Ryan Giggs, the man who spent 23 indelible seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson, recently revealed how scary Sir Alex was as a boss. The two had a successful career at Old Trafford and shared monumental success across England and Europe. They still maintain a warm relationship but back then, as Giggs discloses, it was never easy to get on with Sir Alex.
The dressing rooms, which have been witness to many high-voltage moments before and after matches, even at intervals as well, were the places to be avoided if Sir Alex had his say and the players were the targets. According to Giggs, Sir Alex was always in favour of having complete control over the players which no other manager can lay claim to.
Giggs said, “Fergie was scary and even now he still scares me. I still call him boss because he just has that aura about him. He had that little cough and as soon as you heard that, walking down the corridor at the training ground, you’d dive in a doorway to get out of his way.”
“I was always wary of him because he had that ability to turn up at your house – and he sometimes did. But he did it all for you and he had so many other great qualities. He said recently he only ever used the hairdryer half a dozen times – but I think his memory is selective on that! It wasn’t nice to get it, even as an experienced player,” the Welshman added.
If someone had the guts to speak against him, the consequences were certainly not pleasing. And Giggs, the United legend, was no exception to this having been at the receiving end a few times.
“There was no point trying to argue with him. I did argue back twice, but it didn’t go well. The first time was against Juventus away. They were a very good team and, at half-time, I half-questioned him – and got substituted there and then! I did it again, though, because, when you are playing and in the midst of it, the adrenalin is going with you as well,” Giggs recalled.
He continued: “We were all winners, so if you wanted to make a point and put it across, you would. Half the time I’d be sat next to Becks and he would be whispering, ‘Be quiet, be quiet’, if I said something back, and I’d do the same, You could never win – but we still said our bit.”
“It’s very difficult to think there would be any more managers like Sir Alex and have that success and control. Nowadays it’s a very difficult environment for managers,” the Welshman added.
Giggs was assistant to Sir Alex’s successor David Moyes and was again overlooked for the job when Louis Van Gaal took over and ultimately left the post when Jose Mourinho arrived.