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BeanymanSports
Born in Glasgow on New Years Eve 1941
Sir Alex Ferguson's first taste of European silverware came when he led Aberdeen to the 1983 Cup Winners Cup
Manchester United once a great side but in search of leadership and inspiration came knocking
But after three mediocre seasons his place at the helm lay in the balance
Until FA Cup goals from Mark Robins altered his career forever
Sir Alex Ferguson was reasonable for making Old Trafford a theatre and a fortress for over 20 years
Whilst their noisy neighbors worked there way through 21 managers United held on to just 1
Winning an unprecedented 38 pieces of silverware including 2 Champions League,
5 FA Cup and 13 Premier League trophies
I'm here to try and uncover how Sir Alex got the best out of players renowned for being talented yet temperamental
All he wanted was attention Eric, you know he wanted attention
I also want to try and get a rare insight into the man behind the manager
He got off the seat and he sprinted out that door, through the dressing room, screaming for the kit manager
So by the time he got back I had it opened up poured a couple of glasses, ohh it was hilarious
And I want to discover which places and people help carve the most formidable character in the history of the game
She came through and she kicked me, she woke me up and them three were standing behind her
She said 'You're not retiring, you're to young to retire'
So get ready... It's Fergie time
This is your sort of second home here, are you honorary golf captain at Mottram Hall?
Yes I am, I've only played twice since I became captain
I'm just down the road
So has your gold handicap improved or not?
No, I had the hip operation about a year and a bit ago
And I've only played about 4 times, played here a couple of times with Bobby Charlton but that's it
And is retirement what you thought it would be? I mean I know you're still very busy
But were there things you were looking forward to that you just thought well that be, I'll do that in retirement
Definitely, everyone's got bucket lists of course but I looked forward to it
And also I made sure I was going to be active
The difference being was that maybe waking up during the night and putting the television on
Difference from what I use to do up at 6 o'clock into the training ground
Now I do that maybe get up at 8, have breakfast with Cathy, It's the first time she's ever had breakfast with me
So that's a big change but I set out to be active all the time
The fist thing we did, a cruise up to the Scottish Highlands
With my family and my mates, just all men
And we started off at Oban and it was the day that Andy Murray won the open
So we had the champagne all ready
Won Wimbledon yea
We weren't setting sail until he won that, as we set out and all the people on the Quay were all waving to us
And we had the champagne out, well done Andy and we had a great time, It was fantasic
And that was that something, you thought you could have gone anywhere in the world and actually it was
A lovely summer that summer wasn't it [We were dead lucky] So you were really lucky [Dead lucky yea]
But was that something you'd set yourself? I always, I want to do the Highlands? I want to do the Islands
I want to go home really
Yea exactly, well as a Scotsman I'd never been to places I've gone to you know on that cruise
I'd never been to Oban in my life, that's amazing, it's not even far from Glasgow
And you've mentioned Cathy already, hugely important to your success I would think
Absolutely
What is it that shes brought in a marriage that's nearly 50 years, I mean it's 48 years I think you've been married now?
48 yea
How does she understand you and how much respect do you have for her in terms of listening to her if she says?
Shes a great judge, A great judge of people in particular, shes never been a football wife who goes to games
Shes never done that, she'd go to the cup finals and ???? use to say a waste of a ticket
Because she'd sit her and her sister talking and in the tearoom, hardly watched the game
But because it was the Cup final she would always go, and shes a good mother, a good wife
And a great grandmother, a fantastic grandmother
Well I should think you're a pretty good grandfather aren't you? because you've got time
Oh I love that now, I've always loved that, every week we've got some of them there you know
I've got 11 grandchildren now, ones 20, Jake and the youngest I've got 2 at 5
So they're great
And is it true that Cathy won't let you have any football memorabilia in the house?
No none, none at all
And what would happen if you came back with a book or something, football book?
Well we've got a library of football books don't get me wrong
But I've not got anything displayed about my career. It’s all in the United Museum, everything’s in there
And I think that’s the best place for it really to be honest with you, because it can be shared with every fan that goes in to the museum.
It's a fantastic museum, It's not a matter of me saying I miss it or anything like that
I don't even think about it, I think it's in the right place
But the most the sort of the most crucial influence she had and it didn't came out until a few years afterwords
But shes the one that talked you out of the first time you were going to retire
Absolutely, yea
And was that because she didn't want you around the house or you weren't, she thought you weren't ready yet?
