He didn't so much look for strife as organise posses to pursue it. To illustrate the point, we arrive in Istanbul in April of 1996 for the second leg of the Turkish Cup final. This tournament is showcasing Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, whose city rivalry runs along the explosive lines of Rangers and Celtic.
Souness's managerial adventures have taken him through Ibrox and Anfield minefields. There have been fraught situations at both clubs. Open heart surgery during his stint at Liverpool, then, is just about acceptable as collateral damage.
Now, there is more potential conflict: one of the Fenerbahce vice-chairmen has just dismissed him as an invalid. Remember, Souness is a proud man and scarcely invites criticism of any form, let alone an insult as trenchant as this.
He is naturally anxious to enter the business of repudiation and demonstrate that major surgery hasn't removed the serrated edges from his character. Galatasaray have won the first leg 1-0. So, they are in the cauldron that is their neighbours' backyard. Let the mayhem commence.
"We lost 1-0 after 90 minutes and it went to extra time," Souness recalls. "Right in the last two or three minutes, Dean Saunders scores a great goal and we win the cup. We're all down at the end celebrating with our supporters. They hand over a great, big flag over this barbed wire fence. Everybody takes a turn of waving it. Then it's handed to me.
"I wave it a few times and turn round to hand it over, but they've all buggered off back up to the halfway line. Now I've got this flag, so I'm running back to join the rest of the players. I look into the emptying stands and I can see this guy who has called me a cripple.
"I say to myself: 'I'll show you'. So I veer off and go to the centre of the pitch and plant this flag. And, as I turn away, I think: 'That might not be the smartest thing you've ever done.' 'Cos they're [the fans] now all climbing over the fences to get on to the pitch.
"The policeman have their shields up at the entrance to the tunnel – I get in there and I'm thinking: 'That's a near miss!' Just as I'm walking, I get smacked on the side of the head. A supporter has got into the tunnel. I end up having a fight with him. Who wins? I did all right – let's put it like that. And then, two policemen, batons raised, come running down the tunnel. They're screaming. I run into the dressing room. I'm not that brave."
Souness, once depicted by the legendary writer Hugh McIlvanney as "Renoir with a razor blade", might have been born to bluster. But now he is standing in the forecourt of seniority – he's 60 next May and is given to describing himself as an "old boy" – he tends to think twice before engaging with potential trouble. Maybe he is mindful of his professional position. As a Sky Sports and Al Jazeera pundit, he accepts that he is always "one sentence away from getting the sack".
This leads us, somewhat organically, to Steven Fletcher. He is the guy who jumped ship, as it were, when he sent a text message to Scotland manager Craig Levein, saying he didn't want to he chosen for the national team again. Now he has been controversially recalled, he is the subject of almost as many discussions as Felix Baumgartner, the guy who wants to jump into space.
The mention of Fletcher's name, however, seems to disturb Souness. Normally, conversation with him flows like Cava at a low-budget wedding. Not on this occasion.
"I think commonsense has prevailed," he says, rather stiffly. "He [Fletcher] plays in the hardest position on a football field. I don't think Scotland are in a position not to have every possible quality player available. Without being party to what was said [between Fletcher and Levein], from the outside looking in, I'd like you to quote me on saying that commonsense has prevailed. I'm not going to pass [further] comment on conversations I know nothing about."
Innocuously, I ask Souness to give an opinion on Fletcher's technical assets. It is almost as if I have asked him about the man's personal proclivities. "I'm not going to tell you," he says.
That statement is accompanied by subdued laughter. I believe we are in the early stages of a wind-up. We're not, it seems. "I'm not prepared to go on record with what I think," he stresses, after further encouragement. "No, sorry, it's not for me to comment on his value."
Another tack is required. Has the climb-down enhanced Levein's stature? "I wouldn't say it's climbing down. His job is to get Scotland qualified for the World Cup, and he's got to do that to the best of his ability. For him to do that he's got to have the best players that are available. And the boy Fletcher is obviously one of the better players available to him. The longer he didn't play, there would be only losers. The player would ultimately regret it – who knows, he might score the goal that gets us qualified?"
And so ends one segment of difficult conversation, but I'm left silently debating that reluctance to discuss the merits of Fletcher. Is it because of his television contract with Sky? Or, perhaps has he performed an about-turn regarding international management? Is he keeping his counsel just in case second thoughts are under consideration?
He has already stated that he wouldn't be interested in taking the Scotland job. Almost four years ago, he met the SFA at the airport hotel near Edinburgh. They talked to him but then – inconceivably, to my mind – turned to George Burley. Souness wasn't interested when they came back to him after Burley was despatched. But, situations change: if Stewart Regan and his band of SFA renown are looking for a fresh transfusion of direction soon, who knows?
So, I ask him if he would make a return to that occasionally malevolent matrix? Souness may have forfeited the gunslinger's chutzpah over Fletcher, but he refuses to do ambiguity on this occasion. He suggests that he would not go near it again, not for all the platinum cards on the planet.
"I've never applied for a job in my life and I won't now. It's gone from me. Finished. Football management is a very, very difficult business. It took me two or three years to realise what it did to me. You're not being fair on those close to you and, if you do it properly, you can't help but fall into that trap. The people who matter most to you are those who suffer most. Sure I love football, but not enough to put myself back into management."
That's definitive enough, then. So, what crosses his mind when he sees septuagenarians like Alex Ferguson, Giovanni Trapattoni and Craig Brown cavorting around the technical areas? Does this not remind him of his comparative youth?
"Fair play to them, but I don't know why they would want to do it at their ages. I like to think I've got so much more going on my life – no, I don't like to think: I have got so much more going on that I can do without the day -to-day stuff.
"Hey, part of me wonders how I got this far. Part of me is absolutely thrilled to be standing here [a reference to open his heart surgery]. What I miss about football is being in the dressing room. But do I miss three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon when matters are totally out of your hands? No, I don't. Do I miss placing my destiny in the hands of others? No, I don't. I loved it as a player. I liked it as a manager. But that's all come and gone. I'm more than happy with what I'm doing now."
And that lifestyle might be contaminated by going back? "I wouldn't use the word contaminated. I've won something like 27 trophies in my lifetime. There are people out there who are very good players and yet they've won nothing. I won 10 trophies in three different countries as a manager: I've got nothing to prove. I've done it.
"There's managers out there now who would love to have won a single trophy. The fact is the vast majority of them haven't. So I'm quite cool about what I did as a player and as a manager. Could I have done better, or differently? Of course. But that's all water that has flowed under the bridge; it doesn't cause me any sleepless nights."
A few words on Rangers, perhaps? Souness appears to shudder as the probability of another awkward conversation presents itself. It's best we don't go there. But he does admit that he misses the Old Firm games and the sooner they take place again, the happier everyone will be, "including Celtic supporters. It's not the same competition without those two playing each other. I'm like every Rangers supporter – I just can't believe what's happened."
The thought of peering into a crystal ball certainly disturbs him. "I worry for Scottish football. I look at the game up there and at the television money, and think it's sad that a club of their stature – and you have to include Celtic in this – are missing out on that."
The tempest that was forever swirling around Souness has abated. He has shut and bolted the door against mayhem. For the moment, commonsense takes precedence over controversy.