Sport

Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson only ‘terrified’ one player

The Premier League star of the 1990s that always made Sir Alex Ferguson ‘sweat’ was Liverpool’s nimble winger Steve McManaman.

It was one of the revelations about the legendary former Manchester United goalkeeper By Peter Schmeichel new autobiography, One.

Former MU coach Fergie has a habit of letting his team mark the opponent's most dangerous player

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Former MU coach Fergie has a habit of letting his team mark the opponent’s most dangerous playerCredit: Getty
McManaman's ability to assist and score goals earned him a move to Real Madrid following his departure from Liverpool

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McManaman’s ability to assist and score goals earned him a move to Real Madrid following his departure from LiverpoolCredit: Getty
Despite Fergie's concerns about McManaman, it was Schmeichel and his teammates who won the 1996 FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Liverpool.

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Despite Fergie’s concerns about McManaman, it was Schmeichel and his teammates who won the 1996 FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Liverpool.Credit: News Group Newspaper Ltd

Great Dane Schmeichel, 58, often competed against Kop idol McManaman, 49, when they were floundering in Prem’s iconic first decade.

Their meetings included the 1996 FA Cup final, which was settled by a late goal from Reds captain Eric Cantona.

Schmeichel recalled how United manager Fergie was particularly concerned about the threat posed by England star McManaman, and even considered offering 19-year-old Phil Neville a substitute for him for the whole game.

Senior United players such as Schmeichel, Cantona, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane and Steve Bruce convince their bosses that it is not necessary.

But Schmeichel says it all boils down to Fergie’s appreciation for McManaman, who won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid before wrapping up his playing days at Manchester City.

“Ferguson was terrified of McManaman,” says Schmeichel.

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“McManaman is the only opposition player he has noticed in the Premier League.

‘I mean, he would mention Alan Shearer and other big opposition players in team talks but never get scared.

“However, McManaman always makes him sweat. And, to be fair, Steve is a fantastic player.

“Fergie’s mindset has always been that if you take McManaman out of the game, you’re going to knock Liverpool out.”

Read ours Manchester United live blogs for the latest news and transfer rumors from Old Trafford

Steve McManaman hails ‘excellent’ Chelsea star Mason Mount against Atletico Madrid

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17088301/man-utd-alex-ferguson-mcmanaman-schmeichel/ Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson only ‘terrified’ one player

Ashley

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