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22nd Sep 2017

Steve Sidwell shares another bizarre tale from Felix Magath’s time as Fulham manager

You get the sense the Fulham squad weren't too keen on him...

Simon Lloyd

Sadly, Felix Magath’s time as manager of Fulham didn’t work out too well for the club and its supporters.

Appointed in February 2014, the German could do little to prevent their relegation from the Premier League three months later. Allowed to stay on in the hope he could take the west London club straight back up again, he was dismissed after losing the first four games of the next season.

Since then, we’ve gained a sense that Magath’s unorthodox methods weren’t all that well received by some of the players he had in his squad at Craven Cottage.

Take Brede Hangeland, for example. In the past, the former defender has described Magath as “an awful human-being”, and shared one or two stories of their time together at Fulham – most notably the most bizarre remedy for a dead leg ever known to man…

Another player on the payroll at Fulham at that time was Steve Sidwell, who shared another couple of Magath-related tales while on 5live Sport. Beginning with his former manager’s insistence that his players met for a pint on the eve of every away game, Sidwell gets round to telling the story of how he once reacted to a particularly poor performance on the road (this can be viewed in the video that follows).

Magath, angry at his players’ lack of effort in the game, ordered them into training on what had been scheduled to be a day off and asked them to get into position on the training field in the formation in which they had began the game the day before.

Sidwell recalls: “He said: “Right, you didn’t want to run around yesterday, we’re not going to run around today.” He blew the whistle and everyone stands still.

“It was a cold day, there was a couple of lads with gloves on – they were off straight away. There were leaves blowing across the pitch… You couldn’t make eye contact with anyone, you just had to stand there. I think we were there for about 40 minutes.”

It’s a wonder Magath’s stint as manager didn’t last longer than nine months…