The Real Footie Analyst

Fergie’s Obsession

The following is a blog post I originally posted on my first blog (no need to visit it as it’s so old) and forray into the world of blogging. It refers to Sir Alex Ferguson’s obsession with Liverpool’s record title haul of 18 league titles, and his ‘remit’, as he calls it, to “knock them of their f**king perch!” Well, as of tomorrow we might just see that happen if Manchester United manage to overcome a resurgent Chelsea at Old Trafford. I think it’s great for the game that two teams can challenge each other for bragging rights. It would be so boring if one team dominated so much that it would seem impossible to catch-up. But, with Kenny Dalglish in charge at Liverpool we might just see a revival at Anfield? Who knows….

Liverpool and Manchester United will always be England’s two greatest rivals in the game, and United have a manager that instills this in his players as a matter of life and death. I do admire this from a manager but sometimes it seems a tad bit too much. He is also more importantly obsessed with overtaking Liverpool’s records at all costs.

It’s been a life-long obsession of his since the early days at the helm of Manchester United to wipe out the Merseyside giant’s admirable record. The mention of Liverpool and their glorious history makes the man froth at the mouth, and most surely makes his blood boil each time a journalist compares his current squad, their recent success domestically and in Europe, with the likes of the Liverpool greats that once dominated the old Division One.

Here’s a look at few points taken into consideration and underlines the obsession and fierce rivalry he has for the famous club in red.

Pursuit of 18 league titles and five European cups – this is understandable and is a topic he brings up each season as they etch ever so closely to it. Ferguson has delivered another ‘double’ for his beloved club but the time must be surely running out to catch-up in Europe. Those five stars on the Liverpool crest are not won over a few years, but rather by some great teams over the last few decades. One of his former captains in Roy Keane echo the above. He said: “So the thing is to catch up Liverpool next. They’re the target that Sir Alex Ferguson set at United when he first got the job.” Click here to read the full article.

‘Resting’ of players before key matches against Liverpool – is another sore point when the Manchester United midfield once dominated the England team. A few key players would often pickup a mysterious injury that would keep them out for a few days just before an England friendly. These would predictably take place just before key matches against their biggest rivals, and particularly in Liverpool’s case. With a bit a of research you’ll discover that the facts are out there but nobody has really picked up on it. It’s often agreed that these matches are rather futile and senseless, and only increase the chances of players picking up injuries but is it club before country in Sir Alex Ferguson’s case? Paul Scholes in particular would often be rested due to a niggle picked up during club training. Poor Wales suffered the same fate with Ryan Giggs being sidelined just before key qualifiers. Yes of course all managers want their best team on the field but it leaves a sour taste in the mouth if you think about it. One has to question his integrity. Scholes retiring from international football is another mystery I’d like to someday get my head around.

The Gabriel Heinze snub – is another story that springs to mind. The player publicly stated his desire to play for Liverpool. Ferguson was having nothing of it and ensured that the controversial transfer didn’t take place with it eventually being decided by a bitter legal dispute in court. There was no way he would let his fiercest rivals gain the upper hand by signing a player that was named Player of the Year in his debut season at Manchester United. Heinze was bemused by Ferguson’s obsessive behavior to deny his dream move. He said: “I still do not understand the real motives of United and think the whole thing set a bad example for football. “It is incredible that in the modern age – in the 21st century – there exists a situation where United will not sell to Liverpool” – he told the Daily Mail. Clearly the Argentine can’t get his head around the whole debacle. Click here to read the full article.

The pursuit of wonderkid Aaron Ramsey – again a hot topic of discussion as a host of top teams were chasing the youngster dubbed the ‘new Steven Gerrard’. Liverpool, Manchester, Everton and Arsenal were all reportedly lining up his signature. Alex Wenger eventually won the race much to the dislike of Ferguson. He is said to have been rather angry that one of his closest rivals has snatched Ramsey from under his nose. I’m sure he would have been even more angry if Liverpool managed to steal the show. This is just one of many fiercely fought transfer sagas as the top four clubs compete for the best talent across England and abroad.

Double Standards – again another blistering hot topic of discussion. Ferguson accused Liverpool of ‘tapping up’ Heinze in the transfer saga mentioned earlier. He said: “We are looking at Liverpool’s whole role in this,” says Fergie. “We are not letting them off with it.” Clearly this is a case of double standards from the United boss. He has pursued many players and lured them to Old Trafford with the same tactics. That’s most likely why FIFA has backed Real Madrid in the Ronaldo saga after Manchester United submitted a formal complaint. Click here to read the full article.

One could probably spend a lifetime collecting bits and bobs around Manchester United and Liverpool’s fierce rivalry, but that is a whole new topic of discussion on it’s own. Have a read at some of the funny stories around the rivalry that has taken place over the last few years. Click here.

It does however remain clear that Ferguson has been overly obsessive with his club’s fiercest rivals, and why not? Long may it continue!

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