Date: 8th March 2011 at 11:10am
Written by:

Sir Alex's silence served both good and bad purposesIn the aftermath of Man United’s humbling defeat at Anfield, Sir Alex Ferguson is refusing to talk to the media and has apparently instructed his players to do the same (although Rio did tweet about the result). Cue huge outcry from journalists, concerned about Man United fans not hearing from their lord and predictable ‘sore loser’ label from Liverpool fans.

Fergie is already notorious for not speaking to the BBC as a protest over a 2004 BBC documentary that seemed to portray his agent son in a bad light (although the latter had never been found guilty of any wrongdoing). The manager allegedly cancelled his weekly media briefing last Friday after learning about an FA charge for comments made about referee Atkinson after the Chelsea match. Furthermore, he apparently even barred MUTV, the club’s own TV station because he thought the latter’s airing of a post-match interview led to the FA charge. And then, following the Anfield match, no one apart from a club spokesman who informed the media about Nani’s injury has given any interviews.

As expected, the reaction that followed from journalists was one of disgust. Most of them were concerned that Man United fans were being denied their right to an explanation following the crushing defeat. The words ‘disrespectful’ and ‘pathetic’ were being thrown around a lot. Of course, what the journalists do not mention is that they are being denied a priceless post-defeat quote from the most abrasive of managers. In terms of whether it was disrespectful towards us fans or not, I can only talk for myself. I did not need to hear from Fergie and even less so, Phelan! Did I want the usual “at the end of the day” boring stuff? No. Did I want Fergie to go on a rant about Carragher’s foul and get fined/banned? No. Did I want Phelan to say something safe and hence, mind-numbingly boring? No. Did I want Fergie to give an explanation for the defeat? Not really because most United fans can make up their own minds and also, it won’t change anything at all. So, for me, the concern for Man United fans on behalf of journalists is weak. I didn’t want to hear Fergie’s thoughts straight after the match. I think, because the media are obsessed with sensationalist headlines, they prefer to hear from managers who are still overflowing with emotion. As a football fan, I get incredibly agitated during United matches, whether we are winning or losing. Imagine how fired up managers and players are during and immediately after a match! Why not wait for a day to let everything sink in properly?

Now, coming to the actual issue of shunning the media, I can almost see why Fergie is doing it. He is definitely very angry about the last week’s charge, but he also knows that he is managing to deflect focus from United’s deficiencies on the pitch on Sunday, like he does so often. Fergie is a master at creating a siege mentality within his squad. He is a phenomenal man-manager and that is why he always gets the best out of players who, some might think, are not fit to wear the United shirt, but who perform well in a tightly knit team. Mourinho and Wenger (although lesser these days) are two other brilliant managers who use similar techniques to great effect. Nevertheless, I hope I am not the only one who found this latest rift a bit uncomfortable. I understand the shifting of focus from the team’s shortcomings, but I can’t help thinking that Fergie is going too far. I can’t help thinking that this is more about him than about the club. I sometimes think that we need to set the example, not be the first to throw our toys out of the pram. Although unlikely, this kind of reaction can also affect the players negatively. It definitely puts the club in very bad light. It’s perhaps less harmful to not talk to the media yourself and send a player who can barely speak English to talk to the journalists! Although I do trust Fergie blindly and barely care about what other people think of Man United, I have to admit that I felt this latest decision of his was childish and is not helping the club at all. All it’s doing is giving the ABUs more ammunition.

Finally, let me quickly tackle the issue of Liverpool fans labelling Fergie a sore loser.

Most of them sound like its news to them. Fergie is one of the most passionate managers around. He is hurting more than most United fans out there and his own players. Did Liverpool fans really want him to come in front of the camera and half-heartedly say something like “fair play to Liverpool”? Or would they have only appreciated their win if they could see the man vent his fury about a very contentious refereeing decision?

Please just enjoy your win and your battle with Bolton for 6th place, don’t be sore winners!


14 responses to “Sir Alex’s moment of silence – the good and the bad”

  1. TG says:

    We looked very tired and old on Sunday, the scousers passed us off the park. Scholes and Giggs are on the wane and Rooney is invisible, £200,000 a week for someone who wanted to join City. We need the greedy Glazers out, If not we are on the slide!!!!!!

