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30th Oct 2019

What made Sir Alex Ferguson such a strong man manager

Wayne Farry

Sponsored by Paddy Power

Wes Brown opened up on one of football’s greatest managers on the latest episode of Liquid Football

When you think of Sir Alex Ferguson you probably think of a number of things. Trophies being the most obvious, but also teams that never knew when they were beaten; teams that were most dangerous when they had just conceded a goal, and teams that were mentally tougher than their opponents.

Over the years, Ferguson’s teams were behind some of football’s most exciting and hardly believable comebacks, from their 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, to almost the entirety of Ferguson’s final season in 2012/13.

On the latest episode of Liquid Football, one of Fergie’s former players – Wes Brown – sat down alongside fellow guests Gary O’Neil and Steve Sidwell to talk to host Kelly Cates about what made the Scot such a strong man manager.

Prompted by a question from Cates regarding who the best man manager they’d ever played under was, Brown said that it was Ferguson’s subtlety and his recognition of when to lose his cool that made him so respected and so effective.

“People always go on about the ‘hairdyer’. He didn’t do that to everyone,” said Brown, referring to the fabled ‘Hairdryer Treatment’ used by Ferguson during his time as manager.

“It’s just that’s what everyone thinks. It depends, and he was so clever at working out when the time was right to do that and when it wasn’t. He was a tough guy to work for because if you’re not doing it right he’ll tell you.

“But at the same time you know, if you’re going out on the pitch, just before the game, just a ‘Come on today, son.’ That’s all I needed. But he’d probably do that to everyone going out there and you don’t want to let him down; you don’t want to let Keano down, you don’t want to let Gaz, Giggsy down.

“All these players, you don’t want to let them down. So everyone’s got the same mindset and then you go out there focused to ultimately just get the win.

“Sometimes it wasn’t necessarily nice and pretty but the mindset was there to keep on going, don’t stop and we’ll get something in the end.”