Unfortunately Alex Ferguson Talks Sense, Yet Again

If I’m being completely honest, I don’t hate Alex Ferguson. I used to when Arsenal and Manchester United were locking horns at the top of the Premier League in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but the hatred has subsided somewhat. I suppose just in the same way that Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson’s seemingly intense rivalry has cooled off in the last few years.

There are a few reasons for this.

The first one is Jose Mourinho. Just when you thought Alex Ferguson was a complete and utter twat, here comes along Mourinho. Most people will remember him for being ‘special’ and adding a bit of spice to the Premier League, but I won’t. He was disgusting to me in the way he behaved and conducted himself.

He’s the one who tapped up Ashley Cole. He caused Anders Frisk to end his 18 year career as a professional referee because he was receiving death threats from Chelsea fans. He called Arsene Wenger a ‘voyeur’. Everton threatened him with legal action after he came out and said Andy Johnson was a cheat.

And Mourinho is the man that declared he would rather join Liverpool than Chelsea as he had several reservations about how Chelsea was being run. Unsurprisingly he moved to London a couple of weeks later.

You can read what I thought of him here.

Right, I’ve gone well off topic. The point is I don’t hate Fergie, I just have a general dislike towards him. And on the whole, you have to respect what he says. Hate it or not he’s been hugely successful at Manchester United.

In July 2007, when Arsenal sold Thierry Henry to Barcelona everyone (including a lot of Arsenal fans) thought this was the start of a massive decline. Everyone thought that we would drop out from the Top Four and Arsene Wenger was losing his marbles.

Actually, doesn’t this sound familiar every summer?

Anyway, while everyone was writing off Arsenal one of the very few people to come out and disagree was Alex Ferguson. I remember watching that Sky Sports interview and people thought red nose was crazy. He said:

“Arsenal are still a big threat and they’ll be in the top four, and I’m more convinced they will be in the top four without Thierry Henry.

“I just thought it was time for him to go. Arsene Wenger knew that, and I think they’ll do better.”

It was an very unpopular view at the time, and one not shared by many Arsenal fans.

And what happened?

Arsenal improved that following campaign by fighting for the Premier League title for the majority of the season.

So fast forward to exactly 2 years later and Ferguson has come out with this about Manchester City:

“It won’t be easy for them to win anything, even with the players they have bought.

“I can’t look at them as our main competitors. Liverpool and Chelsea are our main competitors.”

You can get much better for a more experienced view on the situation.

And while he didn’t mention Arsenal in the same breadth as Liverpool and Cheslea, he did talk about Arsenal saying:

“Arsenal have the biggest job to do because they have sold Adebayor and don’t seem to have the money the rest have got.

“How Arsene develops his team will be his biggest test.

“The one thing we know about Arsenal is that they will play some of the best football you will see and they will create chances.

“They could easily re-establish themselves and challenge for the league again.”

Which on reflection is a fair view.

We do know that Arsenal are going to play the best football in the league, and we do have a chance to challenge for the title again. But obviously making that a reality is going to be difficult since United and Chelsea have more experience in winning the title in recent seasons, along with a few other factors. We’ll just have to wait and see how our season pans out.


40 thoughts on “Unfortunately Alex Ferguson Talks Sense, Yet Again

  1. Sorry, but you are bang out of order.
    There are so many blogs today taking Red Noses comments and slashing their wrists on his command.
    It’s not his job to comment on Arsenal and we are fools if we listen. He only cares about maximising the psychological edge they have over us.
    Make your own minds up on the facts, not on enemy propganda.

  2. Read our financial report – we are in a very healthy financial position.

    Maybe he should be worrying about how Djemba, Valencia and Owen are going to replace Ronaldo and Tevez?

  3. As Sir Rudolph gets older peoples views of him change even though he remains the same bad tempered, curmudgeonly Man he always was. He publicly states his purchases in the transfer window have ceased and there is no value to be had. The press swallow this line and he is held to have such wisdom. He then signs two new players and is now seen to be tracking a third. His views on Arsenal are just another of his mind games. He knows people will hear his views, believe them and heap further pressure on Arsene to spend his money quickly, possibly rashly. Historically United have always spent on a ratio of 3 to 1 against Arsenal. So lectures from Sir Alex should be taken with a pinch of salt. Friendly advice, No! Just another example of mischief making. Does anyone think Fergie has Arsenal interests at heart.

