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Is Sir Alex Ferguson Losing The Plot?


  • Attempting to shift the blame from his players poor performances, Fergie has yet again critized a match official.
  • Ferguson’s team selection not as weak as you may think.

Sir Alex has come out yet again and criticized a refereeing decision when his players performances were ultimately to blame in Manchester United’s 0-1 shock loss to Leeds United in the FA Cup third round. A highly organized and “we wanted it more” performance coupled with a Jermaine Beckford first half goal was enough to see off the three time league champions and European Cup winners of 2008.

Questions soon surfaced as to if Ferguson should have picked a stronger team at home to former English giants Leeds United. In review, Fergie’s team selection could have been stronger, but in all actuality the team was quite similar to the United team that tonked West Ham United in the league at Upton Park recently, 4-0.

In fact, six United starters from that rain-soaked match on December 5th started Sunday against Leeds – Rooney, Gibson, Anderson, Brown, Neville, Kuszczak, with Giggs, Berbatov and Valencia all making appearances Sunday and were also involved in the 4-0 win. Instead of solely lambaste his own players, which to be fair, Fergie has done, the angry Scot has taken a shot at referee Chris Foy as well for only adding 5 minutes of extra time at the end of the match (A number the author thought was quite fair).

How much more ” Fergie-time” should have been added? United only came close to scoring towards the end of the match when they finally decided a replay at Leeds would be worth the effort.

The point here is that Manchester United clearly had enough quality and regular first team players to have made an impact on the game. The fact of the matter is that Leeds wanted it more. (Bitter Manchester United fans, pay close attention to the next line:) As a United supporter, I’m getting sick of hearing Ferguson lambaste referees for decisions that really have no relevant impact on the match, positive or negative. I want the squad and fringe players at Manchester United to step up and play like they deserve a spot with the Champions.

Not to be forgotten, Premier League fans are only a few short months removed from Ferguson’s last outburst at an official, that time it was Alan Wiley and his so-called “lack of fitness” that was ultimately proven to be Fergie rhetoric. It’s an outburst that Ferguson still has hanging over his head, and an outburst that cost him two matches off the touchline.

Overreacting is the word I’ll use for callers on Sunday’s BBC 606 Football Phone-In who voiced their distaste with the most successful manager in the country (they were calling for him to be sacked). Ferguson without a doubt will never be sacked at United, he only needs to instill the sense of pride and desire in his current squad and more specifically the youngsters attempting to climb the United ranks that has seen him so successful for the past twenty plus years.

Next up for Ferguson will be another difficult cup tie when the Manchester Derby is again rekindled. This time, Mancunians will stand divided for a spot in the Carling Cup Final. The first of the two leg semi-final is Wednesday at Eastlands. After a fine start by Roberto Mancini (3-0 in all competitions), Ferguson will definitely have a spirited fight on his hands. Mancini would love nothing more than to please City supporters with a win over their successful neighbors.

Time will tell if Fergie’s days at United are slowly running out. As a football fan, I just need to see him do more lambasting of his own players, and less of match officials.

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  1. bob

    September 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

    he is sh*t

  2. Cem Sipahi

    July 9, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Dear Sir Alex Ferguson
    I think you should try and sell Welbeck,Kuszcak,Berbertov,Orbertan and buy Ozil . Focus to try pay back your debt with the sales. You wil roghly get 50,0000. Plus you still have a lot of money left from Tevez and Ronaldo sales.I also think you should play 4-4-2 Vidic Firdinand and Neville in defence Nani Ozil Evra and Giggs in midfield and rooney and owen strike.

    your sincerly Cem Sipahi.

  3. dwf

    January 6, 2010 at 12:24 am

    In all likelihood Fergie’s real trouble and frustration stem from the Glazer family ownership’s and their Wall Street business practices that have buried the club in debt that has left him without the money needed to upgrade the team.

    Used to be, ManU and Chelsea were the biggest spender. For ManU those days are over. Not more long term mega contracts for players above a certain age. New player acquisitions must now be funded through the sale of players. The Glazer family are frantically trying to restructure 3/4 of a billion in debt. None of the proceeds from the Ronaldo sale available for player purchases. In a little less than 7 years Fergie has witnessed the once most profitable team in the world now drowning in debt.

    Without Ronaldo’s irrepressible youth, ManU now look like an old team. Not only isn’t the team getting any younger, its vaunted youth academy that once produced a generation of great talent no longer furnishes such first team players. ManU is a team in trouble, transition, perhaps even decline, with no end in sight; and Fergie knows. Unlike ManCity and Chelsea, ManU have no sugar daddy. If anything, the exact opposite: the owners have no intention of improving the team, instead bankrupting the team.

    Surely Fergie knows this. The fiercest of competitor’s and life long winner, he won’t want to stay much longer under such conditions. Liverpool, ManU, and other teams are in similarly dire economic straits. Alone Wenger’s Arsenal appear on sound economic footing. Fergie wiil not want to preside over any run of mediocrity and watch his legacy being tarnished.

