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Fergie in the Sunday Herald


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http://www.sundayherald.co.uk/sport/shfootball/display.var.2416189.0.0.php

Lengthy article, but worth the read.....in fact so long I need to copy and paste it over 2 posts!

 

The making of Sir Alex Ferguson

 

In a major exclusive interview with Robert Philip the Manchester United manager reveals the lessons he learned in Scotland that have made him one of the game's true greats

 

AHCUMFRAEGUVIN'. IT is the first irrefutable rule of any flitting that something of great sentimental value is certain to go missing somewhere along the way. You can swathe the cherished icon in mounds of bubble wrap, gently pack it away with your own hands, seal the carton with yards of brown tape and load your priceless cargo into the car rather than entrust it to the removal men but, by the time you arrive at your destination, it will have vanished. And so it came to pass that on the morning Manchester United left The Cliff training ground in Salford to move into their new complex at Carrington in 2000, the proud proclamation which had hung on the wall above Sir Alex Ferguson's desk mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again.

 

"Ach, listen," says Govan's most famous son, "I don't need a sign to remind me where I come from. It's etched on my heart. Reminding everyone that I was born in Govan is the one touch of vanity I have."

 

Let us reflect upon that sentiment. He has achieved sporting immortality as the greatest manager in the history of British football, been knighted by a grateful nation, partied with Sean Connery, led the 2,000 Guineas winner into the unsaddling enclosure at Newmarket as part-owner of Rock of Gibraltar, met Nelson Mandela, schmoozed with Prime Ministers, potentates, princes, been the recipient of every accolade under the sun, moon and stars but yet, "...reminding everyone that I was born in Govan is the one touch of vanity I have".

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Sir Alex describes his path from the humble tenement close at 6 Broomloan Road to the splendour of Old Trafford as, "a bit of a journey - but I'm still the same boy from Govan I always was. Having gone on to another pinnacle in life, if you want to call it that, mixed in all manner of different social circles, acquired a knighthood and all the rest of it, none of that materially changes you. Why should it? All my boyhood mates from the Harmony Row youth club - pals I've known for over 50 years - still come down for the weekend every March to give me pelters. That's what your old friends are for; to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. In any walk of life, it's easy to be affected by success or money but I like to think my parents would find me completely unchanged."

 

Alex Snr and Lizzie Ferguson had nothing in the way of material riches to bestow but they bequeathed their son a treasure chest of old-fashioned ideals into which he has dipped each and every day of his life. "They instilled in me all their traditional working- class values: discipline, good manners, honesty, decency. They also suggested simple things to keep me out of trouble like joining the Life Boys and later the Boys' Brigade. My dad was reasonably strict - not so strict that you were ever afraid of him or anything like that - but you knew there was an invisible line drawn on the lino that you shouldn't overstep. When he said something, he meant it but he was a very, very fair man. One of his favourite sayings was that If a thing's worth doing then it's worth doing well ' so he was always very encouraging as regards my football. Of course, if I ever became carried away with myself then I got a clip round the ear.

 

"The greatest fortune in life is to be born into a loving family and my dad influenced me in every way. For example, he was a real stickler for punctuality - my mum always insisted that it was he who opened up the shipyard every morning because he was unfailingly the first to arrive for work - and it's because of him that I'm never late for anything to this day."

 

The next abiding influence on the youthful Alex Jnr, was Douglas Smith who, in his own unassuming way, was a figure as mightily influential in Scottish football as Jock Stein, Bill Shankly or Sir Matt Busby. As founder of Drumchapel Amateurs, the club he ran from 1950 until his death at the age of 76 in 2004, Smith provided Scotland with a score and more full internationals - Kenny Dalglish, Asa Hartford, Archie Gemmill, John Wark, John Robertson, Pat Crerand and Mo Johnston among them - from an unending assembly line that turned more than 300 young boys into professional footballers.

 

Having graduated from Cambridge with an engineering degree, Smith was invalided out of the Army in 1949 after being seriously injured on a training exercise while serving as an infantry officer, and returned to his home near Dumbarton to run the family's successful ship-breaking business. His twin loves of football and the church brought him an invitation to manage the Boys' Brigade team in Drumchapel, then a leafy village on the outskirts of Glasgow before being transmogrified into a sprawling council estate of 30,000 souls which, in their wisdom, the city planners of the day decided should be built without such frivolous accoutrements as pubs, restaurants or cinemas. "A desert wi' windaes," as Billy Connolly so eloquently described the concrete wasteland of a bygone age.

