Ferguson rues agents 'making life difficult' but relishes key win
Monday 25 October 2010
After a week that saw him succeed in keeping Manchester United's most valuable remaining asset at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson commented that dealing with agents like Wayne Rooney's representative, Paul Stretford, was "making life difficult".
Although he did not name Stretford, the man who negotiated a contract worth £10m a year for his client, it was clear to whom the Manchester United manager was referring in the aftermath of his first away win of the season.
"It is always tough at United," he said. "There are always issues to deal with. When your top players come towards the end of their contracts you have to do something to get them a new one. They are all the same."
And Stretford has proved either particularly awkward or particularly effective, depending on which side of the negotiating table you are seated, although United's two games without Rooney have produced two victories.
If the Champions League win over Bursaspor on Wednesday was expected, this was a far harder proposition.
"Stoke is one of the hardest places to come in the league," Ferguson said. "Both our central defenders will have sore heads tonight. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were fantastic, really fantastic, and Stoke did not make many chances until they got the goal. But, when they scored with less than 10 minutes left, you are concerned. You think to yourself: 'Not again'. But this has been the kind of winner Manchester United have scored over the years – a late goal met with incredible enthusiasm by the fans.
"They never gave in and this is a quality the club has always had. We have some important games between now and Christmas time and we have to make our mark in the league now."
That Hernandez was the man who turned the match was a cause of deep satisfaction for Ferguson, whose chief scout, Jim Lawlor, spent three weeks in Mexico analysing his potential. "He has a great attitude and a wonderful demeanour about life," said Ferguson. "He has beautiful manners."
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Latest in Sport
Liverpool 3 Cardiff City 1 match report: Luis Suarez leaves Malky Mackay with nothing but pride
The worst owner in football? Vincent Tan faces fan backlash as Malky Mackay clings to Cardiff job
Spurs don't want Glenn Hoddle as their new manager
Ashes 2013-14: England spinner Graeme Swann issues apology for his 'crass and thoughtless' comments comparing defeat in Perth to rape
Arsène Wenger: Now is the time to finally beat Jose Mourinho
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness