Ferguson scorns Keane

2011-12-08 07:48

Basel - A seething Sir Alex Ferguson lashed out at former captain Roy Keane after seeing his side consigned to a humiliating Champions League group-stage exit by Basel on Wednesday.

United's 2-1 defeat at St Jakob-Park meant they fell at the group phase for the first time in six years and prompted criticism from Keane, analysing the match for ITV, who said that United had "got what they deserved".

His remarks drew a stinking rebuke from Ferguson, who was quick to point his finger at Keane's own less than stellar managerial career.

"I don't know why you bring up a TV critic," said Ferguson during a terse post-match press conference.

"That's nothing to do with it. Roy had an opportunity to prove himself as a manager too. It's not an easy job. We've got young players."

Ferguson was also unable to hide his displeasure at the prospect of a Europa League campaign, despite it raising the possibility of a clash with Manchester City, who also went out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

United's fans have taunted rivals Liverpool for having had to compete in Europe's second-tier tournament in the past and Ferguson showed little enthusiasm for a competition that is sure to drain his squad's resources.

"It's a competition I've never been in with United," he said.

"It does mean one thing. Thursdays all the way through. Thursday and Sundays. That's got to be dealt with. It's not the best, but that's our penalty for not qualifying tonight."

Needing just a point to qualify, United had started in assured fashion but they were rocked in the ninth minute when Basel skipper Marco Streller turned in the opener from Xherdan Shaqiri's left-wing cross.

The visitors came close to an equaliser on several occasions, most notably when Basel defender Markus Steinhofer volleyed against his own crossbar, before Alexander Frei made the game safe with an 84th-minute header.

Phil Jones scrambled home for United with a minute to play but for once United's injury-time onslaught proved fruitless and Ferguson was left to rue the disappearance of his side's cutting edge.

"It wasn't a good start to the game," he said.

"That was a surprise, as we expect to control the game by possession and they scored from their first attack.

"When you're 1-0 down away from home, you have a job to do. We didn't take our opportunities and that was the story of the game."

Ferguson's disappointment was compounded by a knee injury sustained by captain Nemanja Vidic that saw him stretchered off shortly before half-time.

"We don't know at this moment in time," said Ferguson when asked about the severity of the injury.

"We think it's the medial ligament. Hopefully that's the worst of it."

As last season's beaten finalists wallowed in the misery of one of their most damaging defeats in recent memory, Basel were left to reflect on a win that opened up the door to the last 16 for the first time since 2002-03.

"What can I say? I'm very proud," said Heiko Vogel, who was appointed Basel coach in October after Thorsten Fink left for Hamburg.

"Tactically, mentally, physically - everything worked right. I'll leave the superlatives to you (the media). I think we deserved the victory. I'm beaming with pride."

The Swiss champions now fact the prospect of a last-16 tie against one of the tournament's heavyweights, with holders Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Chelsea all potential opponents.

Vogel, though, said he would simply try to enjoy the moment.

"No," he replied when asked if he had a preferred opponent. "Whoever comes, can come."


  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-12-08 08:03

    You lost Sir

      Bob - 2011-12-08 09:07

      And the slide continues, old blue nose has had it, I've said before he has not replaced quality players such as Scholes and the aging Giggs, you can't play with a midfield made up of Fletcher and Carrick and expect to win anything, only a matter of time now before the mighty Liverpool overtake the manure.

      Yusuf - 2011-12-08 13:12

      mighty liverpool? should beat fulham first

  • africanwolf - 2011-12-08 08:23


      Topsy - 2011-12-08 08:30

      dream on, they have never won it before ever! they gona get a lesson from madrid or barca!

      africanwolf - 2011-12-08 08:35

      @ Topsy Watch this space :)

      paul.eveleigh - 2011-12-09 05:34

      Sorry mate - i respect your support of your team but Chelsea won't be winning the CL. You need to keep a manager for more than 1 or 2 seasons to do this.

  • Kudzai - 2011-12-08 08:25

    Old man u seem tired now. Running out of new ideas. The team is no longer mobile. U complain of dictators running a country for 25 years, u are equally doing the same Fergie. Leave the team for fresh blood. Thank you.

      Brevan - 2011-12-08 10:39

      Really? Why would you fire a coach that that won 7 trophies in the last 5 years including 4 of of the last 5 league titles and a European champions League title? If the MUFC management want him gone, they can fire, but that would just be stupid. Only a club owner could be considered a dictator. The club can get rid of a coach any time they want so he is not in a position to be a dictator. I was just wondering, there is the factual, constructive comments on this site? There's a saying: Successful people, celebrate their successes, unsuccessful people celebrate other people's failures.

