A ‘Phantom’ interview with Sir Alex Ferguson
Some of the most senior football journalists find it almost impossible to obtain an interview with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson so what chance does a humble blog writer has? The only alternative therefore is to have what might be called a ‘phantom’ interview and try guessing what responses are likely to be given. Is putting words into Ferguson’s mouth a little presumptuous? Of course it is but not a lot of harm can be done as long as it’s not taken too seriously.
Truly Reds – With the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done differently to retain the Premiership last season?
SAF – There may have been one or two minor things but basically nothing and here’s the reason. I firmly believe that we were never destined to win a fourth successive title. No club has ever been able to do it in 120 years of English football and that’s what we were up against – HISTORY. No matter what I may have done, I was never going to beat it.
You only have to look at the horrific number of injuries we had to carry throughout the season. Don’t tell me that the additional one or two points we needed at the end would not have otherwise been obtained. Edwin van der Sar only made 21 Premier League appearances and it was not only because of his early season injury. His wife got seriously ill soon after his return and obviously had to miss a few more games. How can anyone legislate against that sort of thing? It’s what makes one wonder if we were simply not destined to retain the title.
Truly Reds – Why did you not spend some of the huge amount of money you got for Cristiano Ronaldo to replace him and Carlos Tevez?
SAF – Two reasons and neither of them has anything to do with club debts. Firstly, every other club knew how much we received for Ronaldo and would have demanded 30-40% more than any player was truly worth. I’m a Scotsman so I was not about to throw good money away.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, can you imagine the huge pressure any player would have been under if he came here with a £50m or so transfer fee hanging over his head as well as trying to fill Ronaldo’s shoes? It would have been unwise on my part and totally unfair on anyone. Antonio Valencia on the other hand had a superb season because the expectations on him were not so high.
Truly Reds – OK, enough of what might have been. Will the title be coming back to Old Trafford next season?
SAF – Of course it will, what sort of question is that? As I said many times before, this is Manchester United and that’s what we always do. We have a wonderful squad and touch wood, I cannot see us having the same number of defensive injuries again. Don’t forget we scored 86 goals last season which is more than we did in 10 of the 11 titles we won since I came here. Granted, Wayne Rooney had an outstanding season but we are not simply counting on him repeating it. There are plenty of others who can also put them away.
Truly Reds – Who’s likely to be your next big signing and when do you expect it to be made?
SAF – Nice try but you don’t know me very well if you expect an answer to that question. The transfer market is very quiet apart from the odd club or two who seem to have more money than sense. Quite frankly, even if there is something imminent, I will never knowingly give my rivals the slightest of clues.
Truly Reds – Finally, the $64,000 question which every United fan has been asking for years. When is Manchester United going to need a new manager?
SAF – That answer was given many years ago. When Manchester United has obtained one more Premiership title than Liverpool, the headline which has been prepared for so long can finally be used.
Truly Reds – And what will that be?
SAF – It will simply read ‘FERGIE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING’
What would you ask Sir Alex if you had the chance?