan Galwey (Mick's wife) would turn around and ask 'excuse me, how many caps do you have?' I didn't use that line but it was a good one!" -- Jessica O'Gara, Ronan's wife.

"I didn't break his nose. Not at all. He ran away too quick. I couldn't catch him" -- Noel King on an alleged Shamrock Rovers training ground spat with Eamon Dunphy once upon a time.

"Neither of us are that brave that we'd wear the bib in his absence!" -- Kilkenny hurling selector Michael Dempsey on himself and Martin Fogarty deputising for the legendary Brian Cody during the national hurling league.

"Money isn't the most important thing. It is important of course. I am not Mahatma Gandhi" -- Borussia Dormund coach Jurgen Klopp.

"She (his wife) wrote a book for children. It's like Harry Potter but it's about football. There's no Harry Potter flying on his f**king stick, just football" -- the always quotable Klopp.

"Mkhitaryan fits us like an a**e in a bucket. What he offers is exactly what we need" -- yes, Klopp again.

"My mother is acting as a stand-in agent," -- Clare's All-Ireland hurling hero Shane O'Donnell on the madness that followed his incredible hat-trick.

"It just got infected from a bad pedicure experience" -- Victoria Azarenka, then tennis' world No 1, on the injury that forced her out of one tournament. Talk about putting your foot in it!

"She's kind of like what I'd describe myself with three days to go before a Heineken Cup final -- you just wouldn't wanna mess with her" -- Paul O'Connell hints that his future wife Emily might have a touch of the Bridezillas.

"Ah, that's just rugby as sex, isn't it?" -- Keith Woods on that Zebo foot-flick against Wales.

"I wish someone had left him in Ireland" -- Welsh coach Shaun Edwards was even more upset by Brian O'Driscoll's wizadry.

"Halle Berry excites me but I wouldn't play her" -- Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy after being asked why he rarely picked a certain player.

"He won't talk to me on Twitter because I don't know what Twitter is" -- Harry Redknapp rules out transfer tweeting with Peter Odemwingie.

"I'm not a magican, I can't see where they all are. Maybe two or three come back after the rest, the day after the off day, with problem. Drink beer. Go with wife. Happen accident. I hope not" -- Giovanni Trappatoni demonstrates the sort of communication that helped usher him towards the door.

"I don't forget Lee Carsley ... OK, so Carsley is now on a pension" -- Trap again

"I don't watch Twitter" -- yep, the departed Italian.

"I try not to take anything now really, other than Corona and vodka" -- Lee Westwood after Vijay Singh's deer-antler spray controversy.

"I'm really sorry if I don't sound excited. I just have a very boring voice" -- Andy Murray accepting the BBC Sportsperson of the Year award.

"I descended like a bit of a girl really after the crash ... not to disrespect girls, I have one at home" -- Bradley Wiggins during the Giro.

"If you combine a strong personality with success and a handsome face, it is a very good cocktail. I fail in two of those three categories" -- former United defender and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.

"Probably when Lionel Messi ran straight past me" -- David Beckham on why he decided to retire.

"I am the first man to get in trouble for allegedly having sex with his wife" -- St Kitts & Nevis sprinter Kim Collins on being thrown off his national team for leaving the Olympic village for a conjugal visit.

"That would've been great. Of all of them that's the one I wanted to be true. I double-checked the numbers" -- Lar Corbett on the rumour machine and especially the one that he'd won the Lotto.

"I couldn't break my racquets today" -- Juan Martin del Potro on failing to do the same to Roger Federer's serve.

"I don't know what you could take to help you perform better in golf. Viagra maybe -- to hit it long and straight" -- Henrik Stenson dismisses the notion of drugs in golf.

"I would not like to be too mathematical but they say, on average, it is 10.2 points which qualify you" -- Professor Arsene Wenger overdoes the analysis.

"In the last year, 46 of the 92 managers have lost their jobs, that's over half!" -- David Pleat could do with Wenger's help.


"Stuff like that almost insults me. I get offended when people give quotes like that about me. It's like praising the postman for delivering letters" -- Roy Keane on hearing Alex Ferguson's praise of his performance in the 1999 Champions League semi-final, second leg against Juventus.

"I think I'm the bad cop and he's the bad, bad cop but we're excited by it" -- Martin O'Neill on recruiting Keane as his Irish assistant manager.

"There's nothing to tame. I'm not some sort of an animal" -- Keane at his first Ireland press conference.

"Obviously I'm not going to be the one dropping players or leaving players out and that might give me the opportunity to be nicer to players, but without being a pal to them either. I could be like the nice uncle, but only if we are winning. Everyone has an uncle they don't like, don't they?" -- Keane teases out his new role.

"We've had a few lovely days, the hotel has been lovely, the food's been excellent, the training ground is lovely, no potholes. We've got footballs. It's been great, bibs and everything! Major progress" -- Sarcasm, Roy? Never!

"I don't intend to change Roy too much. I would maybe make the occasional adjustment if that's possible ... a little bit of volatility will do nobody any harm I think, and Roy as well" -- Be careful what you wish for Martin.

"You don't know Martin as well as you think, do you? He's makes me look like Mother Theresa. It's going to be interesting" -- Keane gets in a sly Saipan reference in his understatement of the year.

Irish Independent

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