    Depending on where ManU finish the season in the league and CL as well as the state of the team (ManU are at risk of losing van der Saar, Vidic, Brown, Neville, Giggs, Scholes – and who knows about Hargreaves and Ferdinand and the phlegmatic Berbatov), with limited resources available Fergie might just call it a career.

    Certainly Fergie would continue to have a voice in club affairs. Obviously whoever replaces him won’t be as successful as arguably the most successful manager of all time. But no matter who the new manager, without the wherewithal Fergie once had to build his teams, it may well be that under its current or similar future ownership ManU just might be at the beginning of its end of those once heady glory days.

  4. The devil

    January 5, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Alan january. .thats some true but funny stuff there dude. Anyway,i think they should really get rid of neville,his done,i hate it when he not an anderson fan,but the kid has realy and honestly improved,needs some work on his shots though.i dont think its a bad squad,but i do agree the timing of the subs was bad and he shudve left ando on

  5. brn442

    January 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Ferguson supposedly lost the plot when he blamed the Old Trafford pitch for blowing the title to Leeds in 92′, the same calls were made by so called “fans” for his sacking. 10 titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 European Cups in 17 years and I still have to hear this nonsense.

  6. Tyson

    January 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Yes Alex Ferguson is obviously an idiot and a nobody on a blog knows much more about managing one of the biggest teams on the planet than this Ferguson who has never accomplished anything does.

    It’s important to know your place don’t get too ahead of yourself.

  7. Gaz

    January 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    The most intriguing question about all this is if Beckford is going to stay with Leeds or go somewhere else and get Leeds some needed cash.

    The game turned out to be a commercial for the young forward.

    I heard somewhere that Newcastle is apparently interested.

  8. Richard

    January 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Fergie DID blame the players after the game. And if you think he didn’t lambaste the players in the dressing room, then you are sadly mistaken.

    Look here Jesse Chula, the fact is United had to play a second string side at WEST HAM, and credit to United for getting that result.

  9. alan

    January 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    i think is it time for fergie to get a better number two, sparkie r keaneo. We have no desire lack of attacking players in our team, were is the money of ronaldo 80m. I am very worried i love man utd but this season I feel we are running out of steam .. I had a dream after the lost to bacarlona that we will start to fall away from the dizzy hights of the best of the best an become a team like loserpool . There will be a new team up there the city scum an we will be the second team in manchester, thats scare,s me to death. We have been playing pourly we have lost 5times in the league once in the champions league an in the charity shield, but what really gets me down an still hurts so badly was the way we lost to leeds . They hav, nt won at utd since 1981 an a player who i like made wes brown look like he was playing his first game for utd. Man utd have lost 8 times altogether, aston villa beat us at home an they hav, nt won there since 1986. We were beating by a turkish side at home to, twice this season by chelsea an the most painful one by loserpool. The sadest 1 was by burnley like burnley of all the clubs. Its was a very sad yr 09 with the pain of losing to bacarlona then losing our best ever player we have had since G. Best an Bobby C. We then lose 8times an bring in 3 players Owen Obatang Valencia. Owen is,nt the same player that was the best goal getter England , but to then give him the number 7 shirt why ? . The french young lad is just ok, Valencia is good but has no left foot an teams no that.. Im deeply saded that teams come to the theatre of dreams have no fear an come an play there game, in the passed they would park the bus in front of there goal, an you would think we would like to see them come out an play there game. No no we have no players to run in behind, our passing an running of the ball is so bad this yr. Rooney is playin good ye he is helping us ture this bad patch.. But a player who i loved at spurs comes I was so happy when he came, we had the best goal getter an touch in the league , but we have only seen it a few times Berbatov. I think he needs to stop throwing his hands up in the air an start playing the way he was at spurs, if not I would sell him before he gets to old an get some money back. He is a flop so far over 24 goals he got each season for spurs an last season he got 15 so far its 7 goals this season NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Nani is the worst player we have in the team , he has the skills an speed. But he trys to do much when he should cross the ball. i say its down to ronaldo he was thinking im just as good as him an i can do what he can, im sorry nani but you have had more chances then any young player we have an I can tell you that I have only seen 3 good games you have been in and thats only when fergie has given you the hair tryer treatment. So I wont be saded to see you go and if you dont go, and you play I just say nani just start crossing the ball more an dont try and do so much. Park i think you need to do more like the first season you had here you were very good for us . gibson is a hot an cold player for me. paul scholes was the best passer we have ever had but after the fulham game i saw that you just look lost an his desire to win an play is gone. giggs i think has been playing well an still can inprove an help the others . rio i think his carrer is coming to a end at man utd. i watch you play an at the city game you almost cost us the game an you have cost england to this season, so when vidic gose i think you should to.. the few good players we have is evra who has played so well this season an we do miss when he is not in the team. rooney is playing really well this season he is so good, the only thing i have to say is when he is not doing it, who will ?. im glad evans is back an hope vidic will stay until the end of the season. i nw he will go he wanted to go last summer but with ronaldo going an the mad ugly tevez, fergie told him he can wait until next summer. it will be a big lost to us because before he was here man utds back 4 were so bad we could,nt win anything. so im sorry to see him go, its his wife she hates the cold an rain, but are you not from the coldest place on earth. we wont 35m for you so real madrid or bacarlona . i also think fergie needs to rebuild his team we need new players. i would like benzema to come but because he has already said no to man utd i wouldnt hold me breath . the winger from cska would be a good buy he played great against us in the 3 3 draw an there keeper. the keeper from schalke 04 is very good i was watching him a few times this season. i would like to see dzeko from wolfsburg he would partner rooney so well, he is good of holding the ball up, he can beat a player an he is good goal getter. . i just wish fergie would go buy a few players. an go an win the fourth league buy weds we could be gone 3rd an out of another cup. i hope fergie gets a better number two, an when fergie retire,s i would like to see jose mourinho take over after the boss leaves, an if not martin o neil who i think is a great manager.. sorry for writing all this but i love man utd an we need to do alot better than what happen yesterday.. an beat man city on weds night plz to show who is the best team in the league

