The ’embarrassing’ Anfield performance that caused dressing room bust-up leading to Alex Ferguson ‘sacking’ one of his players | OneFootball

The ’embarrassing’ Anfield performance that caused dressing room bust-up leading to Alex Ferguson ‘sacking’ one of his players

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Empire of the Kop

As we look ahead to another meeting between two great rivals, attention goes back to a Liverpool vs. Manchester United game in 1994.

Despite a positive start for United, they threw away a dominant lead and The Echo have published a story via Peter Schmeichel’s autobiography about the bust-up that followed the game.

The game at Anfield was a certified classic as Neil Ruddock became an unexpected hero on a day where Nigel Clough finally earned his (iconic Adidas) stripes, as Graeme Souness’ side rescued a 3-3 draw.

The issues came after the game though, with the Danish ‘keeper describing the actions of Alex Ferguson in the dressing room: “He was so upset about throwing it away, against them, that he launched into us, quickly focusing his anger on me.

He attacked the quality of my goal kicks, of all things, complaining that they kept landing on the heads of Liverpool defenders. It was unfair.”

In retaliation, Kasper Schmeichel’s dad recalled the events: “What I regret is that I not only questioned him, both as a manager and a man, but I began pointing out others in the dressing room, saying they had not done their jobs.

“To call out team-mates, friends, in front of the group, to say to the manager that they played badly, that was not on.”

Not a hugely surprising story of a football team disappointed after throwing away a 3-0 lead, but what the Scottish manager then did illustrated how upset he was with his stopper’s actions.

The 57-year-old recalled the next chapter of the tale: “The next morning, I felt calmer but still unsettled. I needed to see Fergie, but he was not at training.

“The day after he was, and he called me into his office. He told me he was going to have to sack me.”

So upset with his outburst, Fergie was happy to lose the three-time Danish footballer of the year who continued with: “I apologised for my behaviour and he accepted it but stood his ground. “It doesn’t alter the fact you will have to leave,” he said.

“It was then that I did the only thing in the whole affair I can take a tiny bit of pride from — before we went out for training I stood up in front of everyone and said how sorry I was.

“Unknown to me, Fergie was listening from behind a door and he never followed through on his threat.”

So bad was the performance that a key figure in the United team was about to lose his job until he saved his own skin, if you believe the threat would have ever been followed through.

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