Monday, October 2, 2023

‘Arsenal are babies, Liverpool are the worst’

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Sir Alex Ferguson is a Premier League great. Under his stewardship Manchester United won the title 13 times, dominating the early Premier League era.

No one could get close to United for a number of years until Arsene Wenger revolutionised Arsenal and so began a fierce rivalry between the two sides. And the two managers.

Arsenal wrestled the Premier League crown from United’s grasp on three occasions in the Premier League era, famously going a whole season unbeaten – Invincible – in 2003/04. And while there was a feeling of mutual respect between the two coaches, there was never any love lost between them on the sidelines.

Mind games have always been a key part of football at the highest level and Ferguson and Wenger were the masters of it during their time at the helm. And former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand has given an insight into what it was like in the United dressing room under ‘Fergie’.

Speaking on William Hill’s Stripped Podcast, a new series in which ex-footballers and celebrities are invited to take a trip down memory lane by revisiting their favourite shirts, Ferdinand opened up on how Ferguson viewed Arsenal. And Liverpool for that matter.

And it will not make for great reading for Gunners supporters. Ferdinand said: “The most iconic team talk Sir Alex Ferguson ever gave at Manchester United was when we played Liverpool at Anfield once and he just said ‘I don’t even need to talk to you, really. It’s the worst Liverpool team I’ve ever seen on a team sheet’. That was it. And then yeah, we won that day.

“And then something Sir Alex Ferguson used to say about Arsenal during his team talks was ‘Get in their faces. They don’t like it, they can’t deal with it. They’re babies. Get right up against them and you’ll win this game. Rio, you’ll overrun them, you’ll overpower them’.”

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