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 Post subject: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:03 pm 
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It sounds like a kiss-and-tell but it's more like a kick-and-tell from author Daniel Harris, whose new book - with a foreword from Michael Crick - chronicles a season watching United everywhere and anywhere but Old Trafford.


This excerpt was written in the wake of embarrassing defeat against Leeds in the FA Cup, which Daniel traces right back to Ferguson's acquiescence to the Glazers' takeover...



When Morrissey declared that he had forgiven Jesus, he was criticised by some for daring to suggest that could possibly be necessary. In similar vein, there'll doubtless be plenty who'll criticise me when I say that I haven't, and will never, forgive Fergie.


Even though I've spoken them hundreds of times over the last four years, these are words that never flow easily. When the bible is read in synagogues, it's sung according to a melody known as the trup, with each word marked by a particular note - one of which, the shalshelet, appears only five times in the entire Torah. It's use is to indicate a pause, whilst its subject suffers the agonising turmoil of what's termed a sin against the soul - when Joseph rejects the advances of Potiphar's outrageously attractive wife, for example. And that's how it feels to despise the man responsible for a reality so inconceivable that even Joseph himself couldn't have dreamt it.


That heroes always let you down is a cliché for a reason, but even so, you'd have thought that Fergie had racked up sufficient credit to remain one forever. Although Busby status became unobtainable following unsued-upon allegations made in two BBC documentaries - the first based on a biography wriiten by eminent United historian Michael Crick, the second a similarly authoritiative investigation into his agent son Jason - the reported indiscretions are dwarfed by achievements that won him significant slack. However, his ushering in of the takeover reeled it all in and then some, imperilling the club in a way that was not only unacceptable but entirely avoidable.


Rewind to early 2005 and things looked a little different, even though horse semen and money appeared to have become more important than the famous Man United - evidenced not just through the dispute over Rock of Gibraltar, but the disgusting signings and performances that defined the period. Yet even then, and as the song goes, every single one of us still loved Alex Ferguson; not as blindly as before, but nonetheless with devotion. A hefty part of the reason why was the following quotation, dated November 2004:


"There's a stronger rapport between the club and the fans than there's ever been. We are both of a common denominator; we don't want the club to be in anyone else's hands. That is the way that the club stands with that. I support that."


Fairly categorical, you might think, and indeed it was, until it wasn't. Some might say that Fergie had no choice but to renege on his word because his job became dependent on it, but I'm not having that; had he clearly stated a refusal to work with the Glazers, the banks would never have lent them the money. But at the same time, he'd have known that the Glazers needed him more than the plc, so stayed silent to protect his own position, already more heavily fortified than a man with a hipflask full of malt and a packet full of Nik Naks. And supporters have been paying for it, financially and emotionally, ever since.


Yes, there's plenty the authorities could have done, and yes, David Gill could have kept his word too, but we never expected we could rely on them. Fergie, on the other hand, was one of us, the proudly socialist man of the people who promised never to forget his roots, nor the backing he was given by United's support in his ridiculous dispute with Coolmore.


Fast forward a few months to August 2005, and United were in Budapest to play Debrecen. Happening upon the official party at the airport, a disgruntled fan took issue with Fergie over the takeover. The club's official website reports that the following was allegedly said:


Fan: "You've f***ed us over too, you could've spoken out about it."


Sir Alex: "I've got close friends who've been working with me


Fan: "So don't the fans come first."


Fergie: "Well I suppose they do come somewhere."


Fan: "You what? That's well out of order."


Sir Alex: "If you don't like it, go and watch Chelsea."


Fan: "The fans have been screwed right over. It costs me over £20 a game as it is."


Sir Alex: "It costs more than that at Chelsea - go and watch them."


In one short conversation, a legacy two decades in the building, not just tarnished, but forever buried under a mountain of turds. Despite the pompous pontications in his autobiography, to Fergie football is evidently not about more than on-pitch accomplishment; identity, community and belonging are insignificant when compared to the needs of his little fraternity, which the cynical might claim is comprised of but one person.


