As noted in last weekend’s column, the two Manchester giants and arch-rivals were stumbling and had not convincingly won any games until last Sunday.
Ferguson’s side won 3-0 against Newcastle United at St. James Park while Man City beat Sunderland 2-0 at Etihad. The stars of the reigning Champions are picking form.
But the Red Devils win was not derived from their known professional superiority. The win was mainly premised on the injury threat in the defence Newcastle is currently struggling to withstand.
Man Utd and Arsenal, as I emphatically opined, have advantage over the opponents in the English league in their two longest serving gaffers. But United’s chance is superior and unique. How?
Sir Alex Ferguson is the longest serving club manager in the premiership. He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of England. He is an English statesman while Wenger is an alien professional fighting for survival.
Plus Fergie is presiding over a more successful club- a megabuck mover before the advent of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the recent past.
Honest apologies to the Gunners diehards. They used to moan the Red Devils’ wins saying the referees are partial to United.
Little did I know there was essence in their arguments! Yes I didn’t know that the tactical gaffer has paramount influence at the FA management echelons and neither did I know that the club chief executive, David Gill, was a committee member at the FA!
How else would one expect fair play between the Red Devils and any opponent?
It was evident at Anfield more than a week ago. The challenge against Jonny Evans was genuine, but because the host were threatening, something had to be done and he was sent off.
Wait, in 2010, Martin Atkinson (referee), after Man-Utd’s defeat to Chelsea, was demoted to the Championship, As if that isn’t enough evidence, Wiley was called “fat and unfit” by Alex after Man Utd’s draw with Sunderland, and was later quoted admitting that “I agreed to retire” that season.
Equally surprising, former referee Jeff Winter was quoted openly stating that he hadn’t been given a United game for 2 years after sending Roy Keane off.
Mark Clattenburg who refereed the whopping 1-6 defeat to City hasn’t refereed a single Man- United game after that Manchester derby he has acted as 4th official in the last three, while Howard Webb has been United’s most used referee since the defeat to Manchester City.
Wigan’s manager Martinez has been handed £10,000 fine for his Old Trafford outburst over Danny Welbeck’s controversial penalty in which he dived
Mike Dean, referee, when Blackburn beat Utd 2-3, hasn’t refereed a Man Utd to make matters worse or excellent and to Man.U, the FA are currently on campaign to win Manchester United chief executive David Gill a place on the UEFA executive committee, which includes his appointment as a vice-chairman of the FA.
Gill is to replace Sir Dave Richards as the FA’s representative from the professional game in order to strengthen his already influential standing in English football ahead of the Uefa election at the London Congress next May.
So even when Ferguson retires, United will still be handled with kids gloves