“I don’t think there is anyone who disliked Liverpool more than the manager.”
Peter Schmeichel has offered insight into working with Alex Ferguson and the manager’s deep dislike of Liverpool. Ferguson and Schmeichel spent eight highly successful years at Manchester United between 1991 and 1999.
In that time, Man United established themselves as the dominant force in English football and were crowned European champions in Schmeichel’s final game for the club before he departed for Sporting Lisbon.
Peter Schmeichel on the club Alex Ferguson disliked the most.
Schmeichel has offered some insight into how the ex-Man United manager operated on a day-to-day basis. The former Denmark goalkeeper said that Ferguson didn’t provide many specifics about upcoming opponents – with the exception of Liverpool.
Schmeichel believes that this was due to the manager’s deep dislike of the Anfield club, who were the dominant club in England when Ferguson took over at Man United in 1986.
Peter Schmeichel & Alex Ferguson lift the UEFA Champions League trophy up into the Barcelona night sky! 🏆
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“When preparing for a game, he would hardly mention the opposition or specifics of the match until the last moment,” Schmeichel writes in his new autobiography, which has been serialised in The Times.
“During the week, there might be a comment like, “We can only do 45 minutes’ training today, I want you fresh on Saturday,” but it was rare that he would say the name of who we were playing.
“Everything was geared to staying concentrated on our own tasks.”
Schmeichel on Ferguson’s preparation for Liverpool games.
“After matches, there were seldom detailed debriefs; the mindset was move on’,” Schmeichel continues.
“It would be “Blah blah blah,” then “Go and get your bath, see you Monday,” and that was the end of that.
“The one time it was different was when the following game was Liverpool. Then, he would go, ‘Blah blah blah, it’s f*****g Liverpool next. Get your bath and see you Monday. Be f*****g ready.’ I don’t think there is anyone who disliked Liverpool more than the manager. In those weeks it was very clear who we were playing next and Fergie was right on his toes.”
As this Ferguson team talk before a match against Liverpool in 1997 shows, Schmeichel’s theory about his manager’s increased intensity ahead of games at Anfield was correct.
Schmeichel: Ferguson sacked me after a match against Liverpool.
Schmeichel goes on to say that Ferguson sacked him following a dressing room argument between the pair after a 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
The Man United manager didn’t follow through on the act after the Dane apologised to his teammates for his outburst.
You can read more about that story here.