She could sense I'd made a mistake and she knew I'd made a mistake
And I knew myself you know, the silly thing was it was impulse
It was a sort of a in the heat of the moment, I just decided
And I made it at the beginning of the season which is even worse
And I knew after a few weeks I said why did I do that you know
But then sometimes when you've got a stubbornness about you, you say well I've done it and then you carry it through
And then around about Christmas day or New Years day, I think it was New Year’s Day actually,
I was sleeping on the couch after dinner, with the boys and their families
She came through and she kicked me. She woke me up and them three were standing behind her
You know
She said, you’re not retiring, you’re too young to retire
And the boys said you're off your head to retire
With you as a child who were the influences on your personalty?
My parents were without doubt created the foundation for me in terms of they keep saying
Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, you know all these little things
Don't be late, that's my father oh honestly if your ever late he was in agony at me
But then you get to go to school and I had a fantastic teacher there, she was unbelievable, Mrs Thompson
She was a star
But she was very strict i mean there was a certain amount of corporal punishment wasn't there?
Ah but everyone got that in these days if you were you best behavior you got 6 of the belt that was the favourite
But enthusiasm and determination, I remember we played a game of rounders, we used to get a game of rounders
On a Friday afternoon maybe from 3 to 4 that was your sort of a sweetie
And it was my turn to bat
And there's first base there
And i'm looking at first base, i'll get to that first base
And I knocked the ball at the side,
She went absolutely lunatic
You Ferguson, if you ever do that again I will kill you!
Next time I was swinging at it as if it was the most important thing in the world
But she was fantastic and then when she died a few months later
A package come into my house and it was from my nephew and it was a belt
The belt that she'd hit you with?
Yea, yea everyone got it
You know it's fantastic and I've still got it in the house, it's fantastic
Despite the fact we've been talking about your retirement you have gone off on a completely different tangent
And you've got this role at Harvard University, Fellow to the executive education program
Now what does that involve and how do you prepare for it? because it's very, you know that sort of performance in front of a
Bunch of very very bright students that is quite nerve racking I should think?
The professor Anita Elberse she's Dutch, very clever woman
Great leader of her classroom, tremendous, came across with a young chap with her
And did a case study, watching you training at United, spoke to a few people at United
And they did interviews with me and then she did a case study for all the students and I'm sitting in the classroom
And there's all these young bright people
And the classroom was 2 classrooms say 65 each and one of the classroom was 45 nationalities
From all over the world and that was to me the most amazing thing and that tells you about Harvard it's such a brand
Of intelligence for people getting there and how there progress
I mean Bill Gates was there and Mark Zuckerberg
John F. Kennedy, I mean if you look at John F. Kennedy's staff, all his staff were former Harvard students
All of them and that's what they call The best and the brightest
And do they understand your accent?
I don't know
But I have to say this, I need to say this, speak slowly
Which I'm doing with you
I'm very grateful
And you have a board up and you've got certain key words
What do they find most interesting? What do they quiz you on?
They roll down boards and they keep putting up bullet points and all the rest of it
Part of it was a circle of what is important
Manager, CEO, owner, players, staff, then agents, supporters, press all these things
I scored out all of them apart from CEO, owner, players, staff and myself, those are the essentials to do that job properly
All the rest is always peripheral, The only way you can satisfy fans is by making them happy and winning on Saturday, that’s your job
The media, you can never satisfy media, but you have to do it.
And the agents, only time you hear from them is when they want money, a new contract or they want a player to move
As we well know that’s the job, So they’re peripheral to me in the job really
You've always been very curious, which is a great quality to have in terms of learning from other sports
I remember years and years ago we were at a yard in Lambourn and you were looking at the veterinary staff
And do you remember they were scoping that horse and you looked at the
And your trying the learn from what they were doing with race horses
Golf also you always loved and you obviously you went up to the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles
How impressed are you with the way Paul McGinley prepared that European side and the work he put in
To making sure pairings worked, that they brought out the best in each other?
Well that's what I tried to be to it
When Paul came to see me over a year ago, his detail, the plan he’d mapped out was fantastic, it was brilliant
And I was delighted and honoured that he asked me to participate in it. And we kept it quiet
We really did until maybe a few days before, but this had been going on for a year
And we made sure it was going to be right, It was going to be good
And I know how much you admire Andy Murray, I would think Rory McIlroy's quite high up you list aswell?
Oh yea
You see there are geniuses in life and Rory produces shots he shouldn't try. He’s got the ability to do it
And sometimes it doesn’t come off, but his imagination is such he can do these shots
And when they come off you say to yourself, How did he do that?
