Whining Ferguson lacks class

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

It's getting old Sir Alex, really old.

And boring, quite boring.

One would think after winning so many trophies and winning so many games, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson would have learned on the rare occasion when one loses, it shows class to accept it and move on.

But none of that grace and dignity seems to have found Sir Alex.

When Manchester United wins, it is all about the skill of his players and his ability to manage the team. Never are they gifted a win either by opponent or official.

But when United loses, it's because the gods, opponents or officials have conspired against them. The excuses or rages after virtually every loss have become the norm.

It cheapens everything a great team and great manager does.

Ferguson's latest attack follows on the heels of United's elimination from the Champions League.

Despite losing 3-2 in the second leg, Bayern went through on the away-goals rule after the tie had finished 4-4 on aggregate.

Bayern won the first leg 2-1.

Ferguson focused on the sending off of United's Rafael da Silva as key in the game, referring to Bayern as "typical Germans" for surrounding the referee to pressure him to give da Silva a second yellow card.

He then listed a number of issues he had with the officiating, proceeding to use the word "lucky" in reference to Bayern some dozen times.

Typical Ferguson. Never willing to credit a team for what it has done.

Typical Ferguson. Throw enough dirt on everything and maybe no one will see the real issues.

Typical Ferguson. He is one of the best at attempting to influence officials, whining about everything from bias to officials being out of shape.

Typical Ferguson. His myopic comment about "typical Germans" conveniently ignores that you see players of every race, nationality and colour waving arms and jabbering at refs in an effort to influence them.

Typical Ferguson. He derides Bayern players for their actions but fails to talk about how fully deserved da Silva's sending off was. It was a silly, unnecessary foul, but it warranted a yellow card.

Ferguson's comments wound up being front and centre but there were far more important issues.

Ferguson's sneaky handling of Wayne Rooney's injury would have earned scorn from Ferguson if any other coach had done it. He also accused the Germans of kicking at Rooney's injured ankle.

Maybe Ferguson shouldn't have risked Rooney to further injury. Now Rooney will miss some time in the Premier League, hurting Manchester United's chase for a Premier League title.

Typical Ferguson. He rarely addresses the failures of his team during a loss, preferring to blame the perfidy of others.

United gave up a late goal to Bayern in the first leg because they defended poorly.

United held a 3-0 lead in the second game. Championship teams do not allow a team to score enough goals to advance when they are in that situation even with 10 men.

Typical Ferguson. His focus on the sending out conveniently fails to mention that Bayern got one goal back when both teams had 11 men on the field. Perhaps his team should have defended better.

Ferguson is one of the finest managers to ever walk the sidelines. But he has also become predictable and plagued with tunnel vision.

"I don't think the best team won over the two legs," Ferguson was quoted as saying.

Typical Ferguson.

Morris Dalla Costa is a Free Press sports columnist.

E-mail morris.dallacosta@sunmedia.ca


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