  2. Don Phelan says:

    How childish is it possible for a grandad to be. Even old Arry Redknapp saw how silly he looked after he did the same a few seasons back. But not old rednose, behaves like a spoilt 3 year old. What this does serve to highlight is were the BBc onto something with the activites of his son, lets face it it hit a nerve with him. Japp Stam as much as confirmed in his autobiography the underhand tactics used to aquire his services so it wouldn’t be any surprise.

  3. niall dc says:

    As a Liverpool fan, I really respect Ryan Giggs, & I think it was a real shame that we were not able to see him interviewed after the match on the day he broke Bobby Charlton’s record for the number of appearances for Manchester United.

    He deserved some praise for the way he has played & behaved over the last 20 years, & I think it’s a shame that was overshadowed on the day.

  4. Responsible Manc says:

    Albeit the author of this article does not want to hear the boring post-match comments after the game, may i remind him that this procedure is inscribed in the rules of the premier league.

    Today SAF is snubbing the press, tomorrow this irresponsible behaviour will be perpetuated by other managers in the league. Be it how smart he may be in man-management, he must improve in self-management. So, end of the day, we must remember that British football is an institution guided by rules and regulations that ought to be respected.

    • Don says:

      Yeah rules and guidelines that get applied consistently too I bet. Ha! Ever thought maybe SAF realized he was too angry to be able to interview without saying something out of order, and if that was the case then there is your self-management. Although why did he have no one else speak in his stead?

      • Responsible Manc says:

        Alex is too arrogant and undisciplined. Time to come back to earth.

        If you condone it, your appreciation. It’s totally irresponsible. Even his player Nani does not agree with him. Then how will the world accept that.

  5. The Fan says:

    Nobody is bigger than the club. Not rooney, not the glazers and yes, not even SAF.

    No public support for nani, no word to the fans about the loss (like saying how we will recover from this defeat or just showing respect to the other team (all be it the scouse bunch)),not letting giggs have his say on the match and his OUTSTANDING achievement of beating bobby charltons record, not giving us info on nani’s injury (at the time), not telling us what was wrong with fletcher etc.

    Is there really an excuse to this?

  6. virgopq says:

    True United fans wl understand Fergie’s reaction & decision to blackout all news!. Only retards wl slap their face twice!.

    There’s no need to show concern for United fans for the lack of news or news blackout!. These so called concerned individuals r wolf in sheep’s clothin’, so to speak!. They r the lowest kind of scums!. They only create more rumours & problems for United!.

    Disrespect is when someone is cruxified for speakin’ his mind, moments after a game when emotions still run high!. Where is the respect then???.

    As for the ‘sore loser’ claim by the Loserpussies fans, I can only say this – Envy leads to desperation!. Just look at the achievements at both clubs for the past 2 decades & you wl know who r the sore losers!.

  7. Tom Shanks says:

    No club is bigger than the league and no man is bigger than the club. For all the titles and cups he has won, to crown him a sir and see him behave in such a manner is well a little disappointing to put it mildly. He is a terrific manager, but even a 69 year old needs to self reflect.

  8. Responsible Manc says:

    Total rubbish that true fans must understand the total black-out. Go and make Nani understand that his club does not defend him when he needs them the most. Total shit.

    As for the last 2 decades, we must not blow our own trumpets. It’s there for all of us to see. The Scousers will then talk about their glorious years and we’ll never finish.

    • Yashi says:

      To be fair, a club spokesman did give an update on Nani’s injury after the match. It’s just that Fergie and the players said nothing, though I am sure Fergie had words of support for Nani.

  9. henok says:

    waw nobody is bigger than the p league and no man bigger than ser alex fergi…….

  10. lolol says:

    Nice shot at liverpool in the end to try and cover up for old whiskey nose. The guy is a whining little child if he doesn’t receive special treatment. Lol at trying to cover for jason fergie too. Yeah, he wasn’t convicted of any wrong doing but that’s because we know how the fa caters to the whiny ferguson family. His company represented 13 utd players and he resigned a day before the bbc documentary came out. Hmm.. I wonder why? I don’t need to see shit to know its around, just need to smell it, and that little scandal reeks of shit. Responsible manc seems to be the only one not completely blinded with bias and you other mancs attack him? Hahahaha ggmu. Girls gone mentally unstable.

    • Yashi says:

      Yeah, that one small tiny paragraph about Liverpool covers up for the rest where I explain why Fergie might be wrong! Maybe if you actually read the bloody article, you would see how annoyed I was with Fergie’s childishness, you idiot.

      Can’t be bothered to read beyond the usual paranoid cr*p about FA bias. It’s just sad.