What made Sir Alex Ferguson one of the most successful managers in the history of football?
While the Scottish boss was pretty spot-on tactically, it was his man-management that made him so legendary.
Simply put, Ferguson took no prisoners.
He wanted all of his players pulling in the same direction and wouldn’t hesitate getting rid of anyone that stepped out of line – no matter how good they were (See: David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and Jaap Stam).
While Ferguson built a star-studded squad, he also looked to give young players that graduated through the famous Manchester United academy. Of course, he was helped with the likes of Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs making the step to first-team football in 1992.
But it was Ferguson that turned them all into world-class players.
And an insight into Ferguson’s attitude towards young players at the club has been revealed by a former player.
David Bellion played for United from 2003 and 2006 and, in an interview with The Sun, revealed how Ferguson once taught one youngster a very tough lesson.
HOW FERGUSON REACTED TO A YOUNGSTER DRIVING A BENTLEY
“Once, a young player, who had just turned professional, drove a Bentley into training,” Bellion explained.
“Sir Alex made him sell it immediately.
“I drove to Carrington in an Austin Mini for nearly a year even though I had a Mercedes at home.
“Sir Alex didn’t like young players getting above themselves. “He hated anyone showing their wealth before they had done anything in life or the game.”
Brilliant from Fergie.
Maybe some young players in the modern day could benefit from receiving the hairdryer treatment from Ferguson early in their career.
BELLION ON WAYNE ROONEY’S DEBUT
Elsewhere in the interview, Bellion spoke about Wayne Rooney’s debut at United.
Rooney will return to Old Trafford this afternoon, 13 years after scoring a hat-trick on his first appearance for the Red Devils, against Fenerbahce in the Champions League.
And Bellion – who played in that match – has revealed the role he played in helping Rooney get his United career off to a dream start.
“I was given a rare start by Sir Alex Ferguson, who asked me to take the free-kicks,” Bellion revealed.
“Wayne came to me and asked, ‘Do you mind if I take it?’ I said, ‘Please, go ahead.’ How could I argue with a guy on fire that was up for a hat-trick on his debut?”