I loved dueling with Ferguson & Mourinho but “unfiltered” Arsenal boss was a dream

Sean McCormick
Sir Alex Ferguson

For years, Geoff Shreeves tussled with the greatest Premier League managers in his post match interviews.

As Sky Sports’ chief touchline reporter for their Premier League coverage, Shreeves interviewed some of the league’s biggest characters.

And he has opened up on his experience of interviewing the likes of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and current Man City and Liverpool managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Shreeves has dubbed them the Premier League’s “five Dukes” and has revealed the time he almost came to blows with Ferguson after an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“They were such huge characters. Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, along with Pep [Guardiola] and Jurgen [Klopp], they’re the five grand Dukes I loved dueling with the most,” Shreeves told Betting Sites.

“When you’re going in there to interview them, you’re trying to get an answer for your viewers, so it’s how far you are willing to push them; a lot of that depends on your relationship with them. 

“I never fell out with Mourinho. Pep I’ve had a few frosty exchanges with, and Arsene Wenger didn’t take it too well when I asked him if he thought he might be relieved of his duties after they just lost 8-2 at Old Trafford. That didn’t go so well.

“One time I did an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo which Sir Alex took exception to and he had a pop at me. I had a pop back and then he physically jumped towards me, and a press officer – Dennis Law’s daughter – jumped in between us and said ‘stop this, stop this!’.”

But despite interviewing some of the managerial greats, Shreeves has commended Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for being an interviewer’s dream.

“Arteta, wears his heart on his sleeve,” Shreeves added. “He’s straight, I think sometimes he goes too strong, but then also if I’m an interviewer, I love him because he’s unfiltered.

“The thing with Mikel, sometimes, when he’s quite calm, when he speaks, he has very little inflection in his voice. So if you’re interviewing him, and asking him a question, he just stops speaking.

“He doesn’t come to a natural end of a sentence like you or I would. Suddenly it’s just silence and you have to jump in. He’s pretty calm pre-match most of the time.”