Quotes of the Week: The best from ‘ball boy gate’ including Rodgers, Clegg & more

15:19 26 January 2013


Chelsea's Eden Hazard (centre) leaves the pitch after being sent off. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS


London24 bring you the best quotes from the week’s sporting drama, with a certain ball boy incident dominating the headlines.

“The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was trying to kick the ball and not the boy. The boy came into our changing room and we had a quick chat. I apologised to the boy, he apologised as well and it’s over. Sorry.”

Eden Hazard apologises after his kick at Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan.

“I know Charlie well. He used to do it great for me! He was taught well! He is a good boy is the kid. He loves his club and he loves his football. Don’t get me wrong, ball boys are well tuned in to what is required in the game. There was maybe a wee bit of gamesmanship by Charlie but certainly nothing sinister. He is a real good kid who loves his football club. I think any manager, player, coach would be happy if their ball boy did that.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers gives his verdict on the Swansea ball boy.

“My early judgment is, this is going to sound like painful fence-sitting, but I think they are both at fault. Hazard absolutely should not have done what he did, that was absolutely out of order. Benitez has been clear on that. But the ball boy did seem to kind of cover the ball, which is frustrating for a player.”

Even deputy PM Nick Clegg has his say.

“I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say ‘acted’. He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured. He only has one job and his job is to go and give the ball back, and what did he do? He keeps the ball. I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17, not 12, not 13. He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful.”

Former Chelsea man Pat Nevin on the ball boy.

“Why is the kid lying on the ball in the first place? You can imagine the frustration – you’re a player trying to reach a cup final but there’s this kid behaving like an idiot who won’t give you the ball back. Hazard didn’t kick the kid, he kicked the ball underneath him, but the whole thing got blown out of all proportion. I can think of a lot of players who would have kicked a bit harder than he did. The boy was tweeting before the game that he’s a super time-waster. The way he behaved was disgusting.”

QPR manager Harry Redknapp is equally scathing.

“You have to educate the ball boys, that no matter if it is the home team or the away team, you have to get the ball back as quickly as possible. Everything else is not acceptable.”

Arsene Wenger has his say.

“It was difficult to watch. My wife couldn’t watch it, she walked out of the room. It was heartbreaking in some respects for the sport, but then the anger kicks in...the natural things that most people were thinking when they watched it. It’s very difficult and then I have to explain to my son what it’s all about. He’s won the same race your dad’s won, but by the end of the hour and a half I had the best feeling in the world about the whole thing. It was when he starts welling up about his 13-year-old son having to ask what’s this all about. I will never have to have that conversation with my own son, his father has won the Tour clean. There was this element of being quite smug about the whole thing to be honest. Then I got quite ‘you deserve everything you get’ about it. In that hour and a half of watching the whole thing, the up and down of the emotions and by the end it was ‘you deserve everything you get now’ and feeling no sympathy whatsoever behind all the welling up and the tears. What upset me the most was about 2009/10 - I thought you lying b******.”

Bradley Wiggins pulls no punches over Lance Armstrong.

“We were never in for Zaha. Never.”

Arsene Wenger on the Manchester United-bound Crystal Palace winger. We’re not sure about that Mr Wenger!

“Marco Materazzi is lying. Everything that he says is a lie. Simple. When he talks about me, the two things that he said about me when he was talking with Mourinho is a lie because nobody knew when I was going to Inter, even me. So it’s a lie. About the pictures, it’s a lie, so he’s a liar.”

Rafael Benitez loses his temper with Marco Materazzi.

“The guy they put on me looked really worried. He was begging me in the second half to try not to score a goal.”

Millwall defender Danny Shittu discusses his goal against Aston Villa.


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