  4. tittle tattle

    when did we buy djemba back?

    and for the record,as a united fan..i honestly hope arsenal the best of luck as they’re the most admirable team in england alongside us….we have both been written off in the past but were the two most consistant teams in this league

    who else misses viera vs keane and the rest…..

    good luck gunners…id rather support you’s then chelsea,liverpool or city

  5. Well written article and mirrors my thoughts about a cooling of the feuding between the 2 clubs. Unfortunately some of the inteligencia as represented in these comments don’t seem to have caught up!

  6. It’s strange how my abject hatred of Fergie has abated over the last few years.
    But what the writer’s saying is true. Fergie hasn’t said we’re never gonna win anything, he’s just said that we don’t have much money and that is bang on. However “healthy” our finances are, we still don’t have the money to buy who we want when we want.
    And whereas I’m sure that Fergie isn’t saying these things to help us, he’s not dismissing us out of hand.
    We all know that Arsene’s happier with us being seen as the underdog, that way there’s less pressure on the team overall.
    My point is that no one should read too much into these comments. It’d be different if he came out and said “yeah, Arsenal are crap and I can see them going down”, but that’s far from what he meant

  7. Some fair points here. Arsene is going to have to work hard this year to get the achievements we all expect. He’s dropping some heavy hints on Arsenal.com that he may not recruit externally.

    However, at 12.52 this p.m., L’Equipe are reporting that Nasri has become injured at the training camp, possibly seriously. They quote the Austrian news agency APA, saying that he was taken to hospital in tears with two members of staff with him. Arsene may have to rethink.

  8. Yes, he also thought Taibi was a good goalkeeper, that Djemba Djemba would be one of the PLs top midfielders, that Kleberson was a great Brazilian and that Veron was the best player in the world. He spends a lot of money, was lucky enough to inherit a load of excellent kids but has bought no-one through the ranks since. He is a dinosaur now. Let him try to achieve what Wenger has with the same money and Man Utd would be in the Chamionship by now.

  9. honestly anyone who takes these quotes as serious as you have are too easily manipulated

    Ferguson KNOWS that we play the better football and that we have the ability all day to beat his team

    he wants to play mind games and test the confidence of the young ones in our squad

    he goes on about it doesnt matter who we buy, well we know what we need and even if we dont get it we still know that we can compete

    we have lost 1 solitary player so far and the squad has had another years experience

    we beat them in the league last season and dominated them at old trafford look at how nervous they were in that match

    yes they beat us in the CL and ill admit they were the better side over those two legs

    but they are a side who have lost their best player and top goalscorer EVERYTHING went through Ronaldo

    and what have they replaced it with Michael Owen, Valencia and Obertan who will be injured for at least 3 months

    LMFAO Ferguson knows he side are comparably weak and Liverpool and Arsenal will challenge and dethrone him next season

  10. He’s not commeting about the hit he took when Ronaldo and Tevez left. That’s a lot bigger news than Adebayor’s departure, who the boss could find a more prolific replacement for if he wanted to, that’s not ‘hard.’

    We will begin this season better off than we began the last. It’s be hard to say the same about United without Ronaldo.

  11. Just to pretty much echo what johnny has said, about arsenal anyone one than says they dont like watching arsenal play football is lying. On there day alongside utd they are the best most entertaining in the league.

    secondly, regarding the actual comments… and this doesnt just apply to fergie….

    the guy gets asked a question… gives his opinion… (which in fergies case 80% of the time is a) the truth and b) usually proven correct) … and everyone has something to say about it!! rediculous!

  12. ManU £700+m in debt and rising.
    Arsenal £240m ish in debt and falling.

    Please dont listen to ManU propoganda until they are qualified to do so.

  13. BTW thanks to the Mancs who are posting sensible and intelligant comments here. I am also not anti-manc and enjoy watching them thrashing almost anyone else, but I dont expect you to listen to my views on your finances and we shouldnt listen to Fergies comments. He is still good at the mind games.

  14. Paul:

    “He spends a lot of money, was lucky enough to inherit a load of excellent kids but has bought no-one through the ranks since. He is a dinosaur now. Let him try to achieve what Wenger has with the same money and Man Utd would be in the Chamionship by now.”

    This quite well might be the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard.
    Before actually taking swipes at Man Utd’s youth policy, I would like to know who Arsenal have brought through the ranks recently? Fabregas is a product of Barcelona, not Arsenal, Theo from Southampton, and all the others from either Belgium, France or Africa. You have NOONE from the ranks, and you claim we don’t? What about the still going Scholes, Neville, Giggs, Fletcher, Brown, O’shea and now Welbeck as well? I assure you this is 1000% more than what you have brought through the ranks.

