Sir Alex Ferguson is one name that can be associated with the revolution of the Premier League and English football altogether. He is the most successful manager in England’s top flight, and surely one of the greatest gaffers the world has ever seen.
However, behind his charismatic demeanour and the way his teams dominated Europe for more than a decade lies one lesser known fact: The manager was ruthless in the way he treated his players to bring the best out of them.
In a recent interview with talkSPORT, former United captain Wayne Rooney shed some light on this side of the Scotsman. He revealed the two players who were scrutinised by Fergi the most during games and training systems, and spoke of his teammates who often found themselves on the wrong side of Ferguson.
“That happened with me and Giggsy more than anyone. We were the players he had a go at most. But he knew when he had a go at us two, the characters we were meant we would go out and improve,” revealed Rooney.
In fact, the former England international also shed some light on the strict norms that were laid down by the iconic manager, as he continued: “There were little things like if you were under 25 you couldn’t have a sports car.”
However, the 31-year-old further claimed that these were just a few ways in which Ferguson used to deal with players, only to bring out the best in them: “He had the balance right and his man- management was second to none. He knew the players he could have a go at and those he needed to put his arm round.”
Though he admitted that perhaps the manager didn’t always get it right, as there have been instances when his ruthlessness was too much to handle for some players. But for him, it always used to leave a feeling of upliftment, of going out there and proving his worth.
He added: “I have seen players with tears running down their face because the manager had a go at them and they can’t take it. I’ve also been there where Alex Ferguson has had a go at me — and it gave me that lift. It makes you want it more.”
When you’re someone who is as successful a manager that Sir Alex is, you have to be ruthless with your teams, especially when you feel that your players are not delivering to your expectations. It was perhaps Ferguson’s ruthlessness that took him to the pinnacle of world football and painted his name, in all its glory, as one of the most influential managers of this generation.
Written by Soumyarendra Barik
Feels that every year is going to be Bayern Munich’s. Started off as a broadcast journalist with NDTV, but his love for writing brings him to the online world. A staunch believer!