So it is that blame for anything going wrong can be legitimately attributed to him. Lose at home to Leeds? Well if Fergie had spoken out, you can be sure there'd have been a better striker on the bench than Michael Owen, who has missed a quite remarkable number of chances since he began infesting the club with his presence. This week, Owen was advised that to galvanise his career, he should address matters of feng shui, by Geoff Boycott of all people - not exactly renowned for the lightness of his touch, shall we say. Anyway, though I can't comment about the positioning of the furniture in Owen's mansion, United's squad would certainly look more centred and aesthetic without him in it.


Notwithstanding Fergie's duplicity, the eleven he selected ought to have been more than capable of disposing of Dirty Leeds, well though they played. Vidic pulling out of the warm-up wasn't helpful - according to the ever-insightful Mike Phelan, "there was something wrong with his body" - but it was reasonable to expect better from Wes Brown, who endured one of the periodic nightmares that reminded everyone why he was displaced by Vidic in the first place.


Talking of Phelan, one can only wonder how on earth he has risen to become Fergie's number two (and yes, there's a childish joke there). With the manager an infrequent training ground presence, and renowned neither as coach nor tactician, it would be handy if the person charged with so doing was properly qualified, rather than happening to be around when the previous incumbent left. Carlos Queiroz certainly wasn't anyone's favourite, often blamed for an unnecessarily conservative approach, but at least while he was around, the team defended properly, and it's hard to think of any players who've improved significantly since he left.


Perhaps the major difference between this United squad and those of recent years is the number of players able to make the crucial difference when things aren't going well. This season, only Berbatov, Giggs and Rooney have proved themselves in that category, whereas in the past, there've been a few on the pitch, with a few more waiting on the bench. It's now twice that chasing a goal, Darron Gibson has either been left on or brought on in forlorn hope that he belts one in from distance, the kind of quiet desperation that is really not the United way.


All in all, there've been better weeks to be a Red - with the press finally noticing what anyone with a brain could see in 2005 - reminders of the debt and the future it promises are everywhere


Daniel Harris

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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:15 pm 
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I'm sure Fergie will find it difficult to sleep at night.

For me there isn't anything to forgive Fergie for. In a time of turmoil for the club he's kept the ship headed in the right direction maintained success and instead of forgiveness he needs a thank you. Forever indebted to the man who has caused me many brilliant nights of celebration in my short life time.

Fergie leaving Old Trafford will be a sad sad day.

As far as i'm concerned you don't like Fergie you may as well go and support Chelsea because to many of us he is a god among men. Over the past 20 yrs many players have come and gone but there has only been one manager keeping them all in check.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Resurrection Joe wrote:
Perhaps the major difference between this United squad and those of recent years is the number of players able to make the crucial difference when things aren't going well. This season, only Berbatov, Giggs and Rooney have proved themselves in that category


Did he stop watching United in 2005?

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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Load of tosh imo. Sensationalist crap to try and sell a book.
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had he clearly stated a refusal to work with the Glazers, the banks would never have lent them the money

how does he know that?!! That would've been a hell of a gamble


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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:28 pm 
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This crap was actually posted about 2-3 months ago on his ESPN blog - I find he chats a lot of crap really w/o saying much.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:05 pm 
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Don't know who this guy is but he seems like an absolute c**t.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I Can Never Forgive Fergie...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:16 pm 
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What a load of absolute b*llocks. The writer seems to have completely, and conveniently turned a blind eye to the previous 3 seasons where we won 3 PLs, a CL, 2 CCs and reached the CL final. Seems like a spur of the moment written thing and he doesn't seem to grasp the fact that we let go of two of our most influential players and we're going through a transitional phase, like when Becks left. Re: the Glazers - I still can't see what they're doing wrong. They've provided the transfer funds and have supported Fergie all the way. Everyone seemed to accept it until last season when we failed to win anything of significance. Imagine if no one knew that the Glazers were in charge, I doubt the fans would notice.

His one point about Phelan is valid though, IMO - surely we could do better than him?

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