 

Over the next half-century, Smith transformed his amateur team into one of the most successful youth clubs in Europe, at every age level from under-14 to under-18.

 

"Douglas Smith was a fantastic man," recalls Sir Alex, who played for The Drum', as they were affectionately called throughout Glasgow, until joining Queen's Park shortly after his 16th birthday. "It helped that he was very rich but it wasn't just about money - he devoted an incredible amount of time to us. Douglas Smith didn't only teach you about football, he also instilled in you a code of life - discipline, cleanliness, good time-keeping - a trait which I'd already picked up from my dad - no swearing, good sportsmanship, but how to be competitive as well. He was also a great visionary. Just as Sir Matt Busby was always fascinated by European football, Douglas Smith was taking Drumchapel Amateurs to the continent in the 1950s to play in youth tournaments against Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and Spartak Moscow."

 

Smith, the millionaire shipyard owner, and Fergie, the son of a Govan shipyard worker, remained in regular contact for 50 years. "Funnily enough, I didn't want to sign for Drumchapel Amateurs when Douglas called at the house in 1954. I was playing for Harmony Row and didn't fancy leaving all my pals, but he could be very persuasive. Although we were amateurs, we were treated like professionals. The organisation and preparation was meticulous in the extreme. Every Thursday we'd receive a timetable for the following Saturday informing us who we were playing, where and when we were to meet and who would collect us if we needed a lift after playing for our schools in the morning. Then we were taken to Reid's tea-rooms in Glasgow for lunch - we were in one room and Queen's Park were invariably sitting next to us - which made us feel even more professional. The bother Douglas went to on our behalf was simply unbelievable.

 

"Every now and then, eight or nine of us would pile into his big Rover - I can remember going with Eddie McCreadie, Andy Lochhead and the best young player of all in my days, David Thompson, who went to America to become a song-writer - to be taken for Sunday lunch at Douglas's huge mansion where we trooped through his orchard to play football on his private bowling green. He didn't care about your background or religion or his beautiful grass - only if you could play football."

 

But surely the sight of Drumchapel's famous green-and-white hooped shirt hanging on the washing-line in the back court of the Ferguson family home caused a few raised eyebrows down Govan way? "Not at all. The only time we ever had a spot of trouble was the Saturday afternoon Celtic walloped Rangers 7-1 in the 1957 League Cup final at Hampden, at which time we were playing Possil YM, who wore Rangers strips. We had a real battle at the end of that one when the result filtered through, as it always does in Glasgow. The lessons I learnt while playing for Drumchapel have stood me in good stead throughout my career - Douglas Smith was a great man and a massive influence."

 

When it came time to run his own team in July 1974, the 32-year-old fledgling manager would cloak himself in many of Douglas Smith's philosophies, although turning East Stirling - "the worst senior football team in the country" - into a competitive force took every ounce of Fergie's considerable powers of persuasion. Whereas he can now out-manoeuvre Real Madrid in their £80 million pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, his first signing at Firs Park, for an outlay of £750, was goalkeeper Tom Gourlay, who arrived a sizeable amount of imperial pounds overweight, from Partick Thistle, where he had been marooned in the reserves as Alan Rough's perennial understudy.

 

"From East Stirling to Manchester United, I think if I have one quality it's that I've always been a trier. As a player I never liked losing and that has embodied my attitude ever since I first went into management. You can't win every game but if you try to win them all and show the right desire then you'll win more than you lose. And that's important as a manager because if you lose a couple of games then you can be out the door."

 

Is there any difference, I wonder, between managing the aforementioned Tom Gourlay and a member of the football glitterati such as Ronaldo? "There's not any difference in essence. But if you allow yourself to be affected by the star-status thing then that's when your difficulties begin. You can only achieve success when the players want to please you and not the other way around. Some people fall into the trap of trying to keep players happy all the time and allow powerful personalities in the dressing-room to rule the roost but that's not management; you might as well be the assistant kit man. It doesn't matter whether you're managing East Stirling or Manchester United, you have to remember two things. Firstly, you've got to have them trying their utmost to win for you and, secondly, you've got to have control and discipline over them. Anything else and you're fighting against the wind.

 

"I've been in management for 34 years and every one of those years has been a learning experience but many of the principles that I brought to the job as a new recruit at East Stirling are still as important to me now at Old Trafford as they were then. In pre-season training at Firs Park, for instance, I liked to start every session with the boxes' whereby six players pass the ball around while two piggies in the middle try to intercept it. I use it even now for a bit of fun in training but at the Shire, where the technical standard of the players was light years behind those at United, it helped improve touch and develop movement. And long, long before nutritionists became commonplace, I held strong views on what the East Stirling players ate before a game. You could see them thinking what the hell's this?' when they were served up grilled fish, toast and honey."