      Byron - 2011-12-08 12:40

      @Brevan I support Arsenal an had to deal with idiots calling for Wengers head at the start of the season. Sir Alex is one of , if not the best, managers in the owrld and idiots like Kudzai think getting rid of a manager of his calibre will help a young tem.

      russel.lunt - 2011-12-08 12:52

      If unsuccessful people celebrate other people's failures, then that must explain why so many Manchester United fans celebrate Liverpool's current struggles.

      paul.eveleigh - 2011-12-09 05:31

      Ok genius, who would you replace SAF with? Tossers like you fail to realise that SAF has built 3 great sides in his time at OT. He is building a 4th, the midfield is not what it should be but that will be taken care of. I am not sure who you support (the bitterness tends to suggest the Bin Dippers) but I bet the first result you look for is the Man Utd result and then your own side.

  • Topsy - 2011-12-08 08:29

    - top 2 teams in the current epl out of cl at group stage-proving once and for all that epl sux and that these 2 are the best of a sorry bunch. proving that the epl is merely the best marketed league and thats all. - since the cl started proper in 1992 - epl teams have only won 3 times . . . THREE! ( 99, 05, 08 ) proving the point once again. without all the foreign coaches, owners and players the epl would be worse than the greek league. but ignorant epl lovers will neva admit this - the world's richest club and the world's most popular both humiliated-priceless - bacon face did get what he deserved-he shouldv retired on a high-idiot - dream final barca-real, the epl's best hopes lie with their 2 most k*k chances-2 london teams THAT HAVE NEVER WON IT BEFORE. - viva spanish football, jeez, even the serie A has 3 teams in the last 16. - cant wait for arsenal to draw barca again bwahaha.

      Brevan - 2011-12-08 10:48

      You know that no one forces you to watch the EPL and if other people prefer the EPL, that's their choice. You know there is something called a freedom of choice. Personally, I think in Spain, except for Barca and Real, the rest of a sorry bunch which is why those teams are still fresh when it comes to the business end of the competitions. The EPL in my opinion is the toughest league and if you think that the English teams are so crap, why did MUFC play in 3 of the last 4 finals which included and all English final. Bacon face has 7 titles (including 4 League titles and a champions League) in the last 5 years. Anyone who wants to fire a coach with that record is a moron, but I'm not implying that you're one.

      BJ - 2011-12-08 11:28

      Actually SA TV just about forces you to watch epl - they never show any other leagues. Brevan's opinion that epl is the toughest league in the world is probably based on comparing it to the SA league. Ever watched a Bundesliga game?

      Byron - 2011-12-08 12:42

      They cant in this round

      Brevan - 2011-12-08 13:04

      Actually, there is a demand for the English games, that's why they show all the EPL games. I know more than 5 supporters of each of the following teams: MUFC, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Arsenal, Newcastle, Man City. Name a team in Spain, Germany or one of the other leagues that fall out of the top 2 most popular in their leagues that you know more than 5 supporters of??? I can even name a bunch of Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Blackburn, Wolves and Crystal Palace supporters. SA TV also show a lot of Spanish, German and Portuguese games. So you are not forced to watch anything. SuperSport Maximo is a soccer channel that shows games in Portuguese (and I think Spanish) and less than 10% of the games are from the EPL. Don't forget we get the games (with English commentary) from the BBC, so unless you want your commentary in other languages, you have to take what the BBC offers, and they offer what there is an international demand for.

      Brevan - 2011-12-08 13:11

      Just checked, it seems SS screens all of the English and Spanish League games live and most of the French, German and Italian League games live. The rest of the games they show delayed.

      Rodney - 2011-12-08 16:05

      Hey topsy ,if u did ur research properly u would have noticed that the stadiums in the epl is always full(best attended ) .its the most popular league by far , before it marketed here dude..the level op play and the revenue per game far out score any other league

      Fidel - 2011-12-08 16:31

      @Bevan The EPL is competatively inferior and rubbish, brainless all skop and jaag football, demonstrated by the rubbish England senior team. If SA had a large German or Spanish speaking populations, the majority of fans would be following those leagues no doubt. Look at Asia which speaks English as a second language and compare that to South America which speaks Spanish. If Hitler had succeeded in his 1000 year Reich, we would all be watching BundesLiga.

