Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Sir Alex Ferguson - The Manchester United manager's greatest rants and quotes

  • @simonrice

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was fuming after his side's defeat to Tottenham at the weekend.

There were four-minutes of injury-time played, but it was not enough for United to avoid defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford for the first time in 23-years.

Ferguson said after the match the amount of time added on was "an insult to the game. It denies you a proper chance to win a football match."

Despite often benefiting from what seems to be excessive injury-time (known to some as Fergie-time), the irony of his comments at the weekend will not have gone unnoticed.

Here, we take a look at some of Fergie's classic rants and memorable quotes...


"They gave us four minutes [injury time], that's an insult to the game. It denies you a proper chance to win a football match."

"There were six substitutions, the trainer came on, so that's four minutes right away and the goalkeeper must have wasted about two or three minutes and they took their time at every goal kick.

"That's obvious to everyone today and it's a flaw in the game that the referee is responsible for time keeping. It's ridiculous that it's 2012 and the referee still has control of that."

After Manchester United's 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham, 2012


'I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Football. Bloody hell.'

After Manchester United won the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999


'He's a bully, a f****** big-time Charlie.'

On former United midfielder Paul Ince


'When an Italian tells me it's pasta on the plate, I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen.'

On Italians ahead of a Champions League tie with Inter Milan in 1999


'If he was an inch taller he'd be the best centre half in Britain. His father is 6ft 2in - I'd check the milkman.'

On the now retired United right-back Gary Neville


'It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn't happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing.'

On the boot-kicking incident that left David Beckham needing stitches above his eye


'They say he's an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages. I've got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages.'

On great managerial rival and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in 1996


'The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher's dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn't fit. He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous.'

On referee Alan Wiley


'He was certainly full of it, calling me 'Boss' and 'Big Man' when we had our post-match drink after the first leg. But it would help if his greetings were accompanied by a decent glass of wine. What he gave me was paint-stripper.'

On former Chelsea manager and current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho


'He could start a row in an empty house.'

On former Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise


'Inzaghi was born in an offside position.'

On Italian striker Filippo Inzaghi


'I don't give any of you credibility. You talk about wanting to have an association with people here and you wonder why I don't get on with you? But you're a f****** embarrassment. One of these days the door is going to be shut on you permanently.'

On the media


'It's getting tickly now - squeaky-bum time, I call it.'

On the 2002/03 title race against Arsenal


'I am such a bloody talented guy. I might go into painting or something like that.'

On the possible path his life might take after management


'It can be difficult to pinpoint who would make it as a manager. For instance, nobody here thought Mark Hughes would become a manager, never in a million years, and we all thought Bryan Robson was a certainty to be a top manager.'

On his former players turning to management


'I remember the first time I saw him. He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind.'

On Ryan Giggs, his longest serving player at Old Trafford


'My greatest challenge is not what's happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their ******* perch. And you can print that.'

On Liverpool after Alan Hansen has questioned Ferguson's future in 2002