During is period in charge of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson was seen as one of the great managerial disciplinarians.
His 27 year spell at Old Trafford produced countless trophies, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues, but is also remembered for the manager supposedly having a tight leash on the players.
It came to be known as the “hairdryer treatment“, but the man insists himself that the idea that he ruled the Manchester United dressing room through fear is something of a myth.
David Beckham was the most infamous recipient of the treatment, as a stray boot kicked by Ferguson struck the winger and cut him just above the eye during an FA Cup tie against Arsenal in 2003.
Beckham wasn’t the only one, as Ferguson’s steely demeanour led to reported falling-outs with Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy among others.
The former manager revealed, however, that although he had become angry at his players at times in the past, he only ever launched into furious rants on a handful of occasions. Honesty, he felt, was the best policy in handling the playing staff.
Ferguson told the Sun:
“There was a lot of myth about it. It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that.
“The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem.
“Jock Stein always said to me, ‘Leave it until Monday to talk to them,’ but I said I couldn’t wait until Monday. So, on a Saturday after the game, I told them exactly how I felt, because we had trained at a level all week that I expected to win every game.
“I told them exactly the truth and the truth works. All the players understood that and it was never held against me. Then the next day it is pushed aside and I’m prepared to win again.
“I never ruled by fear. Name a Manchester United team that played with fear.”
Whatever Ferguson’s methods were, they definitely worked, as his departure in 2013 has seen a massive decline in the club he left behind.