Sir Alex Ferguson: Can someone explain the 'West Ham way'?

Former Manchester United manager says the Hammers were 'always surviving, or lucky as hell against us'

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used his updated autobiography to criticise West Ham, saying he has no clue as to what style of play they claim to aspire to.

Current Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has regularly come in for criticism, like some of his predecessors, for not instilling an attacking philosophy at the club. Amid the criticism, Allardyce hired Teddy Sheringham over the summer to help improve matters, a decision that appears to be working based on West Ham currently occupying fourth place in the Premier League table.

Ferguson has now voiced his support for his old ally.

Ferguson said: "I hope that before I die, someone can explain the 'West Ham way'. What is it? They last won a trophy in 1980, the FA Cup.

"I never played against any West Ham team that played football I was afraid of. They were always surviving, or lucky as hell against us.

"I had to sympathise with Sam. He couldn't win. There is this preconception with West Ham fans that Big Sam is a survivalist who tells teams to boot the ball up the pitch.

"The truth is that he stayed up with a team of very average players. That's management. He drew the best from them."


Manchester United suffered a few famous defeats to West Ham over the years, presumably the matches in which they were "lucky as hell" that Ferguson alludes to.

Di Canio celebrates his famous FA Cup winner at Old Trafford

West Ham's most recent win was a 4-0 victory in the League Cup in 2010, whilst they beat United at Old Trafford on the final day of the 2006/07 season with Carlos Tevez scoring the only goal. Another memorable win came in the FA Cup in 2001 when Paolo Di Canio scored the only goal past a Fabian Barthez attempting to trick the Italian into thinking he was offside.