“From playing under Sir Alex you learn high standards and ruthlessness is required at any level of management, more so at the top. I’m sure I’ll find that out,” said Paul Ince, the new Blackburn Rovers manager, today. Becoming the 4th player from the 1994 Double winning side at United to manage a Premiership team next season, it appears as though Fergie’s done a great job in inspiring his players to be the best.
“I’m looking forward to battling Sir Alex and every manager in the Premier League. You’ve got to enjoy it,” Ince added. He thinks he will be enjoying himself, but I can hardly wait for the pantomime which will ensue once Ince makes the journey from the tunnel to the dugout. He is hated at Old Trafford and I have no doubt we’ll let him know all about it.
When Ince scored a late equaliser at Anfield nine years ago, he had to know he could have scuppered our title hopes. We had just three games of the season left to go, and it was neck and neck with Arsenal at the top. We were battling to go on to win the unprecedented Treble and the delight Ince took from possibly denying us that that was painful.
Ince would never be forgiven for leaving United and later joining Liverpool, those things just aren’t done. However, his enthusiastic celebration in front of the Kop only worked to cement his place in our list of most hated.
He still has a lot of respect for Sir Alex Ferguson though, which is good to see, but in the same interview he came out with the most ridiculous statement…
“People had this misconception that we didn’t get on but in the six years I was at Manchester United we had a great relationship,” said Ince. “It turned a bit . . . I’m not sure if sour is the right word . . . but, anyway, he wanted me to go and I didn’t want to leave. When I look back it’s the best thing I did because I went to Inter Milan and had a great time.”
The best thing he ever did was leave Manchester United? What kind of bollocks that? A quick look at Wikipedia will answer that question.
Paul Ince, Manchester United 1989-1995:
* Premier League (2): 1993, 1994
* FA Cup (2): 1990, 1994; Runner-up 1995
* Charity Shield (3): 1990, 1993, 1994
* Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1991
* European Super Cup (1): 1991
* Football League Cup (1): 1992
* UEFA Cup: Runner-up 1997
In the six years Ince spent at United, he won two league titles, two FA Cups, the League Cup and two European trophies. In the twelve years of his playing career that followed, where he turned out for Inter Milan, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Wolves, Swindon and Macclesfield Town, Ince won nothing. The closest he came was making the UEFA Cup final with Inter two years after he left us.
In those same twelve years that Ince spent elsewhere, United have won eight league titles, two European Cups, three FA Cups and the League Cup. Yet giving up on all that was the best thing he ever did?
And the chants of “You scouse bastard!” are already ringing in my ears in anticipation of February 21st 2009, when Blackburn come to town.