Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ferguson's top 21 clangers...

Fergie celebrated 21 years in charge of United on November 6th and earlier this week we highlighted our top 21 moments under his stewardship.

Here we present our top 21 Fergie clangers.

This assignment has been quite tough, largely because of the manager's superb record during this lengthy spell.

All lists are subjective and fellow United fans will have their opinions together your own version of the list. You might not agree with some of the players listed here, so as ever, send us your comments, together with your own views..

21 Signing David Bellion - He might be scoring goals now in France, but he
was never going to be a United player. An appalling error of judgement

20 Signing Djemba Djemba - So bad they named him twice

19 Sacking the club doctor. Mike Stone was well liked by everyone at United,
he even helped Fergie out of a tight spot in court over a possible driving
conviction by giving evidence in support of the manager, but he was shown
the door - many say that the fall-out was over the injury to Wayne Rooney and the speculation surrounding England and the striker's return date

18 Signing Kleberson - He probably wasn't given enough time at the club, but
he didn't do enough when chances came his way

17 Karel Poborsk√Ĺ - Another one who didn't do enough to justify the faith shown in him by the manager

16 Signing Ralph Milne - Many Reds say that Ralph was United's worst ever player. Harsh?

15 Signing Masimo Taibi - He started badly and got worse

14 Signing Veron - An undoubted talent, but the player let himself down during much of his time at United. He has to be included in the list because ultimately he turned out to be a bad buy with United losing a fortune on the player.

13 Appointing his brother Martin as a scout

12 In 1995 Fergie publicly blasted fans group IMUSA who were campaigning for lower ticket prices. This was the first time Fergie would score an PR own goal with the United fans, but it wasn't to be his last

11 Publicly threatening to retire in 2001 which eventually affected the players performance on the pitch

10 Falling out with McManus and Magnier over a horse

9 The grey kit fiasco at Southampton when the manager said that the players
couldn't see other because of the colour of the strip and promptly made them
change at half time. The Reds still lost the game 3-1

8 Playing 4-5-1 at home in the Premier League against also-rans

7 Continually falling out with the BBC. All managers should face the cameras and speak to the fans. Fergie has had several run-ins with the corporation. The latest ban on the BBC concerns a documentary about football agents and one of Fergie's sons. The manager previously sued Match of The Day magazine after they'd published an article in which he was described as a bully. There was another ridiculous argument with the BBC when he stormed out of an interview after he had TOLD them not to ask questions about the sending-off of Roy Keane, John Motson received the famous hairdryer treatment that day and the interview came to an abrupt end after he'd enquired about the Irishman's record, it was the third time he'd been red carded at United

6 Losing to Porto in the Champions League quarter final and in doing so
leaving out Ronaldo of the first leg

5 Publicly supporting the Glazer family and then saying fans shouldn't expect
to have a say in the running of their club - which contradicted his earlier
support for fans group Shareholders United

4 Losing to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League semi-final

3 Putting down Brian Kidd in his autobiography - this was an act of betrayal
to a loyal servant of the club and a friend

2 Selling Jaap Stam and replacing him with Lauren Blanc

1 Consistently failing in Europe


  1. You left out Diego Forlan. An awful player.

  2. Good list and I don't think Forlan was that bad he just wasn't suited to the EPL, the same could be said for Proborsky, Veron and Kleberson.

    As far as dodgy signings go you left out Jordi Cruyff and Dong Fangzhou. Why we kept the latter and sold Rossi is a mystery, lots more merchandise to be sold in China I suppose!

    And what about the falling outs with Rudd Van Neistelrooy and Beckham which resulted in selling them sooner than we should have.

    Also not signing Ronaldinho from Paris St German has to be right up there as far as clangers go.

  3. This is where we differ. I would say that it was another of Fergies clangers dropping Diago everytime he scored and saved our 'arses and another one selling him, which Diego has proved by becoming a success in Spain

  4. dong fang zhou is another. he's useless.

  5. Get with the program! I said the list is subjective.

    Dong is nothing but a pawn in the game that is called 'marketing United in the Far East'. There's not a lot between Bellion and Dong IMO.

    Selling Beckham was what our number seven wanted and end of - he could have stayed but he didn't want to. Bobby Charlton confirmed this recently in his new book, I believe him as do many other Reds.

    I can tell you that before Beckham was sold a top executive of United floated the idea of selling him to a gathering of very clued-up Reds (fanzine staffers etc) to gauge the reaction of the rank and file.

    The said exec was told that the fans would support the club on this issue. United didn't want a backlash and they didn't get one either (IF anyone begs to differ then tell me what happened).

    In point of fact there was more rumblings when Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Kanchelskis were sold in 1995. This is what led to the Manchester Evening News running a now infamous poll on Fergie's tenure at the club - for which he has never forgiven the newspaper.

    At the time some well known members of IMUSA went round to Paul Ince's house in Bramhall to see if they could persuade him to stay. Richard Kurt, the well known and respected author and IMUSA's press officer was so upset he went as far as saying that it was time for Fergie to go too.

    Kurt eventually had to resign from IMUSA because his comments had been portrayed as those of the organisation, which wasn't the case, this was very much is own views that he was expressing. There was no backlash on the club when DB went, there was no questions about Fergie going and no polls in the local paper.

    RVN had to go too, he'd become disruptive and was causing tensions and issues in the dressing room. Not only that, his agent had reportedly been trying to sell him behind the club's back for the last two years of his contract. He worked his own ticket out of United is a widely held view among many Reds.

    The surprising thing is, Fergie hasn't made that many mistakes when letting players go, young or old. What's more, he's managed to replace Beckham with Ronaldo.

    I will accept that United haven't replaced RVN yet, but there's not many 30 goals a season strikers around. But nonetheless he had to go for the reasons outlined here.

    Despite all of the above, it was a real struggle to compile that list and yes we can argue about the rights and wrongs of buying and selling all day long. But considering how long he's been at United, then you might have expected the task to be easy, which it was not.

    Forget about the players and see if anyone can come up with anything else of note...

  6. I'd say his biggest error is continuing with that dogshit, awful, cautious 4-5-1 tactic, year on year, in Europe, allowing us to manage to go out repeatedly against teams we should have humped.

  7. Out of all those players the Gaffer let go, only Diego Forlorn and RVN have really prospered. J.S. Veron's purchase was a terrible miscalculation, although there was one night in Turin when United put Juventus to the sword, and the potential of the passing accuracy between Becks and Seba made them look awesome. Having the two of them together on the team was Ferguson's Utopian Dream gone wrong. It'seasy to see now that, when you've got two midfielders who refuse to fall back and tackle, simultaneously, it's a recipe for disaster. Getting rid of Keano and RVN in the pathetic way he did is what will ultimately will leave a stinky smell in his legacy. Of course, if Magnier and Magnusson hadn't have been given an in to the board in the first place by him, we might never have been sold to the Glazers. All of this failure, side by side with the successes is what makes him more human, of course. The fact that Pauly Ince STILL bemoans being given the heave-ho speaks volumes to me about the awe he feels for both the red-faced-one and the club. He never was the same once he was with Inter and, pathetically, Liverpool. David Beckham, while never the brightest spoon in the cutlery drawer, knew better than to take thirty pieces of silver from the Scousers or Newcastle!

  8. What about failing to sign Zinedine Zidane in 1996 before he went to Juve? Especially as Cantona told him to.


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