No Premier League manager has ever turned handshakes into such a pullava as Mark Hughes. In fact, if Mark Hughes and Luis Suarez are ever in the same room, a magnetic handshake field causes them to repel.
The QPR boss is always turning basic post-game etiquette into minor diplomatic incident. Here’s six of Sparky’s best handshake moments.
1. Martin Jol (February 2012)
Up against his former club Fulham – and defeated by them – Hughes was happy to shake hands with his replacement Martin Jol. There’s the first surprise. But when the Dutchman swung his left hand in for a warmer embrace, the old handshake monster kicked in. Hughes batted the hand away and walked off, saying he felt patronised by Jol attempting to pat his head.
2. Roberto Mancini (February 2011)
Hughes gave an infamous lesson in handshake etiquette to Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini. There was already no love lost between Hughes and his Eastlands successor when he took offence to Mancini’s lack of eye contact. Hughes snatched his hand away and walked off telling Roberto that he ought to look at him in future.
3. Tony Pulis (September 2010)
With Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson’s injury-time red-card for a tackle that left Fulham’s Moussa Dembele on crutches still fresh in his mind, Hughes fought back in the best way he knows: the handshake. Tony Pulis’ advances were spurned and the traditional post-match custom ignored.
4. Tony Pulis (December 2010)
Sparky was the victim on this occasion as Stoke City boss Pulis refused to shake his hand. The incident was a revenge attack by Pulis for the aforementioned Craven Cottage snub. The Potters gaffer seemed to suggest nationality might play a part in the pettiness. He said: “He did it to me when we played in the League Cup and now I’ve done it to him. We’re just two Welshman with a bit of competition in us.”
5. Arsene Wenger (December 2009)
Again Hughes was on the receiving end (or not) as Wenger refused to shake hands during the Welshman’s days in charge of Manchester City. The Arsenal manager cited Hughes’ touchline behaviour as the catalyst. The then City boss had walked in front of Wenger’s technical area shouting angrily, although he rejected suggestions he had been abusive towards his opposite number.
6. Sam Allardyce (August 2009)
Sparky attempted to pull some sort of ninja breakdancing handshake move on Sam Allardyce at the end of a Premier League match between Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers. Big Sam’s mind-power won out and it was Hughes who came off worse.
This post originally appeared in March 2011, but we have to update when Mark Hughes gets up to his usual tricks.