Roberto Mancini claim 'nonsense', says Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Roberto Mancini of talking “nonsense” with his claim that the Premier League's lesser teams show fear against Manchester United while giving everything against Manchester City.
Ferguson, whose side's lead could be reduced to nine points if they lose at Stoke and West Ham over the next five days and City beat Wigan on Wednesday, said: “I think that's absolute nonsense, I really do. There's a lot of games I've watched this season, [involving] teams like City, and I've said to myself 'are they trying?' Of course they're trying. The English game is the most honest in the world and has been for many years. And also you've got 3,000 fans following you away. There's no way any team could come to Old Trafford and not do their best. He was maybe looking for a bit of self-sympathy.”
The United manager also said he believed that the post-season tours being undertaken by City and Chelsea next month, to the frustration of England manager Roy Hodgson who expects some players to convene for England duty on the day they complete a Transatlantic flight back, were born of financial need which doesn't afflict United. “I wouldn't ever do it. I was surprised to see they were playing two games at the end of May. But that can only be because of whatever financial gains they're getting out of it. They're the two richest clubs too. They need the money! I think players need to get their rest at the end of the season. Plus there are quite a few internationals at the beginning of June, so I don't know what kind of teams City and Chelsea are going to play in these games because I'm sure the international demand will be such that countries will want players available for them.”
Ferguson said that asking Wilfried Zaha, who teams up with United from this summer, to play for England in the European Under-21 Championship could stunt his development. “I always think, with young players, the best chance for them to develop physically is in the summer, when the sun comes out. It's an actual fact that the growth spurts of young people are always in the summer, the main spurt. But a lot of these international tournaments always seem to be in the summer. There's a great example of Michael Owen, who I always thought, if he'd got the proper development, would have been an absolute world-class player, but he had a youth tournament in 1997 in Malaysia for a month.”
Latest in Sport
Arsenal Champions League fixtures: Gunners to open with Dinamo Zagreb trip, plus daunting back-to-back Bayern Munich ties
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs