'I called him "bruv" and he bit my head off. I wasn't having that' - Patrick Agyemang on the bizarre Portsmouth dressing room bust-up with ex-Sunderland and West Ham man David Connolly
Patrick Agyemang has lifted the lid on his Pompey relationship with David Connolly.
And he revealed their explosive dressing room argument after the former QPR striker called Connolly ‘bruv’.
The classy pair would subsequently establish themselves as firm supporter favourites during the early stages of the club’s rebuild under fan ownership in League Two.
However, in December 2013, following a 2-2 draw with Wycombe, there was a notable confrontation between Agyemang and Connolly.
The Chairboys’ Anthony Stewart’s last-gasp goal cancelled out what had appeared to be a matchwinner from substitute Agyemang.
And it led to a curious disagreement in Fratton Park’s home dressing room.
Agyemang told The News: ‘I was a big guy, but very quiet until my latter years.
‘That day I spoke up to Dave Connolly in the Pompey changing room. He had a go at me and I just wasn’t having it.
‘We’d played Wycombe, it was my first game back following injury and I had come on and scored. Then they equalised in the last minute to make it 2-2.
‘Afterwards, Dave was saying “Focus, focus everyone”. Well, I was focused. I replied “Whatever, bruv”.
‘To which he said “Don’t call me bruv”. So I told him: “Hold on, wait a minute, what are you going to do? Bruv”.
‘He repeated: “Don’t call me bruv”.
‘It got petty, like little kids. He bit my head off, but I didn’t mean anything by calling him “bruv”. However, once he told me not to, it made me continue saying “bruv”.
‘He told me to stop it about five times – but I carried on. I don’t know why he got so offended by it, but he just did not like being called it.
‘Dave was a top player, I have a lot of admiration for him, he’s one of the best finishers I’ve seen, but he lacked that bit of compassion towards the players and management staff.
‘Also everything had to be right, the level of expectancy for him was very, very high. As a club, Pompey wasn’t in a great place, you can’t expect everything to be wonderful at that moment – so let's work together and get it to that place.
‘I don’t think he really understood that. I saw him nibbling at this person, nibbling at that person, nibbling at me sometimes.
‘When I spoke to him that day, it was me speaking to him on behalf of everyone because no-one else would say anything. I thought “Right, I am going to tell you about yourself now”.
‘It wasn’t a physical fight, I just told him how I felt and we moved on from there. After that it was “Well played, it was good you told him that” from other players. Everyone wanted to say something, but no-one did.
‘I didn’t call him “bruv” again. Others who were scared of him did, though – but under their breath!’
Connolly served as player-coach under Guy Whittingham and was then interviewed for the vacant managerial position following his boss’ dismissal.
The striker’s Pompey career ended in January 2015 when his contract was cancelled by mutual consent having failed to make a single appearance under Andy Awford.
Agyemang added: ‘Dave took a couple of coaching sessions and they were very good.
‘But he didn’t get on with Andy Awford. They had different thoughts and different ways of looking at stuff.
‘With Dave, yes you’re a great player and a top finisher, but you are not the manager, even if you don’t like what he’s saying.
‘That’s one of his problems because he thought he was a better manager and a better coach. It could well be the case, but sorry, if you’re not the manager then you have to listen to him.
‘Young players are seeing you act like this, so it’s not really being a good role model.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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