Footballrumours’s Blog


Mindgames Backfire on Ferguson
April 20, 2009, 3:05 pm
Filed under: FA Cup | Tags: , , , , ,

Alec Ferguson was left enraged again yesterday after his team were defeated on penalties by Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. The Manchester United manager has a long running history of troubles with referees with the Football Association repeatedly pursuing the manager about is conduct with regard to refereeing decisions against his team. Ferguson has also been in the press recently criticising Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez for an alleged disparaging taunt during a recent match when Liverpool defeated Blackburn Rovers easily. Ferguson seems quite happy to put up his deputies for post-match TV interviews but decides to appear in person when the agenda suits him.

Of course Ferguson is himself no stranger to using press interviews to play mind games with future opponents. Recently we noted his part in a run-in with Harry Redknapp prior to an earlier FA Cup game against Spurs when Redknapp was suggesting who he might put up to play against Ferguson’s team given his injury worries and poor league position. In the end Spurs lost the game and Manchester United went on to the semi-final stage while Spurs have gone on to recover their Premier League position and are even chasing a European competition place for next season. meanwhile Liverpool and Manchester United are almost locked to gether at the top of the league with six and seven games remaining respectively.

Prior to the semi-final Everton’s manager David Moyes made a comment about the match referee Mike Riley being a united fan. In the past Riley has been accused of making decisions biased towards United. Perhaps he should never have been selected to referee the game but he was and found himself in the hot seat when United had a strong claim for a penalty. When the penalty was not awarded Ferguson could be seen jumping around in rage on the side of the pitch and after the game accused the referee of being fearful of awarding it given the pre-match accusations. Had Moyes planted that seed in the ref’s mind?

Benitez has been known to heap praise on Chelsea in the past, saying he thinks it’s a fantastic club and he likes their style, so we may be set for some further rallies between the two managers in the run up to the FA Cup final in May.

Oh and Ferguson was also moaning about the state of the pitch at Wembley this weekend. I think that sums up his state of mind at the moment.

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