 

Sir Alex had been at Firs Park a little over three months (by which time the Shire were lying third in the old second division) when he was approached by St Mirren to fill the post recently vacated by Willie Cunningham, under whom he had served as a player at Falkirk. Although the Saints were languishing a few places below East Stirling in the league, as a club there could be no doubt they had the greater potential for advancement. Against that, he felt a burning sense of loyalty to a group of players who had given him their all during his albeit brief reign. As he would come to do so many times over the years ahead, Fergie phoned the man he regarded as his mentor, Jock Stein, in the hope of being granted a pearl of wisdom.

 

"Go and sit in the stand at Love Street and look around," pronounced the Big Man. "Then do the same at Firs Park and you'll have your answer."

 

Just as he would subsequently confirm at both Aberdeen and Manchester United, where his gentle touch inspired David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers unto greatness, it was in Paisley that Sir Alex first displayed he had a special talent in nurturing youngsters. "There was no money available so we used to from page 3 bring in young kids from all over the place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. St Mirren already had a terrific scouting system - led by the incredible Baldy' Lindsay who was a taxi driver in Kinning Park - when I arrived, but I increased the network so we had guys working their socks off running round here, there and everywhere prospecting for nuggets. I had more scouts working under me than Baden-Powell.

 

"We had so little money I had to approach the supporters' association for their financial help when I wanted to make Dundee United centre-half Jackie Copland my first signing. The transfer fee was £17,000, which was a substantial sum for St Mirren and after listening to me the fans generously put up a loan of £14,000. The only way forward, however, was by giving youth a chance. When it came to selling St Mirren to young players or their parents, my assistant and old Rangers team-mate Davie Provan and I promised them two things; that they'd be given the opportunity to express themselves and that no matter their age, if they were good enough then they'd be given the chance of playing in the first team.

 

"It was also important to me that St Mirren played with a certain style and flair. I was fortunate that so many of them were very receptive to that ideal. Lads like Frank McGarvey, Billy Stark and Peter Weir had great skills and an even greater desire to play the game as it should be played. Then there was Tony Fitzpatrick, who I made club captain when he was still only 18 because of his drive and hunger for information to improve himself. Perhaps the greatest satisfaction I derived from my time at Love Street was in providing four players - Fitzpatrick, Stark, McGarvey and Robert Reid - for the Scotland Under-21 team in 1977. That was an incredible achievement for a club outside the Premier Division."

 

Despite his successes as a racehorse owner, Fergie has not always displayed an infallible touch when it comes to spotting young two-legged thoroughbreds. "One of the lads I used to ferry back and forth between East Kilbride where we both lived and Love Street was a small, skilful midfielder who I doubted would grow sufficiently to make the grade. And you can take it as read that Alistair McCoist never tires of reminding me of my lack of judgment in that particular matter."

 

Fergie's Furies' as the headline writers were wont to describe them became the most exciting team in the land and the pride of all Paisley. When he arrived at Love Street the average attendance had been 1,908 - leading him to drive round the streets of the town with head stuck through the sunroof and megaphone at his mouth exhorting people to support their local heroes - but had risen to 11,230 by the time of his departure to Aberdeen in 1978.

 

He also left behind him the first signs of what would gain renown as his famous hair-dryer' temper after a group of players were reported to have been drinking in the Waterloo bar in Glasgow's city centre the night before a league game against Partick Thistle at Love Street. "Aye, I was furious all right, even though we'd won one-nil." According to legend, Fergie assembled the miscreants together along one wall in the dressing-room after the game and launched into a tirade which, so they will tell you down Love Street way, led to an air traffic controller at nearby Abbotsinch ringing the ground to beseech them to keep the noise down. As Fergie's ire reached its volcanic climax, he hurled a full Coca-Cola bottle off the wall over the culprits' heads. So petrified were the players that not one of them so much as blinked as the shards of glass and fizzy pop dropped onto their strips from above. Recalling the incident in his autobiography, Managing My Life, Fergie explained: "I made them sign an agreement they'd never enter the dreaded Waterloo again because I was determined to end the drinking culture that has always been a curse in British football."

