Date:Tuesday September 15 2009
The tabloids hoot that Forlan was booted out of United because he had chosed the wrong footwear at Stamford Bridge in August 2004. His story appears to hint at it.
'Ferguson wanted me to play with long studs, the interchangeable ones that suit wet pitches, but I feel more comfortable in short ones.
'I agreed to change but I didn't and, against Chelsea, I slipped in front of goal and wasted a chance.
'Afterwards, I rushed to the dressing room to change boots but Ferguson caught me. He grabbed the boots and threw them. That was my last game for United.'
We lost that game 1-0 even though we gave a good account of ourselves against Mourinho's newly-assembled winning machine which would go on to win the league with 95 points. And yes, that miss was sickening for every fan because we might have got something out of the game and we would have deserved that, as Mourinho himself admitted.
But it's certainly rubbish that this was the only reason that Forlan was sold. Granted, Fergie must have been pissed at him for not listening to his advice - but the real anger must have come from the fact that the player who did not listen to him was a player who scored only 17 goals in 98 games, a wretched record from a striker.
Besides, the club had already bought Alan Smith and negotiations for Rooney were ongoing when the offer from Villarreal arrived. Why persist with a striker who doesn't listen to advice? Diego was a likeable bloke, we loved him and now he's older, more mature and playing in a league that suits him it's clear that he's also a very good footballer (of what he showed glimpses with fantastic goals against Southampton and Chelsea, for example). He couldn't cut it at Manchester United's level, that's all.
Would his career have panned out differently had he used longer studs and converted that chance at Stamford Bridge? Unlikely, I believe. He would have been sold anyway.
Date:Tuesday September 15 2009
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