  10. Rob McCluskey

    January 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I don’t hear anyone having a go at Wenger though who literally does ALWAYS blame external factors and referees. Should we say he is losing it as well?

    Hes just getting a lot more stick because he called a ref fat, fact is he is a bit of a sore loser but theres nothing wrong with that because he wants to win all the time. ALL managers complain about the refs, they’ve all done it and they’ve all got in trouble with it; few of them will be honest about games. It’s all just mind games.

    Besides, Fergie did have a go at his team and mainly blamed them, in the interview after the match the first thing he said was ‘we were shocking out there – leeds deserved it’.

  11. Marc

    January 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Ask that same question come May when he is lifting his 4th straight League trophy.

  12. jleau

    January 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    SAF ranting about the officials is silly and it’s getting old. At least the Wiley remarks were original. How much time did he think was reasonable – a half hour?

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see him shake Grayson’s hand, I thought that was a big sin in the English game, or does that only hold true for French managers?

    • sucka99

      January 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      only when you’re not British. Rafa makes a sign to his player after a goal – he’s branded a criminal. Wenger refuses to shake hands – string him up. Fergie does this that he’s done FOR YEARS – nary a mention. I throw a party the day that guy’s out of football.

  13. sucka99

    January 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Is he losing the plot? I can only hope so. I’m sick and tired of that guy getting the red carpet treatment from journalists and the FA when he has a transgression. Think the FA will reinstate that 2-match suspended touchline ban from the “Wiley’s fat” adjudication? no. This story didn’t even make the rundown over at Sky Sports News. And it won’t unless the referees union makes a stink.

    I was also surprised at the fact that Rooney and Neville were in the lineup – so a league 1 team came into OT and beat a 3/4 strength Manchester United. Wonder what Mick McCarthy thinks about that.

  14. Tom

    January 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Rob — I don’t think the discussion is about any overreaction on account of the loss; they are in fine shape in the standings and in Europe as you mention. The point (which i agree with) is that Fergie always blames the refs every time ManU lose. It is becoming quite comica/predictable/ridiculous. Maybe just the bitter old man inside coming out? I don’t know, but its getting worse….take some responsibility blame your players or maybe even simply admit they were outplayed on the day.

  15. Rob McCluskey

    January 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    he’s not losing the plot, i think he was just frustrated at being knocked out of the cup

    Any Man Utd fan that thinks its time for fergie to go needs to remember that he’s always come up trumps and what he has done for that club

    they’re 2 points off the top of the premier league and in the champions league knock out stages. The team isn’t invincible and theres obviously a few money issues at the club, one little upset in the cup (something which has happend to countless teams) isn’t something to hit the panic button over

  16. Curtis

    January 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    You say, “Ferguson’s last outburst at an official, that time it was Alan Wiley and his so-called “lack of fitness” that was ultimately proven to be Fergie rhetoric.”

    But that whole “Fergie rhetoric” was debunked (if you combine logic with stats, which is the only way to use logic). Wiley ran more than the average. The average is for all players, not just outfield players. Wiley, by being a ref, has a responsible to see all of the game. Similar to a midfielder, no? But then, also, Wiley needs to be able to get into the corner when players get stuck in there with a defender (or an attacker) on them. And then, Wiley also needs to run to the other side of the pitch to do the same thing again. Therefore, Wiley would need to actually be running more than the midfielders. All the midfielders in that game ran more than Mr. Wiley. Therefore, Wiley was lacking in fitness. Ferguson’s complaint was a reasonable one, one that should be made more often. When the FA responded, they should have used logic with the stats. Stats without logic are useless.

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