Sir Alex Ferguson’s player confrontations are legendary.
He has gone head to head with some real tough nuts like Paul Ince, Jaap Stam and Roy Keane and each time it has been him that has come out on top (even if it has been to the detriment of the the club) but back at Aberdeen there was a lesser known of confrontation that is finally coming to light.
Frank McDougall was a goalscoring hero at the Scottish club but one day fell foul of Sir Alex and did something that I struggled to comprehend and I’m sure you will too.
Speaking in the Daily Record, McDougall told of Sir Alex’s anger at his performance after declaring himself fit then breaking down minutes into a performance:
He was obviously still raging at me from the previous day’s Scottish Cup quarter-final 1-1 draw against Hearts. I had to be subbed after only a few minutes because, although I had declared myself fit, I was far from 100 per cent with a groin injury, which got worse after I had taken an early free-kick.
As Sir Alex raged McDougall came to a decision, ‘I had learned a long time ago that in a situation like this, you lash out first and ask questions later.’ So he did just that:
“I lashed out. It was far from a bout-winning punch, more a half-dig.
Although I was acting on my nerves, I still knew I had the capacity to hurt Fergie and didn’t want to do that, regardless of what he did or didn’t have on his mind.
I caught him on the side of the face and he went down like a ton of bricks. Of all the stupid things I had done in my life, putting Fergie on his backside had just stormed straight to No.1 in the charts.
I gazed at my hand, and then down at my boss. It was as though he’d fallen to the floor in slow motion. But he bounced straight back up as though on a trampoline and began screaming at the top of his voice. He was looking at one of our coaches, Teddy Scott, but shouting at me. “F**k off McDougall, get to f**k back to Glasgow.”
Just last week Sir Alex was talking about how soft players had become and how he had seen players crying and it wasn’t the first time as it was a sentiment he raised whilst speaking to the members of the LMA’s Hall of Fame 1000 Club last year. He told of how he has mellowed out and it is a good thing with how delicate the modern player is and having experienced that episode with McDougall, it probably makes it even worse!
Thanks to Joe from VideoCelts for pointing this story out to us.