It appears Alex Ferguson has lost his sense of humour somewhere along the way. Yes, the lovable uncle who brought us running jokes like “flexible added on time when United are losing” and “signing crap midfielders” has been lashing out repeatedly at his now-rich footballing neighbours, (Manchester) City.
Last week he gave his opinion on former reserve Carlos Tevez when he said:
“The fans quite rightly have their heroes and I respect the fans, so I was happy to go along with a deal as long as it was the right deal. Our success is down to the fans and their support and we need them but, simply, he was not worth £25 million.”
I personally don’t think he’s wrong there. I’ve made the point before that Tevez is a good player but not top quality and is way overpriced at £25m. That was a fair comment from Ferguson. But as for this …
“City are a small club with a small mentality. Arrogance comes in lots of different ways. They have had a problem ever since I came here — Manchester United. They think taking Tevez away from United is a triumph. It’s poor stuff.”
That he would issue such a snide comment in the first place shows that perhaps Fergie is a little rattled, perhaps even envious of the money that City are now backed with. One of the triggers for the outburst is the cheeky but amusing “Welcome to Manchester” billboard that hyped the City signing of Tevez.
In a bid to further undermine City, Ferguson alleged that former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor tried to get United to sign him even after he’d agreed to sign on at Eastlands.
“At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us.”
This is a very plausible allegation but it seems an unnecessarily spiky barb for the current Premier League Champions to aim at a club who are light years behind them on and off the pitch.
Considering how gracious Ferguson has been about Ronaldo moving to a club whom he claimed he wouldn’t sell a virus to, his animosity towards City is puzzling. City won’t challenge United next season but Ronaldo potentially stands in the way of another Champions League win.