“It was multiple volleys in one day.”
Most managers have felt the need to raise their voices on occasion but Alex Ferguson’s tirades were so uniquely fierce that they became known as his hairdryer treatment.
Dozens of players over the years have recounted their experiences of Ferguson’s hairdryer treatment but it wasn’t just the playing staff at Manchester United who felt the verbal wrath of the famously fiery Scot.
Tony Strudwick, United’s head of performance between 2007 to 2018, has admitted that he once found himself on the wrong end of Fergie’s hairdryer.
Strudwick, who now works for Arsenal and the Wales national team, revealed that he misjudged Ferguson’s mood after a defeat to Chelsea in March 2013.
“Hairdryer? I got one in the end,” Strudwick told The Athletic. “It was in Sir Alex’s last season.
“Robin van Persie had gone on a little bit of a dry patch and we went out to Chelsea in the FA Cup. We’d gone 2-0 up at home but ended up drawing, then lost the replay.
“We as staff came in on the Thursday and I always liked to have a bit of banter with the gaffer. I should have recognised he wasn’t in a banter mood. He said, ‘We are not fit enough’. I said, ‘Disagree with you, boss’. That was it.
“I got one volley, then another volley. I went out for training, then he called me back in later in the afternoon, with the doctor and physio, and gave me another volley. It was multiple volleys in one day.
Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer treatment
“I was completely beaten up. I felt like Jerry Maguire, you know when he’s on the phone trying to get another job. ‘This is it’.
“Sir Alex just wanted to realign and re-establish. ‘Look, our season is on the tipping point here’. We’d had a little wobble up.
“We went to Stoke and Robin started scoring again. As it turned out we won the league by 11 points. I did feel like saying to the gaffer, ‘Not bad considering we weren’t fit enough this year!’”