After Sir Alex Ferguson was critical of referee Martin Atkinson when he failed to send David Luiz off for three yellow card offences and missed John Terry’s handball in the box which blocked a Luis Nani shot, he received an FA charge and criticism from all over the place, including from Kenny Dalglish.
“People have short memories,” Ferguson said. “Kenny Dalglish looked to be lecturing me in the papers about the need to respect referees, perhaps forgetting that not so long ago his players were tweeting critically all over the place about Howard Webb.”
It’s not just Dalglish who is suffering with memory loss, after Graham Taylor wrote to Ferguson telling him he had to take the rough with the smooth.
“I was disappointed with Graham Taylor, who wrote that I had to take ‘the rough with the smooth’,” he continued. “I think back to when he was England manager and was complaining to a linesman: ‘The referee has got me the sack.’
Ferguson has also revealed that he will be defending himself against the charge. I’m assuming he will be showing footage of Atkinson’s decision not to award us a blatant penalty against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, as well as his costly decisions against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season, to back up his claim that he wasn’t a fair ref.
“I will be defending myself strongly when my FA appeal hearing comes up,” Ferguson writes in his programme notes for today’s FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal. “I felt aggrieved and I now face an FA charge for what, to my mind, was simply telling the truth. In fact, I am looking forward to the challenge because, to my mind, I have not said anything out of place, however much the media urge the FA to take action.”