Sir Alex Ferguson – Football’s Most Hated Figure
by Chris Tobin
There would have been a time when a man who enjoyed the amount of spectacular success and procuring of silver as Sir Alex has would have equally enjoyed the unquestionable respect of not only his peers but fans alike. Unfortunately for him and the many Manchester United supporters around the world, as Ferguson has skipped along picking up football’s greatest prizes he has also attracted a hatred of his style and manner in the pursuit of such glories.
What he has also done whilst bringing opposing supporters rage and hatred toward himself is turn what used to be quite able and appreciative supporters of his club into parody’s of his own persona, where they have not an ounce of self-responsibility, clones of his managerial style, unwilling to engage in ordinary debate, where their success as a football club has rubbed magic beans upon their lives, irrevocably they have sporting morality, learnt behaviour from arrogance and belligerence pestered upon them from their manager.
Sir Alex has been allowed on the whole to go unchecked by those that govern the game, whilst a media is scared to its very core that Ferguson may cast them out forever and a day from Carrington (United’s Training Ground). This is an incredibly megalomaniac manager, not some dotty old man losing the plot in old age; the power he has unfortunately is not just in his head. The propensity of the following hoards is that of impersonator, their greatness gone to their heads.
Hypocrisy is just one of the charges labelled at Ferguson- critical of Luis Suarez on the eve of United’s game against Liverpool “Hoping he does not get up to any funny business” – Ever forgetful Ferguson may need reminding of what Jaap Stam United’s former player was to state in his book- That Sir Alex had told his players that they should go to ground easily if in the penalty area.
‘Don’t try and stay on your feet if you’re in the box and get a slight kick”
Earlier in the season he would also suggest the Robin Van Persie could have been killed when Swansea’s Ashley Williams kicked the ball at his head whilst he lay on the floor. The trouble with Sir Alex is what is good for his goose is not so good for the gander.
He would defend Roy Keane’s career ending tackle on Alfie Haaland where Keane stated it was a deliberate act of vengeance and pre-meditated. Ferguson’s response “that Keane had nothing to answer to” forward fire at a very slow meandering pace to last week and Luis Suarez admits in an interview that he fell over deliberately to try and get a penalty against Stoke. Ferguson states – “The FA should act on that”.
United supporters will often point to the fact that jealousy plays a part in all that is negative toward their club and manager, refusing to accept that perhaps an underlying problem exists within Old Trafford and at its core is Sir Alex.
His condemnation of referees and the assistants is legendary whilst his Houdini like ability to escape punishment has become a massive joke amongst football fans. For someone who constantly questions those who would break the rules of the game, he has no problem sleeping at night when pushing those same rules to a very steep edge, and over.
There have been great managers who managed to stay within the rules and sportsmanship was a by-word for those steeped in footballing greatness – Busby, Shankly, Paisley and Clough and to a lesser extent Robson although Bobby was not a great winner like the others. I guess Sir Alex Ferguson will only be talked about with these managers in terms of his great success, rather than a great sportsman.
His reputation as a sporting great is irreparable – with far too many incidents where he has allowed himself to be over-run by a misguided win at all costs attitude, whilst berating others who possess that same flaw in their characters and in that journey has impregnated all and sundry that follow him – both eluding truth.
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