Sir Alex Ferguson is simply not with the programme

By Lee Ryder on Nov 26, 11 06:28 PM

It has been said many times before by ex-Newcastle players and managers that if the Magpies could produce a team as good as the Toon Army, they'd win everything in sight.

Alan Shearer said after the 1999 FA Cup final: "If we'd have been as good as the fans at Wembley - we'd have won 10-0."

However, Sir Alex Ferguson - who once reverted to under hand mind games in the 95/96 season as his side went head to head with Newcastle - sees things in his own unique way.

Astonishingly, rather than focus on the game ahead the Man United boss opted to hit out at the Tyneside media - and claimed Newcastle fans are "hard to please" in his pre-match programme notes.

"Fans are hard to please, especially on Tyneside.

"The local media have created an expectancy hard to match in reality."

"I have long believed some journalists in the North-East have assumed a bigger role than is normal to rest of country."

"They have exerted too much influence without being responsible of the consequences - except to heap more criticism on club and the manager."

From where I am standing, the fact that Newcastle have attracted huge crowds since 1969 without winning a single major trophy says that the fans have a right to expect a good team.

Over the years, Newcastle fans have known the team on the pitch has been below standard and some of the players purchased have not been up to the task and have failed to justify their wages.

I'm not talking about players who sweat blood for the club.

I'm talking about the Boumsongs, Luques, Owens, Geremis and Vidukas of the world who failed to grasp what Tyneside was all about, and did not play anywhere near their potential for long periods of their Toon careers.

Ferguson is entitled to his views as one of the most respected managers in the game.

But to blame the Press, the fans or mere expectation at such a fantastic club like Newcastle seems rather pointless.

After the 1-1 draw with Man U, Fergie sounded off another series of verbal volleys claiming the Mags were "slaughtered" at Old Trafford and it had been a "travesty" to not win the game because of Demba Ba's controversial penalty.

In a final swipe at Newcastle fans Ferguson said: "Alan had a lot to prove when he was given the job last December.

"Everyone is now hailing him up there as the new Messiah - even if they didn't say so at the time of his appointment."

Again, this comes down to judgement and after Pardew got the job after leaving third flight Southampton, Toon fans were entitled to their view then.

I haven't heard Pardew be called the "Messiah" at Newcastle once, but if fans giving credit where it is due is looked upon in this way by Fergie, it's almost laughable.

However, as Newcastle held on for a point at Old Trafford and Pardew and his players celebrated in style - the last laugh was to be had by the Toon Army in the away section.


Steve said:

Best article I have seen you write Lee keep up the good work. Glad to see old whiskey nose is fuming it is very amusing :-).

dave said:

Just because Fergie's been around a long time doesn't mean he's right all the time. By non-partisan media reports we were well worth the draw.
He's always been a sour bugger when his team don't win. And he's never acknowledged the luck his team have had - far & away more than they deserved- over many seasons.
So shut it and suck it up


canuckmag said:

Dear Sir Alex, please get your facts correct.
Man United had more possession and more scoring chances but were held to a draw by a battling Newcastle team.

If you want to use the term slaughtered then you should refer to the recent defeat of your team by Man City. That indeed was a slaughter.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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