Over the past week Sir Alex Ferguson has been publicly vocal concerning a number of issues currently plaguing the Premier League. On further investigation I have reason to believe that the Manchester United boss possesses a mouth that reeks of hypocrisy.
On Saturday evening, moments after United’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, the Scot bemoaned a lack of injury time as his side had failed to rescue a point in the four minutes that were added on. 'They gave four minutes. It is an insult. It is ridiculous. It is denying you the proper chance to win the football match.’ Clearly he had forgotten about the other 36 minutes of playing time leading up to the final whistle.
It seems that he has also forgotten about his notorious reputation for bounding up to the touch line to tap his watch, whenever his side is clinging onto a slender lead? Ferguson is also leading the case for time keeping to be taken out of the control of officials, presumably believing that he was already doing a sterling job of that himself?
More recently he has thrown his hat into the ‘diving debate,’ after Sergio Aguero claimed that British players are treated more fairly than foreigners by referee’s. The 70 year old combated those claims by saying, "We have known for quite a few years there are plenty of players diving and, you have to say, particularly foreign players."
However Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side(s) contains some of the more prominent diving culprit’s in the game:
Ronaldo – Although no longer a United player the Portuguese winger spent years perfecting his dive on numerous Premiership grounds. You won’t find a ‘football divers list’ that doesn’t mention his name.
Nani – Despite Ferguson defending him the young Michael Jackson lookalike has a renowned reputation for going to ground easily. Not surprising when you consider that he learnt from the master, and fellow countryman, above.
In contradiction to the Scot’s “foreign players” diving accusations he also has in his squad two English players fond of a theatrical tumble.
Wayne Rooney – In 2009 ‘The Sun’ newspaper printed a headline, ‘I’ll never dive – really Wayne?’ This was after he had been booked for diving in the penalty area during a 1-0 to Aston Villa, despite proclaiming to the national press that he would never play act.
Ashley Young – The winger has been guilty of ‘disgraceful’ dives that have caught the attention of the criticising press, most notably against QPR and Aston Villa. He has also been booked in an England shirt for simulation.
But perhaps the most damaging reminder to Ferguson’s rants of late can be dug out from the autobiography of an ex player. Remember Jaap Stam causing a stir by documenting an inside account of the Scot’s approach to gamesmanship, when still under his management? The Dutch defender revealed, "It's got to the stage where he has even told us: 'Don't try and stay on your feet if you're in the box and get a slight kick. He wants us to copy other sides we face in European competitions and go down to win a penalty.
It would seem that Ferguson’s well known, and obvious, penchant for ‘Wriggles Spearmint Gum’ has finally been unearthed… it helps to mask the smell of hypocrisy.
Is Ferguson simply trying to mask the deficiencies in United's midfield by creating headlines? What do you think?
image: © marcel sigg