Let’s cut to the chase here. It was a stonewall, cast iron, whatever adjective you want to put on it penalty. Jagielka clearly caught Welbeck, who had an open goal after another one of Tim Howard’s patented rushes of blood (see March 2004 Old Trafford, August 2004 Reebok Stadium). But is there really any excuse for this reaction:
It’s not acceptable behaviour from a 67 year in any walk of life. Less acceptable when you take into consideration that he is a 67 year old knight of the realm, who is manager of the most popular team in the most popular sport in the world. Who is considered to be the one of the greatest managers in the history of the game, whose name is often mentioned amongst those such as Clough, Stein, Shankly, Paisley, Busby.
Obviously today, in a media obessed world every move that such a high profile personality as Ferguson has his every single move monitored. It’s quiet probable that he had a camera in his face from the moment he arrived at Wembley yesterday, apart from in the dressing room. It’s understandable that people will leave their guard down, we are all only human at the end of the day. But to lose complete control like that just beggars belief.
People can roll out all the excuses they want. ‘Oh it’s a high pressure game’, ‘That reaction just shows how passionate he is’. I don’t know how many million people across the globe saw that reaction yesterday. Manchester United is a global brand more than anything these days, and with such an avid following around the world, it’s fair to say that tens of millions of people saw it. If one person saw me react in such a way, I would be mortified beyond belief.
The disregard that Ferguson has shown the FA Cup in the decade that followed the Treble came to light at Wembley yesterday. Of his strongest eleven, arguably three started the game. ( Am I been a bit too generous to Ji-Sung Park?) No Rooney and Ronaldo in the 18 man squad.Welbeck, Fabio, Foster, Gibson and Manchea have only started one Premier League game between them all season, and that was England goalkeeper Foster playing at Sunderland last week. Obviously the FA Cup is a distant 3rd in Ferguson prorities, but to show the competition (and Everton) such contempt by fielding a third string side, particulary in the week he called an oppostion manager arrogant, is frankly hyprosicy of the highest order. I didn’t see Sir David Frost carrying on in such a manner during his time on Through the Keyhole. Did he start having a pop at Bob Holness from Blockbusters? Ah no would be the answer to that.
Anyway, judging what happened at around half 6 yesterday, they would have missed anyway.