Hypocrisy From Alex Ferguson and The Supporters Who Defend Him

Jamie WardSenior Analyst IJuly 27, 2009

ROME - MAY 26:  Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United attends the Manchester United training session prior to UEFA Champions League Final versus Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico on May 26, 2009 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Who would have thought it? Alex Ferguson verbally attacks another manager for their arrogant behaviour, only to go and do exactly the same thing himself. His latest mumblings really are "beyond the pale."

But the Scotsman's latest verbal attack, or mind games as some would try to make you believe, is nothing new. It is old and irritating—much like Ferguson himself.

Normally, the United manager would leave his "mind games" until the tail-end of the season hoping to derail his rival's title charge, or before another team's crucial games. But it seems he just couldn't wait that long before getting out his famous little book of hypocrisies, and his smug little grin that smacks of a disturbed old man, lost in his own delusions of grandeur.

If you speak to a few less-than-intelligent United or Everton supporters about Rafa Benitez, amongst other rabid ramblings, they will be quick to tell you how arrogant the Spaniard is. They will harp on about an incident from a couple of seasons ago where Rafa claimed Everton was a "small club."

Notice how I used quotation marks when I wrote "small club."

Quotation marks, as you undoubtedly know, are used when a person says the exact words mentioned within the quotation marks. So, if you had not read the orginal quote from Rafa Benitez, you would rightly assume that he said the words "small club" when talking about Everton.

Read a few headlines or articles from national newspaper about the "small club" incident, and you get the same intentionally misleading paraphrasing and misquotation that you get from idiotic football supporters, reveling in their ingrained hatred that has been passed down from previous generations.

Arrogant Liverpool manager calls Everton a "small club."

What Benitez actually said was: "When you play against the smaller teams at Anfield you know the game will be narrow and compact and at times we were a little bit nervous."

No mention of the word "club" and no mention of the word "small" either.

If you listen to Ferguson's moans about Benitez and the incident, without hearing the actual quote from the Liverpool manager beforehand, you would be forgiven for thinking Benitez really did say what many are trying hard to make out.

Ferguson confidently states: “Benítez called Everton a small club, which just points to his arrogance," as well as "'Everton are a big club, not a small one which Benitez arrogantly said," (this quote came two years after the original "small club" incident).

This brings us nicely back to the subject at hand.

Manchester City have constructed a sky-blue billboard with the words "Welcome to Manchester" under a picture of their new signing, Carlos Tevez. Many have read into this as being a subtle dig at United, and Ferguson's response to this was to say: "It's City isn't it? They are a small club with a small mentality, all they can talk about is Manchester United."

Manchester City have won the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice, and the top flight English title on two occasions.

City are without doubt, in terms of honours, a smaller club that Manchester United. But to state that city is a small club can be considered quite arrogant and a touch disrespectful, surely?

If Ferguson is going to tell the world and his wife how "arrogant" Benitez is for saying Everton is a smaller team than Liverpool, then calling City a small club, according to Ferguson's very own moral standards, must be ridiculously worse than what Benitez actually said.

But for me, the disturbing thing is not the senile "mind games" of an old man paraded as an angel, but the way some United supporters consistently jump to Ferguson's defence and incredibly ignore any form of hypocrisy that pours from his mouth.

I love football. I am a massive supporter of football.

I think Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and last season they had one of the best squads ever constructed in English football. They play some sublime football and a major contributing factor is the intelligence and ability of their manager of 23 years, Alex Ferguson.

But I still hate the man.

Not because I'm jealous. Not because I'm biased. Certainly not because I support Liverpool. But because these are the type of people I despise in everyday life. The arrogant people who appear to believe they don't have to follow the rules of decency, and rules the rest of society is expected to adhere to.

I would lay my house down, if those same blind and in-group bias-led United supporters—who ignore the contradictions and hypocrisy that would make many other club's supporters whince—were to have Alex Ferguson as their employer or school teacher, I'm pretty certain their attitude towards his arrogant and contradictive behaviour would be considerably different.

But whilst he is leading the club to success after success, it's easy for some to just turn a blind eye.

It's even easier for those who know the score when it comes to the "great" man and his "mind games," and are happily, and intentionally, backing the manager for the sake of a pathetic football rivalry.


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