Ryan Giggs has been offering an insight into Sir Alex Ferguson’s management style and how he dealt with characters such as Eric Cantona.
The Scotsman is undoubtedly the most successful manager in club football history after 27 years at the helm at Old Trafford in which he won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues, a European Cup Winners Cup and a European Super Cup.
Sir Alex was famous for maintaining discipline within his squad and his approach saw him clash with the likes of David Beckham, Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke, Paul Ince and Ruud Van Nistelrooy – all of whom left the club as a result of those disagreements.
But Giggs has revealed that the boss did not treat all his players in the same way and that he did not give the famous ‘hairdryer treatment’ to everyone.
‘There were three or four players that he never had a go at’, the Welshman told beIN Sports (via The Evening Standard).
‘Eric Cantona was one – Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo. They were all in their own ways matchwinners. They did the stuff on the pitch, so he never felt he had to.’
Cantona was, in particular, a player who Sir Alex handled differently, which brought out the best in the mercurial Frenchman according to Giggs.
‘Eric, there were some games where Eric didn’t do anything. He didn’t score, he wasn’t running around like a Carlos Tevez or a Wayne Rooney, he didn’t have any impact. But he knew sooner or later he would come good.’
‘We would be sat in the dressing room thinking: “He’s got to have a go at him, he’s got to have a pop at him because he didn’t do anything today.”’
‘But the next week he’d scored the winner or he would produce a moment of magic, so he handled the big names really well as long as they were doing it on the pitch, he handled them in a different way.’
‘[Sir Alex] was the master of psychology, he was a master at getting the best out of certain individuals like whether to put an arm around, or whether to give them a rocket at half-time or at the end of the game or leave them out knowing that the player would react in a positive way.’
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.