And hes got that in his locker, he's an exceptional exceptional player
He’s without doubt, I think, the most gifted golfer I’ve seen
And hes got the personality to you know
And he's a United fan so it helps
He's the all round package
He's an all round package correct
During his 26 years at Old Trafford Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of some of the greatest footballers
The game has ever seen
But unlike other elite clubs he didn't rely on an unlimited transfer budget to turn his squad into world beaters
Guaranteeing the sustainability of the club by making it's academy the best in Europe was his priority
He nurtured home grown talent, he developed them mentally and physically and he turned them into sporting icons
He also trusted his instincts and gut feeling when taking a chance on unproven and untested players
Under Sir Alex United were formidable on the counter attack pushing there opponents to the very limit
With him at the helm the won an unprecedented 61 Premier League games with a goal scored in the 80th minute or later
And when the cries of 'Attack Attack' echoed around Old Trafford
Opponents were filled with dread, fear and the horrible realisation of the inevitable
And it strikes me with all of your success, 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cup, 2 Champions Leagues
38 trophies in total
Is it the development of the players as individuals that gives you more satisfaction than even the vast array of trophies?
Definitely without question, Many people have different interpretations of what I’ve made Manchester United over the last 26 years
With great players, Rooney, Ronaldo, Cantona, Keane, Robson, Schmeichel, there’s too many to talk about
But honestly I think the spirit of Manchester United has come from the ’92 team
I think that gave everyone at the club, not just the supporters, myself, my staff the directors
Bobby Charlton who was brought up in the Matt Busby era, it brought back the history of Manchester Utd, no question
And it's fascinating that you was also prepared to take a risk so take someone like Cantona
Who, that wasn't an obvious signing and there would of been a bit of warning that might of come with it
And obviously he got into trouble then fairly early on
How do you turn someone like that round into becoming an iconic player?
Well my attitude to Eric Cantona was this but I made my mind up that all the package, all the baggage the was suppose to be with him
I was gonna dismiss it and treat him as a new young boy coming to my club
And spoke to him everyday, he loved that, all he wanted was attention Eric
You know he wanted attention, he loved to talk about football
And the time when he said when he said he wasn't coming back to play when he been in that 8 month suspension
And I went over to Paris and you know something, we went to this restaurant, the restaurant owner closed it
It was Eric his lawyer, his lawyer's secretary and his agent
We were in that restaurant, closed the restaurant in the middle of Paris
And all he wanted to do was talk about the great players in the game, About the Pele's , the Cruyff's, the Maradona's
World Cup finals, European finals and he was a real football man you know, underated
Underestimated person and that's what I carried out the whole time he was with me
I loved him because I was only young, youngish then and he use to play with his collar up and obviously that would do it for me
But he an incredible presence and I think it's interesting when you sometimes see Boris Becker's got it
Roger Federer's got it, some of the great boxers have got it, It's like they've got this glow around them
That makes them even bigger than they are, amazing
I totally agree with you and he was different, He was different. I remember when we went to a civic reception
And Cantona came walking in with this Indian jacket on
Everybody's head in the room turned to me and I sort of turned my head away as if I hadn't seen him. And I’m saying 'Jesus god'
What like a nehru collar jacket?
No the frills round the side and the big Indian.
Like an American Indian jacket?
Yea American Indian sorry
And the players were all focusing on me and wondering what I was going to say now you know
The next morning I says to him Eric. He said 'I don’t know, I thought it was casual' and I said 'well, some casual gear that' God
What did you say to the players on the team coach after you won the 2008 Champions League final?
Can you remember what you said to the players on the coach right afterwards?
So every bodies in high spirits, you'd beaten Chelsea in the final, it's all fabulous
Can't remember
You said, I think you said, If anybody doesn't want to win the Champions League again next year I'll rip up his contract
Oh It's true, I say many things, quite a few we should forget
But does it tend to be you reaction even to the greatest success of all? right reboot
It doesn't matter, tomorrows another day, It's the best way to approach it
If you get carried away with you successes then I think your complacency comes into it, complacency's a disease
A disease I'm telling you, You just got to be aware of it
And you're United teams had this incredible knack of winning in the last, well particularly the last 5 to 10 minutes of a match
That's part fitness.. I imagine but there's an incredible mental strength in that aswell
So what are you.. what were you doing to instill that belief because other teams started to be frighted of it aswell
Definitely.. That’s why I used to go to my watch. I never looked at my watch, honesty I didn't know how many minutes.
But it gets across to the opponents and the referee, it was just a little trick.
The thing about the last 10/15minutes of a game, particularly at Old Trafford, more than particularly at Old Trafford
We'll have 65 thousand people there, right. at half time I always stress don’t panic, be patient, wait.
In the last 15 minutes you can do what you like. I’m a gambler, shove bodies up front
Take the gamble, it didn't always work but a lot of times it did.
And the value when it does work is enormous, One.
If you’re in that dressing room after the game and we’ve scored in the last minute the electricity is unbelievable
They’re jumping on top of each other, hand clapping, the staff are going around it’s a fantastic place to be.
