Friday 19 January 2018

From heroes to zeros

Carlos Tevez

Tevez quickly became a fan favourite at Old Trafford before he switched to Manchester City after his relationship with Alex Ferguson fractured beyond repair. Claim and counter claim followed with Tevez stating that United dragged their heels over a permanent deal. Ferguson fired back that Tevez had ignored his texts about sorting a deal out.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Quite why Van Nistelrooy fell foul of Ferguson remains unclear. He was in superb form, having netted 150 goals in 219 games between April 2001 and May 2005, but he found himself on the bench against Charlton for the final game of the 2005/06 season before a switch to Real Madrid.

A training-ground spat with Cristiano Ronaldo is the much-quoted reason for his departure, something that's given extra weight by Ferguson's explanation for Van Nistelrooy's omission for the Charlton game: "There have been a couple of issues during the week that concerned us in terms of the spirit of the club."

David Beckham

Beckham's eyebrow took the brunt of Ferguson's wrath after a loss to Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February 2003. The manager was so furious that he kicked a boot, which flew into Beckham's face, just above the eye.

However, it was not just this incident that led to Golden Balls being sold to Real Madrid that year. In his autobiography, 'My Side', Beckham candidly explained that his celebrity lifestyle wound up his boss: "The gaffer had had enough. I'd grown up as a person and he didn't seem to like what I'd become."

Roy Keane

Keane was never afraid to speak his mind, which is what ultimately led to him leaving the club after 12 years in 2005. He argued with Ferguson over the standards of a pre-season training camp in Portugal, admitted on air that he'd "consider playing elsewhere" and publicly criticised some of his team-mates.

After a 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough, he fired off this stinging judgment of defender Rio Ferdinand: "Just because you are paid £120,000 a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar."

Jaap Stam

In the Dutchman's autobiography, 'Head to Head', Stam admitted that he'd been approached by Manchester United in 1998 without permission from his club, PSV Eindhoven.

He also criticised a few of the United players.

However, Ferguson, three years ago, claimed that Stam's clumsy diplomacy had nothing to do with his departure: "At the time (Stam) had just come back from an achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit. We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre-back who was 29. It was an offer I couldn't refuse."

Irish Independent

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