 

No-one enjoys a glass of vintage red wine more than Sir Alex, I should point out, but his stern belief that "boozing should have no place in the lifestyle of a professional sportsman" would be driven home to Paul McGrath, Norman Whiteside and the other members of the Old Trafford's "drinking culture club" in the cull to come. Curiously, however, whereas the St Mirren players survived their night on the tiles, Fergie was subsequently jettisoned by the club he had restored to something resembling its former glory. Thirty years on, the reasons given by the Paisley board for his sacking still rankle but, as chance would have it, Aberdeen approached him for a second time following Billy McNeill's departure for Celtic. Twelve months earlier, in the summer of '77, Fergie had rejected a similar overture when Ally MacLeod left Pittodrie to embark upon his World Cup adventures and misadventures with Scotland.

 

"Just as East Stirlingshire cannot be a St Mirren, so St Mirren cannot be an Aberdeen and Aberdeen cannot be a Manchester United. Had I recognised that fact when Aberdeen first spoke to me, then I would have saved myself a great deal of heartache." Unlike the task that had faced him at Love Street, where he had been forced to assemble a team from unpolished jewels, Sir Alex inherited a Pittodrie squad bristling with international players - goalkeeper Bobby Clark, defenders Stuart Kennedy and Willie Miller, midfielder Drew Jarvie and striker Joe Harper - and seasoned professionals.

 

"I felt a measure of apprehension at taking over from Billy. Aberdeen were a successful club, they'd just finished second to Rangers in the league and only a few weeks earlier had played in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden. On top of that, it was the first time I'd been employed as a full-time manager and it was the first time I'd be working with full-time footballers. What spurred me was the challenge of shaping their attitudes towards me as opposed to their attitudes towards Billy. That's when your character and determination comes into the equation. It would have been very easy just to go along with the players by simply keeping them laughing and smiling and agreeing to everything but, to me, that's the wrong way to go about things.

 

"The success I'd enjoyed at St Mirren also reinforced the belief that youth was the way forward. At Aberdeen the likes of Willie Miller, Alex McLeish, John McMaster and Doug Rougvie had all come through the ranks so all I did was strengthen the scouting system. I had about 16 scouts scouring the country and that was how we found Neil Simpson, Neale Cooper, Eric Black, John Hewitt, Dougie Bell, Bryan Gunn and the rest of that generation. Aberdeen was a great environment for any lad; it was a one-team city, a great place to live for anyone with a young family, it was a close-knit community, and those were the selling points we stressed whenever we were trying to sign someone from the west of Scotland, say.

 

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"What I had to create was a winning mentality. As great as Aberdeen is as a city, the club didn't have the kind of huge support that Rangers and Celtic enjoyed. The team was never forced over the line by the fans so maybe that's why I sometimes appeared to be on their backs; they needed a driving force and we couldn't expect the supporters to provide that. Whenever we went to Glasgow, I'd beseech them, Don't lose here. Don't dare lose in my city ' The message must have got through because they became as strong in character as they were in talent, which is why they were able to go anywhere in Europe and play in front of the most passionate crowds."

 

When Aberdeen became champions in 1980 (the first time the Old Firm duopoloy had been broken since Kilmarnock's victory in 1965) many a manager might have popped the champagne cork and sat back with a smug smirk of satisfaction but, like Busby and Stein before him, Ferguson's ambitions lay far beyond these shores. "I used to go to the European games at Ibrox to see Nice, Standard Liege, Fiorentina and all the great teams of the time. Then in 1960 Eintracht Frankfurt came to Glasgow having won the first leg 6-1 and proceeded to hammer Rangers 6-3. I remember thinking to myself, This German mob are gods' Then they got slaughtered 7-3 by Real Madrid in the final at Hampden, which put the kind of football we were used to watching into perspective. And that's what you have to try and aspire to."

 

Although it is the night of May 11, 1983, when Aberdeen beat Real Madrid 2-1 to win the Cup-Winners' Cup in Gothenburg's Ullevi Stadium, that is writ large in the club's history, it was the defeat of Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals that probably stands as their greatest achievement. Three times champions of Europe, the Bayern line-up read like Who's Who of German football: Rummenigge, Breitner, Hoeness, Dremmler, Augenthaler, Pflugler. "But because they'd been through it all at Parkhead and Ibrox, going to Munich was no problem to the players. We were brilliant that night but the trouble was we didn't score so the nil-nil scoreline worried me a little bit.

 

"The return was what I call a typical Alex Ferguson-type performance by which I mean that after struggling for parts of the game, we managed to pull it out of the fire at the end. For a spell of 40-odd minutes Bayern were brilliant, absolutely brilliant."