Most important thing is that those fans are walking out of the stadium desperate to get down to the pub to talk about it
Desperate to get home to tell their wife and their kids what happened at Old Trafford in the last minute of that game
And that’s my job, to get them home happy
And it's the greatest moment honestly, scoring in the last minute, it's probably you can encapsulate
My history at United about last minute goals, I love them, I could talk about them all the time
And there's no point any of us doing any of this in the wonderful world of sport unless we enjoy it
And after a game were you capable with an opposing manager of just being normal people?
And what was your technique for just enjoying it afterwards?
Mine was to invite the managers and their staff into my office at Old Trafford and if it was away from home all my staff would go in
Because we was always thinking of our dignity as Manchester United, Don't forget that and we'd never talk about football
Never talk about the game sorry, we may talk about who you got next week or what happened last week
All these kinds of things, we'd talk about a lot of things but it's always in a good atmosphere
You know and that's really important
And over a nice a nice bottle of wine?
Always a nice bottle of wine, I made sure
Always?
Well not always, some, oh it was Chelsea
I had to speak to Abramovich, I told him it's paint stripper you're giving me here
But what did you do to Sam Allardyce?
Oh Big Sam yea, It was my birthday and he brought this nice bottle of Haut Brion I think it was, It was a really nice bottle
and wrapped it up in Christmas paper, The kit manager came along and said ‘The gaffer brought that for you for your birthday’
I said 'Oh lovely put it up there'
So I took it but I put a bottle of Ribena in it and wrapped it up again
Big Sam came into the office after the game and I said ‘Thanks very much for the wine, I’m going to open it
And he said ‘No, no, no. You take it home. It’s for you’. I said, ‘Nah, I want to share it with you, Sam’
So I take it out and I say ‘What’s this?’ And I'm not kidding, He got off that seat and he sprinted out that door
through the dressing room screaming for the kit manager!
So by the time he got back, I had it opened up and poured a couple of glasses. Oh It was hilarious, It was brilliant
And he's a good mate of yours isn't he?
Yea yea
We talked briefly before the interview started about Jose Mourinho
Is Jose Mourinho somebody who in the modern world of football is the kind of guy who is always going to be successful
Hes got a bit of, he seems to have a bit of star quality
It's unfair really. He’s good looking, he’s got that sort of George Clooney white bits in his hair now,
But I think he is a great example, he can speak five languages or whatever he can
He goes and becomes an interpreter for Bobby Robson, follows him to Barcelona, works under Louis Van Gaal, he is learning all the time
He has got a determination, he wants to be a coach, He never played the game, by the way
Now you tell me how many presidents would give a manager a job who has never played? None. But he has done it
Then he goes and manages a small team in Portugal, then goes to Porto and wins the league, wins the UEFA Cup
Wins the European Cup, goes to Chelsea and wins the league, twice. Goes to Inter Milan
But that's is an example to anyone who wants to do well, you shouldn’t let the barriers get in your way if you want to get there
In everything you say and the way that you say it, you're a fan, at heart you're a fan and you are now a full time fan of Manchester United
So as a fan, What's your take on where the club is now?
Well, First of all, Louis Van Gaal, I don’t know how he can expect to get the best results with the injuries he’s had
And when he gets the best players back, you watch United, because he’s a great coach, he’ll do well.
I’m not interested in what’s happening with the players he’s brought in because they’ll need time
When I took Patrice Evra and Nemenja Vidic in the January of the same year, they were all over the place
It took 5 months to get used to playing for Manchester United, the culture, the history of the club
And these new players will be exactly the same
They’ve still got great players, I think Michael Carrick is the best centre midfield player in English football
I really do, I think he’s the best English player in the game
I think Robin Van Persie, the World Cup maybe taken a little bit out of him, but you watch him in the second half, he’ll be fine.
Rooney is back flying and Rooney will always get you a goal and that’s always an advantage
When a team has got a goal scorer in a team
And the one that’s most pleasing to me of the present lot is David de Gea.
When we bought him he was a kid. Yea he was frail, He was skinny, but he had an ability. He’s got special talents
And it’s shown and i'm really pleased for that kid, you know I really am
But once they get the players back they’ll be fine, make no mistake about it
Take the price for next years title?
Yep
So finally I hear there are rumours of a screenplay being written about your life
Really?
Yea
Well I haven't heard that
You Haven't?
No
Because I want to know whose meant to play you
Who do you want to play you?
Well all the great ones are dead
I don't know
I know about that Daniel Craig he's blinking Liverpool fan
So we can't have him
Can't have him, I don't know, I wouldn't think about that
No
Will it bother you?
To see yourself on screen I mean? Would you, not one way or the other?
I don't know how it would sell
No
Thank you for your time
Pleasure
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Sir Alex Ferguson Full Length Interview (w/Subtitles) - Fergie Time, Van Gaal & Developing Players

1326 Folder Collection
ManUtdDog published on February 11, 2016
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