Phil Brown’s iconic team-talk and 5 other unusual Premier League moments

Phil Brown may be approaching retirement after turning 61 today, but there is still plenty of enjoyment to source from the man who gave football fans one of the Premier League’s most bizarre memories.

The former Hull City boss is back in English football after a brief spell in India with Hyderabad FC, returning to take charge of Southend in April.

Now in his second spell at the club, Brown couldn’t prevent The Shrimpers from slipping out of the English Football League for the first time since 1920.

He will be staying with Essex outfit to guide them through their first season in the National League and, if his half-time team-talk on the pitch 13 years ago is anything to go by, he will whip them into shape in no time.

The iconic chat with his Hull players, who were trailing 4-0 at the break against Manchester City, remains one of the most amusing moments in top-flight history.

Brown led his players to one side of the penalty area and ushered them to sit down in a circle like schoolchildren, tearing into his players in front of the away supporters.

Jimmy Bullard's famously mocked Brown's team-talk after scoring a 1-1 draw in the return fixture, but the South Shields man saw the funny side of it, lauding Bullard's celebration as "great comedy".

To commemorate that rousing team-talk, Star Sport takes a look at some other mad moments over the Premier League years…

Di Canio pushes referee

Quite what Paolo Di Canio was thinking here is anyone’s guess.

Playing for Sheffield Wednesday at the time in 1998, the controversial Italian was shown a straight red card after a scuffle with Arsenal’s Martin Keown.

After seeing the colour of the card brandished above his head, Di Canio let his frustrations overwhelm him and shoved referee Paul Alcock before he could finish lowering his arm.

The official's hilarious backwards stumble caused him to lose his balance and land on his backside, confirming his part in one of the Premier League's most memorable incidents.

Di Canio, meanwhile, received an 11-match ban for his actions.

The infamous Liverpool beach ball

No one needed to tell Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez that his side conceding a goal assisted by a plastic beach ball symbolised the life being sucked out of their title challenge.

Back in 2009, Sunderland had welcomed the Reds to a packed Stadium of Light and took an early lead when Darren Bent’s goal-bound effort collided with a beach ball in the Liverpool penalty area.

It had a huge effect on the direction of the shot, leaving Pepe Reina wrong-footed and well, feeling quite embarrassed. The referee, with no precedent to refer to, allowed the goal.

To make matters worse, it later emerged the ball had been thrown onto the pitch by their own supporter. Liverpool went on to lose the game thanks to Bent's strike in what would prove to be Benitez’s final season in charge.

Suarez bites Ivanovic

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It is understandable for a footballer to become frustrated when their team is fighting for the title and lacking bite in front of goal. But in April 2013, Luis Suarez took that concept a bit too literally.

The Uruguayan had conceded a penalty which Chelsea had converted, taking a 2-1 lead over Liverpool at Anfield, and his emotions began to get the better of him.

Having become embroiled in a tussle with Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic in the Chelsea penalty, the striker stunned the football world by sinking his pearly whites into the Serbian’s arm. Amazingly, it was not his first time carrying out such a savage act after his first offence at Ajax.

To his credit, Ivanovic alerted the referee to what had happened but didn’t overreact. With no VAR in those days, Suarez escaped punishment on the pitch and, in the 97th-minute, found a late winner only to rub more salt into the (bite) wound.

Suarez would get his comeuppance in the shape of a 10-match ban, bringing an end to his season, but the damage was done.

Van Gaal ‘dives’

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The Manchester United boss received heavy criticism for his predictable and dull brand of football in his two seasons in charge at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016.

Van Gaal was also notorious for sitting in his chair in the Old Trafford dugout, but one day in February 2016, he broke form.

Clearly incensed by Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez’s theatrics, the Red Devils’ boss complained to referee Craig Pawson and gave him a visual demonstration, diving onto the floor to reenact the Chilean’s movements.

Van Gaal’s side went on to win the game 3-2 and he apologised to Pawson after the match, admitting he let his emotions “get the better of me”.

In all honesty, it might have been his most popular moment with the United supporters.

Pardew headbutts Meyler

Just what is it they put in the water over there at Hull?

Tensions were already threatening to boil over during Newcastle's trip to Hull in March 2014 before midfielder David Meyler bumped into Newcastle boss Alan Pardew on the touchline after he had batted the ball away.

That incident prompted Pardew to react angrily and square up to the Irishman before aiming a headbutt at him, giving the referee no choice but to send him down the tunnel.

The Magpies manager described it as a “heat of the moment thing” and apologised, adding he “massively regretted it”, especially as his side went on to win 4-1 at the KC Stadium.

Still, his remorse for the altercation did little to lessen the severity of his punishment, as he was fined £60,000 and handed a seven-game ban.

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