 

Just as he would do to stunning effect against the same opponents in Barcelona 16 years later when the appearance of substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought Manchester United an unlikely Champions League triumph, so Fergie opted for a change of tactics with Bayern leading 2-1 deep into the second half.

 

"I always feel that if you've got subs and you don't use them, then you're never going to know what might have been. As was proved in Barcelona, you can change the outcome by making substitutions. Bayern had fielded their gangling left-back Pflugler as an outside-left and he was winning everything in the air against Stuart Kennedy. So I switched Rougvie to right-back, put Neale Cooper at left-back and brought on John Hewitt to play alongside Gordon Strachan and Peter Weir, which meant we had no-one who could bloody tackle in midfield. It was hairy."

 

Hairy or not, Alex McLeish and John Hewitt scored two late goals as Pittodrie erupted as never before or since. "Aye, it was a night to remember all right. But what gave me the greatest pleasure was that Aberdeen became the best team in Europe without a player over the age of 30. It was a collection of brilliant footballers who'd grown up together, who were easy to handle and who generated a terrific atmosphere in the dressing room. Just like I feel all these years later with the group of players that I have at Old Trafford, they were a joy to work with."

 

If his parents and Douglas Smith were the inspirations in Fergie's early life, so Jock Stein, who travelled to Gothenburg as guest and adviser, came to play his role in the making of a managerial legend. "When wee Jim McLean gave up the job as Jock's assistant with the national team I was praying the Big Man would phone me. I needed something extra as a manager and there was no-one better qualified than Jock to provide that so when he did ring up I grabbed the chance. Jock had a bigger intelligence network - he certainly had far more spies - than the CIA and the KGB put together. He knew everything that was happening before it happened. He used to phone me on a Friday night and casually ask, So how are things going up in Aberdeen?' And by his tone of voice it was as though he was saying, You might as well tell me because I know anyway.' And I'd tell him the lot, I poured it out. Well, I've made a bid for Billy Stark at St Mirren because it looks as though wee Strachan will be leaving in the summer.' And Jock would reply, Good, good, I was going to advise exactly the same thing...' "Like all great people, he was blessed with deep humility. I was young and eager to learn, so I'd quiz him about his various tactics in Europe. Jock, who'd out-thought everyone, was totally matter-of-fact. Ach,' he'd say, wee Jimmy was brilliant that night,' or, Murdoch was fabulous', never, ever a word about his own role in making the Lisbon Lions champions of Europe. He never took any credit and that was a great example to me. I think I drove him crazy with all my questions but he was incredibly generous with his knowledge. Jock could be serious but he could also be great fun and we'd often sit up until two in the morning in a Scotland team hotel where he'd regale me with one hilarious tale after another - invariably involving wee Jimmy."

 

(Jinky, for his part, never tired of complaining that he felt as though he had been electronically tagged every Saturday night. In my last interview with the flame-haired genius before his death, he told me: "Ah used to go into pubs where I thought no-one might know me. I mind going into one outside Stirling one time. A lager shandy' says I. While the barman's still pouring the bluidy thing, the phone goes. Here, it's for you' he says.'" In reply to Johnstone's jaunty hello' came the familiar sergeant-major's growl. "Get your arse out of there right now wee man."

 

"Aye, that was Jock to a T," confirms Sir Alex with a chuckle. "One day down at Turnberry, he invited me to join him at the press conference to which he turns up about 10 minutes early and plonks himself down on a chair outside the room. Along come your lot - the hacks - and Jock starts, just loud enough for them to hear. Here's such and such coming, big gambler this one's having it off with so-and-so'. He knew everything about them and they all knew that he knew."

 

Among the lessons Fergie learned from the old master was not to turn down Manchester United if they ever came calling, as Stein had done in 1971 when, after agreeing to succeed Sir Matt Busby, he was persuaded to remain in Scotland by his family, a decision he would regret for the rest of his days. And so, after eight years with Aberdeen during which he had rejected job offers from Bareclona, Spurs, Arsenal and Rangers (twice) among others, on November 6, 1986 Fergie flew south to keep his appointment with destiny.

