Sir Alex Ferguson has given his first extended interview since retiring as Manchester United manager.
He was interviewed by Charlie Rose for PBS and carried a relaxed persona throughout an extremely candid interview.
Ferguson talked about everything from fans wanting him fired at the start of his tenure to who his favourite footballer was, but his words on Wayne Rooney were particularly interesting.
Ferguson gives a real insight into his relationship with Rooney and ahead of his book release in just a few weeks time, it goes some way as to explain what happened between the pair.
For the full transcript of Ferguson’s interview, click here.
CR: Two things that interest me about you are, what happened about you and Wayne Rooney?
He came in the day after we won the League and it’s common knowledge that he asked to be away.
AF: Well, I don’t think anything really happened. He came in the day after we won the League and it’s common knowledge that he asked to be away. It’s this expectation thing, again. I am not his PRO, I manage the team, and from what I see on the pitch. At that moment, he wasn’t doing particularly well, but now we see him today. He’s got his energy back. He’s got his purpose back, and he’s doing great. So maybe that was a good turning point for the boy.
CR: Well didn’t you think of him as a son in some way?
AF: Well, he came to us as a young boy, and of course, all the young boys we do our best to support them and make them better. Anyway, there were some great moments with him.
CR: How did it all end?
AF: I think if Wayne walked in here, today, he would shake my hand.
CR: When was the last time you shook his hand?
He has people advising him and I think that’s where all that’s coming from. I never fell out with him over anything.
AF: The day we won the League, or was it the day that we were presented the trophy? You’ve also got to have a look at the media.
Wayne’s unfortunate in the sense that he is England’s big white hope internationally. So therefore, the media always centre around Wayne Rooney. He has people advising him and I think that’s where all that’s coming from. I never fell out with him over anything. Sometimes I would discipline him. Sometimes they all need discipline, but not to the extent that you would think that there was some sort of fall out.
CR: How would you discipline him?
AF: Well, if they step out of line, you normally fine them.
CR: You would not leave him out of the line up?
No, I would never do that [leave a player out] because that would hurt us.
AF: No, I would never do that because that would hurt us. He is now back to his form and if some way I have helped him to bring that back and make him aware that he’s a great player, it’s for the team. I think it’s been good for him because he’s had to bring it together. The Club did very well refusing to sell him to Chelsea. He realised his only job was with Manchester United. He’s brought back his focus. He’s brought back his work ethic, and his purpose, and he’s playing well again.