Alex Ferguson lifts the lid on his anger management issues

SoccerBy Sunday World
Alex Ferguson has a ruthless reputation as United manager
Alex Ferguson has a ruthless reputation as United manager

Alex Ferguson has rejected suggestions that he ‘ruled by fear’ during his iconic reign as Manchester United manager.

Ferguson has also insisted that he only occasionally lost his temper with his players and claimed that his reputation for screaming at anyone who crossed him in his dressing room - a practice that became know as his hairdryer - was over-exaggerated by the media.

In comments appearing in The Sun, the iconic United manager has opened the door on some of the secrets behind his reign at Old Trafford, as he insisted his players were never afraid of him.

“There was a lot of myth about it,” said Ferguson of his infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment that his star players David Beckham and Ryan Giggs have confirmed they were on the end of at United. 

“It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that. The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem.

“On a Saturday after the game, I told them exactly how I felt, because we had trained at a level all week that I expected to win every game. I told them exactly the truth and the truth works.

“All the players understood that and it was never held against me. Then the next day it is pushed aside and I’m prepared to win again

“I never ruled by fear. Name a Manchester United team that played with fear.

“My job was to get a positive attitude into that team, for them to express themselves, never give in and enjoy playing for the club. That is sacrosanct.”

Ferguson also opened up on his challenge of bringing down the curtain on the career or iconic United players such as Bryan Robson, Steven Bruce and Denis Irwin at the back end of their careers.

“I had to remember that I was manager of Manchester United, not their father and I had to go and tell them their time had come,” he added. 

“Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Denis Irwin and Bryan Robson… it is very difficult to do.

“Some people might say it is ­ruthless but it is about loyalty to the club. I am their manager, employed by them, and it is up to me to make sure Manchester United remains the best team.

“I would make sure I did it in the best way and that they were comfortable with what the position was.

“But when you get older as a ­footballer, they don’t want to leave Manchester United. They want to play until they are 50.”