 

When he first cast his eyes over Old Trafford and echoed Sir Bobby Charlton's famous description of the stadium as the Theatre of Dreams', Boris Becker was Wimbledon champion, 20-year-old Mike Tyson was preparing to fight the late Trevor Berbick for the world heavyweight title, and Steaua Bucharest were in possession of the European Cup. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and when Fergie once told an interviewer that he needed only five hours of sleep and was informed, "just like Mrs Thatcher'', the response, as befitting a vehement supporter of the striking miners in the mid-1980s, was suitably withering: "Please don't associate me with that woman.'' The Iron Lady is long gone but one year past official retirement age Fergie reigns on, a national treasure but still as boyishly enthusiastic about football as he was 50 years ago when turning out for the Drum'. How can anyone not have developed a soft spot for someone who has filled one of the most demanding jobs in sport for two decades and more? A time span, incidentally, during which Real Madrid - the only challengers to Fergie's United as the most famous club in world football' - have chewed up coaches the way the Scot chews Wrigley's.

 

During Sir Alex's dynasty, over in Madrid they have installed a revolving door for the dizzying round of appointments and redundancies: Leo Beenhakker (twice), John Toshack (twice), Alfredo di Stefano, Jose Camacho (twice), Radi Antic, Benito Floro, Vicente Del Bosque (thrice), Jorge Valdano, Arsenio Iglesias, Juup Heynckes, Guus Hiddink, Carlos Queiroz, Mariano Remon, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Fabio Capello (twice), Bernd Schuster, plus various caretakers'.

 

So is each day as much fun and mischief as he makes it appear? "Yes, I love each and every new morning. You've got to otherwise you couldn't go on doing it. I've been very fortunate in all the things that have happened to me so coming in here as manager of Manchester United is a real pleasure; it's a great club - that goes without saying - and despite its size, there's still something of a family atmosphere about the place. I've got a lot of good people around me and do you know what, about three-quarters of the staff have been with me over 20 years now."

 

In the words of Denis Law: "To the Manchester United fans, Sir Alex is a god." A god who is proud to proclaim ahcumfraeguvin'.

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Read that this morning, always nice to read what he has to say about his time with us and infinitely better than the shite that I've heard Davie Provan spout in his rag this morning.

 

Supposedly saying that Fergie was wrong to proclaim our 83 side as the second best this country has ever produced. Apparently out of that squad, only three (Strachan, Weir and McGhee when he was in the mood) were worth watching.  What's his fucking problem with us? He had an attack on Jim Leighton a few years ago and now this drivel.  Surely Leighton, McLeish and Miller were worth watching, earning 200 caps between them, and the first picks of two of the best managers ever. Bitter? I think he may be.

 

Oh, and he also supposedly says that United have a better European record than us.  ???

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Read that this morning, always nice to read what he has to say about his time with us and infinitely better than the shite that I've heard Davie Provan spout in his rag this morning.

 

Supposedly saying that Fergie was wrong to proclaim our 83 side as the second best this country has ever produced. Apparently out of that squad, only three (Strachan, Weir and McGhee when he was in the mood) were worth watching.  What's his fucking problem with us? He had an attack on Jim Leighton a few years ago and now this drivel.  Surely Leighton, McLeish and Miller were worth watching, earning 200 caps between them, and the first picks of two of the best managers ever. Bitter? I think he may be.

 

Oh, and he also supposedly says that United have a better European record than us.  ???

strictly speaking he is correct in that they have won more games in europe than we have :o

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Guest swaddon

Oh, and he also supposedly says that United have a better European record than us.  ???

 

Do you mean Dundee United or Manchester United? I suspect it's the former, and that's a lot of pish. Dundee United's European 'success' includes wins over Barcelona and whoever else they beat, but last time I looked, they never won any cups for it.

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During Sir Alex's dynasty, over in Madrid they have installed a revolving door for the dizzying round of appointments and redundancies: Leo Beenhakker (twice), John Toshack (twice), Alfredo di Stefano, Jose Camacho (twice), Radi Antic, Benito Floro, Vicente Del Bosque (thrice), Jorge Valdano, Arsenio Iglesias, Juup Heynckes, Guus Hiddink, Carlos Queiroz, Mariano Remon, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Fabio Capello (twice), Bernd Schuster, plus various caretakers'.

 

:lolabove: :lolabove: :lolabove:

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strictly speaking he is correct in that they have won more games in europe than we have :o

 

So if we played in the Scottish Cup for ten seasons, won it 3 times, but in the other seven seasons we lost in the first round. United got to the semis in each of those ten years, they're the more succesful side in the Scottish Cup? I think we all know that'd be bollocks.

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So if we played in the Scottish Cup for ten seasons, won it 3 times, but in the other seven seasons we lost in the first round. United got to the semis in each of those ten years, they're the more succesful side in the Scottish Cup? I think we all know that'd be bollocks.

 

Exactly. Success is measured in what you did win, not what you nearly won.

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