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Sir Alex Ferguson was a control freak, says former Manchester United player Mads Timm

2.68K   //    12 Oct 2016, 19:53 IST
Mads Timm
Timm played mostly with the United Reserves

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United, the club have been a shadow of their former self. With current manager Jose Mourinho being the third manager since the Scot’s retirement, the Red Devils are yet to capture the exaltation that they were so accustomed to.  

How Alex Ferguson managed to do what he did is anyone’s guess. However, according to former youth team player, Mads Timm, the Scotsman was a “control freak” who used fear as a tool to rule over his players.

Fergie was a control freak

Timm wrote in his autobiography: "He implemented and insisted on a leadership culture and ruthlessly made sure his players dedicated themselves unconditionally to his ideas and hierarchy.

"He was a control freak, and he often motivated players with fear. In his way, he was good for the time and fitted well to the players who were at United then.

Timm went some steps further in his claims by opining that the players with whom Ferguson had success were his “slave army.”

"David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers' personalities all fitted perfectly into Ferguson's slave army."

Timm says SAF can’t replicate the same success now

Despite being United’s most successful manager of all time, Mads Timm believes that Sir Alex couldn’t have possibly achieved the same success with modern day players, who have inflicted somewhat of a rebellious tone to their personalities.

"I am not sure he could create the same success, in the same way today," he wrote. "Today you cannot get the footballers to subject themselves by talking about honour and willingness to die for the club."

Timm might not be a famous name, but he did win something with the club of his upbringing. He was a part of the squad that were the winners of the FA Youth Cup final against Middlesbrough back in 2003.

Keep winning was Fergie’s mantra

However, as he recalls, Sir Alex wasn’t really buoyed with the triumph and commanded them to not celebrate with an over-zealous nature and, instead, keep a level-headed approach to keep moving forward rather than resting on laurels.

Reflecting on that triumph, Timm wrote: "We won 3-1 on aggregate and that secured us the trophy, as an axe-wielding Ferguson had demanded. But we were not allowed to rest on our laurels. 'Do not celebrate. Keep winning,' commanded Ferguson.”

"You may never enjoy anything too much,” says Timm on Fergie. 

Given that he is somewhat of a forgotten player, using Sir Alex’s name in this way might be a ploy to sell more copies of his autobiography.

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Writing was just a hobby I picked to escape from the stress of A-levels. And now, it is exactly what pays my bills every month. Write for multiple platforms with interest in both football and cricket. Have a tendency to be on the dark side.
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