Rather than being hit with long touchline bans and hefty fines, Sir Alex Ferguson’s opinions should be listened to and heeded when he goes on one of his frequent rants. After all, he speaks from many years of experience and talks plenty of sense yet he seems to be the only one prepared to say what he thinks. Take the England ‘reserves’ friendly with Ghana as one example. Sir Alex just cannot see the value of such a fixture after so many senior players were released from the squad by England manager Fabio Capello following the defeat of Wales in the Euro 2012 qualifier on the weekend.
The whole idea of international friendlies is “a waste of time” he says “I am all in favour of the competitions. The players should play in the major competitions – the European Championship and the World Cup” Ferguson concedes “but friendlies are a waste of time as far as I am concerned. We always say that. It is understandable for the coach. They have the players for a period when they can influence them. But every time there are friendlies you get six or seven call offs. It is sometimes worthless for the manager to build on that because of the lack of players.” True words which must be taken notice of by the authorities.
Then there’s the matter of the FA Cup semi finals being played at Wembley. Ferguson had another rant about that and who can possibly argue with him? “There will be 60,000 people coming down from Manchester – think about how much petrol is used for that?” he said, which is a fair enough question. “Think of the amount of people from the north west driving down there. Stoke fans, Bolton fans, City fans, United fans – and on the same weekend Liverpool fans are travelling down for the clash with Arsenal”
“You’ve also got people coming down to see the London Marathon. It’s going to be absolute chaos. I don’t think the cost of people travelling down to Wembley is considered” Ferguson continued “You’ve got Villa Park and Anfield just there on your doorstep. It’s quite incredible but there’s nothing that can be done about it.”
United travelling fans are faced with a minimum of four trips to London in the next month alone with the possibility of another two by the end of May should they go through to the FA Cup and Champions League finals. A tough ask for any fan no matter how committed they may be to the cause. That should not be surprising however. As has often been the case in recent years, fans are right down at the bottom of the pile when it comes to setting priorities.
Keep on ranting Fergie, no matter how many toes you may step upon.
Late News – Skipper Nemanja Vidic has made a surprise early return from injury and will play for Serbia in their away clash with Estonia tonight. Manager Vladimir Petrovic has revealed that the United defender is ready to start his first game since injuring his calf two weeks ago saying that “Vidic is with us again and he is ready to play from the beginning. My only concern is about the condition of the pitch because it is a winter landscape.” Let’s hope that Vidic comes through unscathed for Saturday’s trip to West Ham otherwise you can expect another Ferguson outburst – and rightly so.
Is Ferguson wise to keep on speaking his mind or should he simply shut up?