Manchester derby

Pallister: City scraps expose problems

February 7, 2011

Gary Pallister has rejected claims that Manchester City's training ground bust-ups are replicated across the country.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure came to blows during training
GettyImagesEmmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure came to blows during training

Twice this season pictures of players clashing at City's Carrington training complex have emerged. Jerome Boateng and Mario Balotelli had to be separated, as did former Arsenal team-mates Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure.

The argument was immediately put forward that such rows only ended up in the public domain because sessions can be watched from vantage points outside Carrington, something not possible at Manchester United just down the road, and tempers flare everywhere else.

It is not an argument Pallister buys into. As a member of United's 1994 Double-winning squad, the former central defender was part of one of the most fiercely competitive dressing rooms modern-day football has known.

Pallister himself, Steve Bruce, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel could all handle themselves, none of them particularly noted for their laid-back nature. But never did Pallister, now 45, see anything resembling the pictures that have emerged from City.

"I don't buy into all that about this kind of thing happening everywhere else,'' he said. "In my time at Manchester United, I never saw a punch thrown let alone an actual fight on the training ground.

"Yes, you would have arguments and if someone caught you with a tackle you would say something. But if you have respect for each other it doesn't boil over.

"That is the worrying thing about City. You keep hearing about all these egos and people not getting on. That can be detrimental to a squad. I keep hearing that they are showing this winning mentality in training. It goes a lot deeper than that. There are problems there.''