  15. What ever you think of Fergie his comments are entirely true and have been proven to be true for the last 5 years.We are a tight arsed club that rip off and lie to fans every year.When was tha last time we really improved the squad with good players without having to sell players to finance it.I hope this will be Wengers last year as i for one cant take much more of the bullshit that comes out of his mouth.

  16. “Samir Nasri has sustained a fractured fibula during this morning’s training session at the Club’s pre-season training camp in Austria.

    The midfielder will be out of action for two to three months.” According to Arsenal.com

  17. Furthermore, Arsenal is by no means the most noble or earnest club in England. Quite the opposite actually. It has received much hatred and disgust from continentals and English clubs, because of their so-called “youth-policy” which in fact merely includes the act of robbing bright talents from European clubs, only to claim afterwards that they are a product of Arsenal FC. Is is absolutely dumb. I can’t wait to see what happens to a great local talent like Jack Wilshere. Only, he will unfortunately get the boot in style of Pennant, Bentley, because some African has just walked in the door. Get real, your structure is rubbish, and you sit there and take swipes at the greatest club in the world. How sad ..

  18. Listen I am not a Fergie fan but it does seem obvious to me that as a club we don’t have much money to spend on players.

    All we need is to buy maybe one or two good players to complete the team yet we can’t find the finances. The reality is our debt is hindering us.

    Wenger is not stupid he knows the squad is short in a couple of areas but he can’t afford to big bucks to buy those key players. The good news is at some point the club will be on top of its debt and we’ll then have cash to invest in the club but that might take serveral years. Until then we might have to accept we may not win trophies for a while.

  19. Well Arsenal.com have confirmed that Nasri is out for 2/3 months after breaking his fibula.

    What is it with Arsenal and injuries? I was optimistic with the squad we have (Eduardo and Rosicky returning) but now Nasri is out injured. If he’s out for 2/3 months then he realistically not going to back to form before Xmas.

    I fear that if Eduardo and Rosicky get injured again, our season will fall apart.

  20. Andrew,

    Don’t come on here (which is very far from being an anti-United blog today) and start sppouting your crap! Don’t question our youth policy (we’re bringing through some great home grown talent in Wilshere, Simpson, gibbs et al) when the youths you’re talking about at united are either not very good or almost retiring!
    You talk about Pennant and Bentley? Surely by mentioning these two you’ve proved the point as they are just not good enough to get into our team!
    A lot of people have said they have grown to respect United over the last few years and then a knobhead like you comes in and we realise why we hated you all so much…..

  21. Marin, one thing I can be sure of is that Ferguson has no interest in manipulating you or any other Arsenal fan. He tries to answer questions put to him. What he has said seems to be a very measured and complementary response. And yes, we did dominate Arsenal in the CL, yes we were nervous in the league game at OT, but that was because it was the game that decided the league and nothing really to do with Arsenal – in fact I bet United were quite pleased it was Arsenal we were up against that day. Yes Arsenal can play very pleasing football – but so do United, and a United in full flow is just an awesome sight. No everything didn’t go through Ronaldo. It has been said often that Berbatov had a lot more assists than Tevez, Rooney had the same influence as usual, so there were a lot of things going on, a lot of good things.
    But at the end of the day, it is better to give a considered view of each others team insted of the brainless and baseless comments that still come from the minority of supporters from both clubs. It has certainly been more enjoyable to engage in constructive football conversations with Arsenal fans over the last three or four years- on both our forums and yours. I do feel a mutual respect has developed and Arsenal is still one of the few clubs one can discuss the finer points of the game with! Good luck for next season and I hope you are not too far behind us at the finish!

  22. United fan here, this came up on newsnow, I read it and thought, fair enough, the blog is right, Fergie is talking sense, then I thought i’d read a few comments and blimey, you Arsenal fans are a paranoid lot, he had an interview, got asked about his opinion on other clubs, answered them honestly and now Arsenal fans think it’s a propaganda that Fergie is being nice and talking nice about them. He’s done the same about Chelsea and Liverpool and said he’s curious about City, just accept that it’s not always about mind games and if he thinks you may storm the league again, take it as a compliment you fools.

