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Alex Ferguson had a surprising reaction to Roy Carroll’s infamous fumble

Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson has doled out hairdryer treatment for a lot less.

But according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, Alex Ferguson actually praised him after his embarrassing error against Spurs that has been dubbed ‘the goal that wasn’t a goal.’

You’ve likely seen the footage dozens of times… It’s late on in a 2005 Premier League game between United and Spurs at Old Trafford when Pedro Mendes lashes a speculative effort goalwards from the halfway line.

It looked to be a straightforward catch for Carroll but the Northern Irishman fumbled the ball, which clearly bounced over the line and should have been a certain winner for Spurs.

But Carroll escaped further humiliation when the officials didn’t award the goal and while relieved, the ‘keeper expected a bollocking from Ferguson when he returned to the dressing room

But, surprisingly, the United boss actually complimented him.

“It was the longest walk off the pitch in my life,” Carroll said on the latest Utd Podcast. “It must have taken me about 10 minutes!

“To be fair to Sir Alex he asked what happened and I said: ‘Boss, I took my eye off the ball; I wasn’t concentrating’. He said my reactions were good. I thought I was going to get the hairdryer treatment – I never saw the hairdryer treatment actually, so I can’t say anything about that.”

Roy Carroll

Carroll explained how he was eager to play the ball out to Gary Neville as soon as possible, which is why he took his eye off the ball for a split second.

But Carroll rejected suggestions that he was an error-prone goalkeeper and even took the opportunity to take a little swipe at Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as he reflected on the Premier League medal he received in 2003.

He continued: “People said I made a lot of mistakes, especially the Spurs goal. But, at the end of the day, that happens in football. The Spurs goal wasn’t a goal because it was 0-0.

Roy Carroll and Alex Ferguson

“Let me say about the Premier League… sitting in Enniskillen High School, I said to my careers teacher that I wanted to be a professional footballer. He said: ‘You can’t do it Roy, it’s very difficult’.

“Once I won that [Premier League] medal – that’s the proudest thing of my life. A lot of people try and win it – Steven Gerrard would have loved to, but he never got the chance – so it’s amazing to win that medal.”

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