Manchester United - Fergie's Officially Worst Buy Ever: Ralph Milne
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Fergie's Officially Worst Buy Ever: Ralph Milne

Sir Alex is a legend, a genius of a manager who did very few things wrong during his tenure at Manchester United. He pulled off many transfer coups but none of us can pretend that he never made mistakes - and some of those mistakes seem hilarious now.

Massimo Taibi, Liam Miller or David Bellion: these names bring a smile to our face now, even though back then it had been horrible to know they had represented the 'depth' of the squad. And neither of them is Fergie's worst ever signing - that, according to the boss himself, is a certain Ralph Milne.

'My worst signing? Ralph Milne. I only paid 170,000 but I still get condemned for it.'

In his autobiography, Fergie defended the acquisition of his compatriot, noting that Milne was a 'hell of a winger' with Dundee United but Old Trafford was too much for him. In hindsight, we can perhaps say that Milne is more like a symbol than an actual transfer disaster: as Sir Alex said, he had not paid much for him and he had been sold on soon enough.

But his name will be preserved in the United folklore forever, as the synonym of a bad buy as he was Fergie's first spectacularly awful signing. Veron, for example, was a much bigger disaster (breaking up the best midfield ever seen in England for him? Come on!) but he's not a symbol. Milne is a symbol of that first, quite bleak period of the Fergie era, when it was difficult to foresee the glory that was about to arrive.

In accordance with this, it's no surprise that he gave an honorable mention to Eric Djemba-Djemba: the Cameroon man is the symbol of the other dark period of this era, that between 2003 and 2006. So good they named him twice, indeed.

(Fergie was speaking at a League Managers' Association dinner)

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 18 2009

Time: 6:31PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Well, I guess so, if the oracle speaks then it must be so.. However, I do find it disappointing that there was no room for Massimo Taiibi in that list, and I might even go so far as to venture that permacrock Hargreaves should make the top 5. You may protest that he's a great player (might even agree with you), but I wonder what his ratio of games played vs time spent on the treatment table is? Berbatov I suspect will eventually make the list, as will Nani, Possebon and Foster (though I might be wrong and he came from your academy - sure someone will correct me, it is in the rag's nature after all!) And of course Veron! Ah, Juan Sebastien - proof that McTaggart is mortal after all! LOL
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18/11/2009 20:24:00

Nani is bad - no, let me correct myself, he is terrible (and most Utd fans would agree), and yet he is currently the leader in 'midfield top scorer'. What does that say about the others? What does that say about team selection?
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18/11/2009 20:36:00

What does that say about this site? I mean, that poll has been up for what, 5 months? Please, can't one of you rags suggest another poll? Zae, surely you must have an idea? Even a MoTM poll after your next game would be welcome!
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18/11/2009 23:13:00

djemba-djemba is my pick..oh no taibi! thanks to him we put 5 goals behind you lot a few years back
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19/11/2009 01:54:00

Hahaha, looks like the Les Blues are out in force today!! It is in your nature to look at your team, realise there's F*&%A*& to talk about, and get you sorry behinds to talk about something we have forgotten. Yes, the polls may be boring, but you do know it's for us United fans and not for the Rent boys to start their morning coffee with. So bugger off!!!
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19/11/2009 03:06:00

MoTM poll, are you sure? I would agree to the idea if it wern't for everybody spamming with stupid choices. What's the point in taking the poll seriously if no one else does?
One United 92
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19/11/2009 07:47:00

Filth and Wolfie - Admit it, our vital site with two active members is more addictive than yours! Just make it easy for yourselves and sign up on Vitall United instead. I mean, I'd probably leave and never come back if that happened but at least you'd be doing what you've always wanted to do.
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19/11/2009 20:45:00

Ralph Mine??? He barely cost anything and almost no one even remembers he played for us! The real shyitebags were Djemba-Djemba, Taibi, Barthez, Roy Carroll, Jordi Cruyff was quite disappointing for me, Nani, Kleberson, etc. The list could be endless! I'm not sure how many people continue to give SAF grief abiut Ralph Mine!
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19/11/2009 20:48:00

Funny thing about Nani is that, he is almost Ronaldo-status in FIFA 10! He plays like he was meant to play! He needs to sit down, watch me play some FIFA 10 with him and I'll show him how good he is supposed to be!
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19/11/2009 20:51:00

Oh wow I mispelt "Milne" twice!
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19/11/2009 20:53:00

FU if I could hold you to that promise and you also agreed to take NeRD with you, I might seriously consider it. And yes, this site is much more fun than VMC, because my posts over their are met with mostly agreement or rational debate. The joy of Vital manure is that some of the dimwits on this site are so irresistably easy to wind up that it makes my life a mirth-filled paradise! Don't get me wrong, I detest your club and everything associated with it with an absolute passion, but as I said, I do SOOOOOO enjoy winding some of the muppets up! That's not to say that I'm not happy to engage any reds with a rational nature in a bit of light hearted banter, just that they seem to be in the same league as rocking horse poo!
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19/11/2009 23:22:00

So you admit to everything we already we know about you, a scumbag who likes to wind people up because he gets a sick fix out of it. That hiding behind a keyboard too! Well cyberstalker run your fingers as much as you like. It's obvious this place gives you more gratification than anything else in your life. Thats why you've referred to me again, and I haven't even made a comment on this story.
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20/11/2009 01:37:00

Seriously though fcb everyones use to your wind up antics and now really couldn't care. You rarely make a serious comment, you're always joking around so you are an all round big joke.
One United 92
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20/11/2009 08:51:00

As I said (to the usual suspects) it's only the OTT muppets that I'm here to wind up I'm always happy to engage in rational debate with those who are mature enough to do so. So, to those of you that find me annoying, long may it continue, the feeling is entirely mutual. And if everyone is used to my "wind up" tactics by now why do you continue to get wound up? Try developing a sense of humour, I'm sure you'd enjoy life much more :P
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20/11/2009 08:57:00

You obviously know me better than i do myself fcb. ... You're right he is amazing on Fifa but when Nani himself plays it he has it on easy and can just run down the wing without getting tackled. So what he does then is when he's in an actual game he thinks: 'it worked on fifa why not now?' and so tries it gets tackled and ends up playing poo. So, all we need to do is get Nani to put it on a harder difficulty, show him how to play and there you go instant Ronaldo. That said I still always send him packing and get Young instead, just a personal preference.
One United 92
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20/11/2009 09:05:00

fcb, don't claim intellectual superiority just because you can put rational and debate in the same sentence. It is the wont of a football fan to react. Hence the term "fan". There's nothing funny in "winding up" some one nonsensically. If you can come up with something that's funny, i would be the one to appreciate it. But if you insist on insulting [lamely] the club that I support, yes, i am going to get "winded up" and also call you witless p&^%$. I am having as much fan as the next guy, just don't pretend to be less stupid than you actually are. If you have other ways of settling the IQ issue, please let us know, we are effin bored of your mindless diatribes...
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20/11/2009 17:56:00

"I am having as much FUN as the next guy" my bad, typo. In case fcb "sees" humour again!
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20/11/2009 17:58:00


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