  23. Mr scooch

    I ask you to look at what your dear companion Paul said.
    When someone takes swipes at my club, I will defend it. And now, you will not convince me, or anyone outside Arsenal FC, that you are running anything remotely as good as United’s academy. Fact of the matter is, that Fergie won the Treble with 6 youth players from his academy, 5 of which is from the Manchester area! Scholes, giggs, P. Neville, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt are from lancashire. Giggs from the age of 2. Add Beckham to that mix and you’ll have half a team from the academy. Furthermore, only £500.000 was spent on Peter Scmeichel, £3mill on keane and less on Irvin. So I suggest you dare not say anything about Fergie’s abilities as a manager. Because Wenger has NOT done anything that makes makes him deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Ferguson. What he has done now, is to have resembled a team of ordinary players, and a team where your biggest stars will continue to go. Fabregas next. Then Theo, then Van Persie, then Bendtner when he’s gotten good enough. Because you will keep on without winning. And you can blame me, Fergie, Manchester United or money, yet it will still be the truth.

  24. Andrew,

    Surprisingly I’m not Paul and don’t really share his views. But let me retort to your other points:

    Your treble winning team was a great team, but was football not slightly different then? Not as many foreign players were over here (or certainly not as many as now anyway).

    You say that our youth setup isn’t “remotely as good as United’s academy”, but I have to counter that with who won the Youth cup last year? Our youth setup is coming on very well. And not only that but a lot of the players are homegrown.

    I’m comparing the youth teams of NOW and not 10-15 years ago (which is what you seem to think).

    To say that Wenger has done nothing compared to Fergie is also very narrow minded. I’m not going to start talking about budgetary constraints, but other than the blip of the last few seasons and no Champs league title, we’ve been right up there with you….?!?

    And finally let’s not start talking about our best players leaving the club as this season there really only seems to be one big club who has lost their best player…. Can you tell me who that is?

  25. He doesnt give a tosh about us because he knows we are southern softies and that Clouseau have created a side that couldnt hold on to the Cl even if they were 4-0 up with ten minutes to go,so in fact it isnt as much as he talks about us it is the fact that he knows we are not gonna be a serious threat to his title dreams…..period.

  26. Andrew you’re incredibly IGNORANT! All I see at Man Utd is Fergie chasing a lot of foreign kids. I see mayve 1 or 2 young English players coming into the first team. And for your to list dinosaurs like Scholes and Giggs shows your desperation to prove your point.

    You’re too STUPID to know that the MAJORITY of Arsenal’s academy is made up of ENGLISH KIDS. ALL of Arsenal’s 14 academy scholarships go to English kids. Arsenal just won the youth double (league and FA cup) with an ENGLISH youth team.

    And I know for a fact that in Brazil, Man Utd are looked upon with disgust and anger for their constant attempts to take young Brazilian kids to your club. I’m Brazilian, and the press and football clubs down there don’t like your club at all for their antics.

    Mancs like Andrew are so full of self-righteous hypocrisy and arrogance who know CRAP about their own damned club, and nothing at all about Arsenal. Ignorant scumbag.

  27. sir Alex always is the one to watch and its true that Arsenal wont win the title there is no question about that and even i think they cant guarantee their 4th position becouse city are main rivals and power full team so arsenal fans dont be crazy your coach isnt hungry lol

  28. UNITED FAN here hoping to talk some sense into those of you gooners who say united’s academy is shite.

    imo , fletch, o’shea n brown, not to mention evans would easily walk into your first team . fletcher is head and shoulders above any DM you have at the moment. so much for not bringing decent first team players through since the golden generation of 93 .

    at the moment we have the following British kids in our ranks destined to make it big –
    welbeck, matty james , ajose , chester , brown (wesley’s bro), wootton , corry evans (jonny’s bro)

    of the foreigners we already have macheda hitting the big time. watch out for ljajic and petrucci in the very near future. possebon is here as well .

    as for youngsters (16 y/os) – morrisson n tunnicliffe

    so , before mouthing off against us , try to open your eyes . i’m not here to bitch about arsenal’s academy which is clearly very good , but to say united’s is inferior in any way is just ridiculous .

    as for fergie’s comments , try not to read too much into it will you ? he was asked a question by the press and gave a genuine response . and for all you numbskulls who say he wouldn’t have achieved anything without money , you clearly arent familiar with his history – initially at aberdeen and later at united . also , he didnt INHERIT the golden generation . he set up a wide scouting network (which did not exist prior to his appointment) , which found those kids . try to show some respect where its due !

    finally , one constant rant i keep hearing from arsenal fans is about our debt and how we buy our titles . our debt isnt documented so neither you nor i know whats going on there , but from what i have heard it is ‘structured’..we pay in installments every year and make a profit anyway . fergie isnt worried , why are you ?
    as for buying titles – we only spend the money we earn by winning things , unlike citeh or the fascists or liverpool and chelsea even. arsenal are the only top club not forking out the same amount of money as the rest and are suffering as a consequence . you really do not get trophies for spending the least amount of money !!

    i personally like the football you lot play and respect arsenal as a club . hope you do well next season and finish above citeh .