  • Niel - 2011-12-08 08:30

    Where is the man u we saw in the beginning of the year. Im a Liverpool supporter but that champions league lost 2 good teams that keep it interesting.

      paul.eveleigh - 2011-12-09 05:36

      Agree Niel - got to say that the way Man Utd started was a surprise. The loss of the Anderson / Cleverly partnership has made the midfield flat - the others are no where near good enough.

  • Nathi - 2011-12-08 08:42

    Basel brush United aside-boom boom !!!!

  • Bernard - 2011-12-08 08:53

    Bye Bye Carling Cup... Bye Bye Champions Leauge... Bye Bye Premier Leauge... I think I'm going to LAUGH... Bye Bye U Mancs goodbye

      Topsy - 2011-12-08 08:57

      and bye bye fa cup-they drew city in the 3rd round

  • Nathi - 2011-12-08 08:53

    Basel brush United aside-boom boom !!!!

  • Nathi - 2011-12-08 09:01

    Wipeout! United AND City crash... now for the humiliation of Thursday night football

  • Themba - 2011-12-08 09:11

    Sorry sir ferguson, not all are always good days, arsenal supporter

  • kkmeyer1 - 2011-12-08 09:12

    arsenal all the way!!!

      Lusindiso - 2011-12-08 10:09

      Arsenal! Arsenal!!! Arsenal!!!!! Arsenal!!!!!!!

      Dhirshan - 2011-12-08 12:39

      arsenal have never won the cl, why will 2012 be any different?

      ChiefGalaktus - 2011-12-08 13:38

      Man Utd lose and all i hear is Arsenal this, Arsenal that... I thought Utd were playing against Basel, Strange that's all

  • Warrick - 2011-12-08 10:19

    i love it! another competition for the mancs to bomb out of this season

  • Nathi - 2011-12-08 10:20

    There's a new fragrance in Manchester - channel no 5!

  • Jason - 2011-12-08 11:39

    Alice Ferguson is reportedly going on leave this festive season, just nowhere near Europe.. Good bye Man United - CHELSEA4LIFE

  • Charles - 2011-12-08 12:38

    @Bob- I fully agree with you Bob. Im a Man U supporter, who happened to play professional soccer during my school days. The current crop of players in Man U is very average. Man u needs to buy new players. The defence is very porous, save for Vidic and Evra. Since Scholes retired and Giggs is old the middlefield is useless. hence the striking force is rendered useless cause they are not geting fed with good passes. Even last year Man U were average, they got lucky be in the final of Champions league and to win the Premiership. Norwich city exposed them, Man City clearly embarassed the. That should have been a wake up call. Ferguson must stop behaving like an Ostrich( putting the head in the sand and hoping the problem is gonna go away). The December transfer window he needs to shop around for at least FOUR PLAYERS! Two good defenders and twogood midfielders, if he wanna salvage what is left of Man U proud history.

      Bob - 2011-12-08 13:37

      Thank you Charles, I am only stating the obvious, in reality I could care less if Utd get relegated to the conference league, infact I do care, I would love to see them in the conference league, as a Liverpool supporter I support my team but can readily admit to their shortcomings, I know we are not the best team in EPL but at least we are work in progress and heading the right way, UTD are heading the other way, how they get the results they do with the side they have really does amaze me, what City did to them was no surprise to me, the gulf between City and this UTD side is huge, personally I doubt this UTD side will finish in the top 3.

  • m0ey1 - 2011-12-08 13:33

    what have become of man u?? the most well prepared unit of modern football looks to be crumbling. jus a few years back we hada Roy keane and paul scholes who dominated the midfied against any team now though we sucumb to seeing a teenage Phil Jones, a natuaral centre hback to fill that role, no offence jones has buckets of potential, but thiis just proves Sir Fergies desperation pull out your wallet, zip your mouth and buy us some quality!

  • Hallo - 2011-12-08 15:04

    lol @ man utd

  • Cyrus - 2011-12-08 15:21

    ManUtd is way overhyped, they are not the power they were once three years ago. Only Rooney, Vidic and perhaps Nani are world class. The rest are either washed up or wet behind the ears. Kids are not gona win you anything, just ask Wenger and dead weight just slows you down. Utd are average.

  • Kimson Komodo Chan - 2011-12-08 16:51

    I don't think there's any excuse for us to play Europa league football. On paper, this looked like an easy group but as the saying goes 'football is not played on paper'. I felt that we played our best football too early and now we're out of steam. hope that this can be a lesson for next season. as far as trophies are concerned , it would be nice to win one but not if we carry on like this

  • Tamo - 2011-12-09 14:01

    My younger brother can solve the midfield problem in Manchester United!!! Tamo Mafai.

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