“He used to control your life and your family life.”
Gordon Strachan has given an insight into the detailed man-management that Sir Alex Ferguson relied on throughout his career in order to get the best out of his players.
Ferguson is considered one of the greatest managers in footballing history and very few of his former players have a bad word to say about the legendary Scot.
An eternal perfectionist, Ferguson left no stone unturned in preparation for matches and he even went so far as to speak with his players’ wives and partners ahead of cup finals.
Strachan, who played under Ferguson at both Aberdeen and Manchester United, has revealed how Fergie would instruct his players’ significant others to play a particular role in the run-up to big games.
“He used to control your life and your family life,” Strachan told talkSPORT.
“He even had a team talk with the wives before a cup final to say, ‘do not take him shopping, he’s resting. Give him what he wants, eating-wise.’
Gordon Strachan on Alex Ferguson
“There would be hell breaking loose now with that, there would be all sorts of screaming and shouting.
“He’d just say ‘look after them, make sure they don’t do too much. If they’re getting stressed out, you’ll have to deal with their stress.’
“He even used to control the babysitters that we used to have at Aberdeen. Literally, my babysitters were Eric Black and Bryan Gunn, they used to look after my kids.
“It was good because he’d be completely in control. What he’d do is make sure the youth team players never went out on a Saturday night. He’d get the babysitters together and say, ‘what time did Strachan come in? Was he with McGhee? Did he have a curry?’
“So he’d cover all things like that. We didn’t like it at the time, but when you look back now, I really did like it because it controlled my life with discipline.”