Talking a good game... footballing quotes of the season

From Fergie and Balotelli to Keys and Gray, everyone had their say. Phil Shaw pulls together the most memorable mots of 2010-11
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The Independent Football

'Mancini said "you're an idiot and I don't know why I bought you". I hate people who say " Mario, you played well", then say to others, "Mario was shit". Roberto has never lied to me'

Mario Balotelli

'There's no loyalty in football any more'

Craig Bellamy, former Norwich, Coventry, Newcastle, Celtic, Blackburn, Liverpool and West Ham striker leaves Man City for Cardiff

'Arsenal is a training centre. You watch the match, you enjoy it, but are you going to win a title afterwards?'

Patrice Evra

'I'd love to have gone to Barcelona at one time. Ideology and philosophy, the place is fantastic.'

Sir Alex Ferguson

'Barcelona play football to die of.'

Mick Quinn

'Migueli, the Barcelona defender, nicknamed Tarzan as they say in Spanish.'

Alan Brazil

'Join City and you're dead.'

Graffiti in Manchester for Wayne Rooney

'Rooney is good but he's not the best in Manchester.'

Mario Balotelli

'Manchester United started out like a train on fire.'

Alan Brazil

'United will break caution to the wind.'

Glenn Hoddle

'Retirement is for young people; they can do something else. I'm a phenomenon.'

Sir Alex Ferguson

'I don't understand it (Twitter). How do you find the time to do that? There's a million things you can do in your life without that. Get yourself down to the library and read a book. Seriously.'

Sir Alex Ferguson

'Mancini is lucky. He has an owner (Sheikh Mansour) who speaks little and asks only: "What do you need?"'

Mario Balotelli

'Mancini's got that Italian style, the old joie de vivre.'

Perry Groves

'Carlos Tevez's English should be better than what it is.'

Graham Taylor

'Carlitos is amazing. He does what he wants with the Arabs. He tells them, "I want to go to Buenos Aires" and they say "No, stay here now, we'll give you more money". Then he gets more money!'

Diego Maradona

Adam Johnson was a revolution when he came on.

Bobby Gould

'I wanted to say to Tom Hicks: imagine if your family, which is what Liverpool are to people – it's like you're raping all of them at once over a long period and getting away with it.'

Ian McCulloch, Echo and the Bunnymen lead singer

'We had a lovely dinner with Kenny (Dalglish), his wife Marina and son Paul. I understood half of what he said and just nodded when I couldn't understand.'

Tom Werner, Liverpool chairman

'Kenny has reinstored the belief.'

John Aldridge

'We've bitten off more than we can chew but we'll chew as fast as we can.'

Ian Holloway

'I may be in a Skoda garage rather than a Mercedes, but some old bangers don't half polish up great.'

Ian Holloway

'DJ Campbell has been sent home ill with illness.'

Simon Butler, Talksport

'Chelsea have an Achilles heel. They don't like it when the boot's on the other foot.'

Kevin Keegan

'Didier Drogba's had malaria, so he's not 100 per cent fit for whatever reason.'

Glenn Hoddle

'Arsenal are doing just enough, which just isn't enough.'

Martin Keown

'Ask me to name five of our team and I couldn't. They're all bloody nice guys but I don't mix with them so I don't know them well. I don't go into the dressing room. They can walk out of the showers and then I feel I've got an inferiority complex.'

Bernie Ecclestone

'Apparently, a female lino today, bit of a looker.'

Andy Burton, of Sky, to Andy Gray

'I can see her (assistant referee Sian Massey) from here. What do women know about offside?'

Andy Gray

'Did you hear Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.'

Richard Keys, to Gray

'Back in my time, and I sound old now, it was black and white boots and that was it. Now you've got snoods, people wearing headphones when they're doing interviews, pink boots. They've even got tights. They'll be wearing skirts next.'

Paul Ince

'The problem with footballers is they really take themselves seriously. We kick a ball around and earn 100,000, 200,000, even 300,000 euros a week. We don't improve the world. It's not like we invented hot water.'

Benoit Assou-Ekotto

'If you pay them the wages they'll come. We all kid ourselves: "I've wanted to play for Tottenham since I was two. I had pictures of Jimmy Greaves on my wall." It's a load of bull. Here's £80,000 a week. Lovely jubbly.'

Harry Redknapp

'You fill up my senses, like a night game at Yeovil/Like the Johnstone's Paint Trophy/Like an empty old Lane. Like the Steel City derby/In the old Third Division/Oh Sheffield United, you f***ed up again.'

Barnsley fans

'Fabregas literally carries 10 yards of space around in his shorts.'

Ray Wilkins

'In his youth Michael Owen was literally a greyhound.'

Jamie Redknapp