  29. my thoughts are that this time the rednose oldman is right we where 18 points down last year. and I think is necesary to make at list 2 great player. I don’t think about city , we will beat them anyway, but the other teams, they will bring constitancy in our team .
    Why this old man dosn’t say how he win last year only by beating the lower part of the table and how he creat unusual conflicts with everyone that is envolved in football.
    he make his wining only by manipulating this is the only think he is good at
    imagine a ligue without pres –Arsenal will be always campion becouse wenger is the best tactitian in the ligue ( doesn’t matter anceloti is here or not)

  30. When you have won as many trophies in top flight football as fergie has, then you deserve to be taken seriously. Less you forget, Fergie won at Aberdeen when Celtic and Rangers had all of the money. NOTE–Fergie won the European Cup Winners Cup with little ole Aberdeen!!!!
    In the last three seasons Fergie has won the EPL three times;the Champions League; the World Club Championship and a number of other Cups that most other EPL teams would love to put in their empty Cabinets.
    Fergie will reshape United once again and will continue to win. I wouldn’t bet against him

  31. Lia, when you try reading that back, even you will recognise what a load of shite that was. I don’t believe you have any thoughts Lia. Not of your own. Manchester United won last year by wining more games and points than Liverpool, who finished second. It isn’t rocket science and it disproves your drivel in one fell swoop. Please talk sense when you are out in public. And try asking the Italians about tactics. See how far they get with them now. The best tactic of all is wining. That shows the team with the most ability and the best tactics. No need to say more.

  32. Do not be angry, goooooners. Just because you would not even be in the medals as gold, silver and bronze go to man u, liverpool and chelsea you are still quite a good average team. Pity it is run by a french bloke who likes young kids and loves very young kids there is no need to have a go at SAF. SAF has done more than any manager in the league so you can not have at go at his pedigree. Your are a spent force, yes, but at least you have a chance of getting into europe (toto cup?). At the end of the day you used to be good, are now ok and look like you are getting worse with all the other teams knocking on the door to get 4th spot. I think there is no such thing at the top 3 now, rather the top 3 and then possible a top 4 after that. Sorry to spell it so bluntly but you are no longer a threat and at the end of it all is what you do over the whole season that counts, and not just a few good games here and there. MAN U FOREVER!!!!!!

  33. Manc fan here, just thought I’d contribute something to this little United vs Arsenal academies row. I seem to remember Ferguson saying last year that he reckons that Arsenal will be by far the biggest threat in the next couple of years, primarily because Wenger’s youth policy has been around 12/13 years in the making now.
    It wasn’t until 10 years after Fergie’s appointment that his youth programme started producing trophies, and 13-15 years before they hit their peak, and all of this was accomplished in a much easier league.
    Now that Wenger has had a similar amount of time to create a youth programme, I doubt it’ll be too long before they start to become a serious threat again.
    And personally I can’t wait, I’d far rather see Arsenal do better than the dippers or Chelski.

  34. problem is he will be forced to sell some and some will be poached so we will have to see what he ends up with. still think arsenel will be lucky if the finish 4th this time as with the other teams improving over the break they will be even more of a threat to them.

  35. Other teams are improving? How exactly?
    Man U replaced Ronaldo and Tevez with Valencia and Owen, how’s that for an improvement?
    Chelski players are aging further with no new signing. The best hope of 4th place for Citeh is to grab Terry, they know it and (fingers crossed) they will get him. Without him Chelski will implode.
    Liverpool is about to loose Alonso and perhaps even Mascherano. How will that make them better?

    This premiership will be the tightest in years and we’ve got a really good shot at it.

  36. I admit it is good to have hope and feel like you can do something in the upcoming season but looking at the players that chelsea and liverpool have l dobt very much if there is anyone out there at the moment that can break into the top 3. I think it is all about 4th place and the champions league spot were you will have your battles. I won’t be shocked if you get the 4th spot but also l would not be suprosed if you finished 5th or 6th. We will see but in my opinion, and this is only 1 persons view (l have been wrong before when Newcastle first entered the premiership) you will be battling for 4th spot.


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