Date:Monday January 12 2009
Sir Alex responded to Rafa Benitez's laughable claims about Manchester United after the Champions took Chelsea apart at Old Trafford. The manager, taking the sensible line, said he would like to focus on his team instead.
"I think you have got to cut through the venom of it and hopefully he'll reflect and understand that what he said was absolutely ridiculous," he said.
"I think he was an angry man, I think he was disturbed for some reason or another.
"They are not facts because it's well documented, but I'm not going to get into that because we should concentrate on chasing the leaders and we have got games in hand, so we want to try and catch them up."
Yeah, perhaps Rafa should have prepared his team for the Stoke game rather than prepare a dossier of sheer stupidity? But his teamtalk worked a treat; thank you, angry little man.
Fergie, of course, had words of praise for his team too which delivered a fantastic performance. He singled out Ryan Giggs for special praise, insisting he was always going to play the Welshman against Chelsea.
'Honestly, Ryan was fantastic,' he said.
'I kept him particularly for this game, I rested him.
'I told him two weeks ago he and Darren Fletcher would play against Chelsea. I thought this game was made for them, given Ryan's ability to hold the ball and beat a man in midfield with that left foot. Ballack couldn't live with him really.
'It could have been a mistake - it's very easy to make a mistake when you've got a squad of 23 players. Genuine mistakes of course because you want to pick a team that wins and the supporters understand that. But today it worked and I'm glad it did.'
On the face of it, it looked madness; in hindsight, it's an inspired managerial decision. Maybe that's why he's still in his job, eh?
Fergie added that he found it annoying that we were denied a legitimate goal from a well-practised trick just because the linesman missed it. Never mind that though, WE are not obsessed with the referees. Let's talk about the game instead.
'The first goal was the key moment because opened up the game for us. The midfield had far more space in the second half and we could have scored a few goals. I'm pleased with 3-0 though, it's a big scoreline, very unusual for these tight games.'
And very satisfying indeed.
Date:Monday January 12 2009
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