Now they’re all climbing out of the woodwork and rallying to Fergie‘s defence. Who knows if there is an element of self-interest here, whereby they are saying “Hey- look at me! I’m a loyal guy you can trust just in case SAF does get the boot!!” But let’s not be cynics and see who the main men are.
Birmingham manager, Steve Bruce has come out strongly in defence of SAF:
“If Sir Alex is under pressure, we have all gone barking mad.
He has won 25 trophies in 20 years and he is under pressure? Do me a favour.”
Bruce was an integral part of SAF‘s first “great team” that brought United out of its 20 years in the doldrums.
Bryan Robson, manager of West Brom, also has lept to Fergie‘s defence:
“When you’ve got a record like that, he is the person you do look up to and you’d love to achieve anything like he has achieved as a manager.
I am sure he will stay at the top. Don’t worry, United will finish in the top three. There is absolutely no doubt about that. I also wouldn’t put any money against them winning one of the cups.
Sir Alex has fantastic young players coming through who need a bit more experience – but when you look at some of the players at the club, they are going to stay up there. They are not going to slip down the league.”
Robson was also a part of Fergie‘s first “great team” and wore the famous no.7 shirt.
Mark Hughes, manager of Blackburn joins the concensus:
“Sir Alex has also experienced this before.
He knows the situation, that if United lose in games then he is open to criticism along with his players, and that has always been the case.
But his experience knows how to deal with it. It makes him stronger as a guy, and his team stronger as a group.
He’s been through worse and come through it, and I have no doubt he will come through it again.”
Hughes makes up the trio of players who SAF mentored in the late eighties and early nineties, to come out and support him vociferously.
No other club in the UK has such far-reaching associations within other clubs in the form of ex-players, as Manchester United. And it always inspires lifelong loyalty.
United captain Gary Neville has also voiced his support for Fergie:
“The players do not have to lift themselves, they know their responsibilities.
They have a lot of fight as they have shown over the last few weeks. That’s why they are at Manchester United.”
The papers seem to be changing their tune a bit as well.
Both papers were knocking SAF just yesterday.
So it seems that there is some life in the great man yet…
Perhaps he most important reaction was one of under-reaction by the Glazer family:
A family representative said:
“It was a disappointing result but has no bearing on the family’s long-term ownership of Manchester United.”
Asked about the financial implications, he said there was enough “slack” in the investment to deal with the situation.
The Glazers appear to be unfazed by the result, saying that through the ownership of American Football team Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the family was used to coping with the “ups and downs” of sport.
He added: “We’re still second in the Premiership. The show must go on.“
Asked about Sir Alex Ferguson‘s position as manager, the spokesman said he did not want to comment on individuals, and made it clear the club’s focus was on their next match, at home to Everton on Sunday.
At Manchester United Blog we also give our voice to the calls for patience and faith in SAF’s stewardship. With young players, such as Rooney, Smith, Ronaldo and Park things are only going to improve as they gain more experience.
Let’s concentrate now on winning the Premiership. Come on Wigan tonight!!