Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £10,000 and banned for two league matches by the FA for ‘improper conduct’.
When Manchester United played Hull a few weeks back, Ferguson was not very pleased with Mike Dean’s handling of Michael Turner who deserved to be sent off. Already on a yellow card, Turner came crashing in to Michael Carrick just outside the box, making no contact on the ball and denying our player of a goalscoring opportunity.
Dean bottled it, not wanting to send a Hull player off just a minute after they’d scored their second goal.
“Michael Carrick was brought down on the edge of the box and the player had already been booked,” said Alex Ferguson after the game. “So the referee has failed in his duty there. It should have been a red card because the player’s right through. Even a yellow card and the player’s off.”
But was Fergie right to have a go?
Sky Sports: Turner, who was booked in the first half is lucky to escape a red card as he brings down Carrick on the edge of the area.
Yes, Ferguson was right in what he said. Turner did deserve to be sent off for a second bookable offence, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for Fergie to wade on to the pitch and have a go at the referee like that.
I’m not saying this because I’m a massive believer in the ‘Respect’ campaign, I’m more inclined to agree with Roy Keane on this one. When I think back to Cristiano Ronaldo being booked at Chelsea for dissent, after just wagging his finger at Mike Riley when he was on his knees on the other side of the field to the referee, I find myself extremely wound up every time I see players react to a decision and face no punishment. If finger wagging is dissent, then the angry reactions we see by players at Old Trafford every week when Ronaldo wins a free kick certainly is. But the referees chop and change, not making it clear enough what they will and won’t stand for. The refs have to demand respect as much as players should give it freely.
However, Ferguson has been pushing his luck for some time now, as if daring the FA to punish him. It was stupid to get in Dean’s face because there was obviously only ever going to be one outcome. Trouble.
“He’s got red card written all over him,” my dad said of Mascherano as we sat in the stands to watch United vs Liverpool last season. It was obvious to all around that just days after the fuss Ashley Cole created against Tottenham, when showing no respect for Riley, that any referee would happily send off a player for dissent. Even Rooney, who usually can’t keep his gob shut, was on his best behaviour.
Fergie’s behaviour against Hull was exactly the same. The FA keep banging on about this respect campaign, and just because the referees don’t adhere to it on the pitch, it doesn’t mean the FA won’t act off it. We will now pay the price and I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing it was Queiroz not Phelan manning the dugout for two matches!