Alex Ferguson – Lord of the Sith or Rab. C Nesbitt?
We all know “Sir” Alex is supposedly the master of mind games and at the level of a Jedi master if you were to believe the entirety of the Man IOU worshipping media and pretty much all of TV sports channels.
The most obvious example often quoted to back this assertion being when Kevin Keegan famously lost his cool and let rip with the “I’d just love it…” tirade, which terminally branded him as a “bottler” in the 1995-96 season.
Take a more recent example of how ole 65% proof nose used his dazzling psychological dexterity to become a winner on Sunday against the Dippers. It was another “Old Traffordish” decision given to the Salford reprobates that resulted in an undeserving penalty duly converted by everyone’s favourite Dreamworks character, via the rebound, to gain his team three valuable points.
The referee was Howard Webb, another referee that Govan’s finest has previously criticised publicly and none too subtly. Take your minds back to the season before last when we met Glazers Gimps at our place when we twice came from behind to salvage a draw while allegedly benefiting from being favoured by Howard the Coward. Not only did the whiskey infested sour puss moan about the refereeing but he deemed the atmosphere at our place hostile – a few quips of “siddown Taggart!” enough to offend Fergie’s tender and fragile persona. Incidentally you may compare Fergie’s whinge about nothing to the treatment handed out to our manager during the league visit to Old Toilet this season; sent to the stands for the heinous crime of kicking an empty water bottle so he could spend time amongst the slavering hordes of mono brain-celled mank glory-hunting numb nuts.
So, having publicly undermined Howard Webb our Whiskey enthusiast, who in common with all managers assesses the referees in his post-match report, let his displeasure be known in that public way.
OK, if a few FA disrepute charges come his way it’s a fair price for the later benefits (benefits such as the soft penalty for Valencia’s act of simulation that had more ham than Dewhursts) that arise from pressurising referees pre match. Of course every referee will say he is not effected by anything managers say, yet subconsciously Webb, and the likes of Riley before him, the need to get Sir Alex of Govan’s approval hangs heavily on them.
Earlier this season the FA finally attempted to reign in Fergie’s one man crusade against the “Respect” campaign when he said referee Alan Wiley “just wasn’t fit enough” to officiate the Salford Red Sox’s game against Sunderland.
It is significant that part of the judgement made by the FA committee on the disrepute charge subsequently brought contained this proviso “ Each member of the commission recognised Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievements and stature within the game.”
This implies that some degree of leniency was applied because of who the person being judged was – a clear and blatant example of footballing authorities falling over themselves to appease the mad old Scotsman’s rantings; what on earth has his achievements in the game got to do with what the appropriate punishment should be for bringing the game into disrepute? Furthermore, it suggests that managers who have not won trophies will get harsher judgements – what next, a sliding scale of penalties for managers based on how many trophies they have won?
by guest writer charybdis 1966