Sir Alex Ferguson – managerspeak

Ferguson, programme notes: Stoke are a handful and I expect them to ask questions.

Ronaldo, post-match interview: The Boss told us to score at least twice before half time.

Final Score: Man U 5 Stoke City 0

Quick assessment for AndyP:

Now Listen, as Aidan O’Brien always says, anybody can lose 5-0 at United. The difficulty may be that a particular matter has now been exposed: Ferguson has revealed the way to play Stoke: pass and move. Of course, he has the resources to do that better than almost anyone, and the Big Two (there is no big four) can execute this more or less at will – Chelsea strolled past us at home, and indeed they have gone on to dish out the same treatment to both Hull and West Brazil.

Pulis is wont to talk bollocks following defeat – it’s always been his way, and it makes little difference to anything. The dismal thing is that you know he will never learn anything from watching Man United. The depressing follow-on from that is that our boys look so clueless once they are left with only one option: to attempt to play football; they have no idea how to pass and move because they are not coached to do so. To watch Nemanda Vidic and Jonathan Evans lap up hopeless punts to Ricardo time after occasional time was particularly pitiful. United actually share two ‘Pulis-team’ characteristics: they are excellent at set pieces and they defend with due vigour. The similarity ends there.

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13 Responses to Sir Alex Ferguson – managerspeak

  1. AndyP says:

    Amdy Faye pre-match on the visit to Old Trafford: “I’ve lost and drawn there before but we only hope for good things on Saturday. There is no reason why we can’t beat them, I’ve done it twice. We need to make sure we keep it tight, and maybe try to win the game 1-0.”

    I’d be interested in his post-match assessment, probably “We got a right dicking”.

  2. chiffs says:

    “Stoke are a handful and I expect them to ask questions.”

    Like, ‘where’s the goal?’

  3. AndyP says:

    As you were there I’d like your view on this from the BBC report…

    Stoke City manager Tony Pulis:
    “We were doing okay until United scored just before half-time. When they got another just afterwards, it killed us. We have done quite well against the other big clubs this season but once we had to chase the game, United just picked us off.”

    Chase the game?! At no point did it sound like we were doing any chasing, just sitting back and inviting pressure. Having one shot on target doesn’t sound particularly like trying to get anything out of the game to me. The Stoke performance between first and second goals was described as “smashing” by our Tone after the game when speaking to Nigel Johnson. More Pulis fantasyspeak?

  4. AndyP says:

    And another gem from the BBC gossip page from Saturday…

    “Stoke boss Tony Pulis will hand over a bottle of red wine to Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson as a “peace offering” ahead of the Potters’ game at Old Trafford. (Various)”

    Sounds more like Pulis turned up with a bottle of Blue Nun…

  5. Stephen Foster says:

    Peace offering for what?

    Our chants of, ‘Wanker wanker* give us a wave.’ (Ronaldo*)

  6. AndyP says:

    Less peace offering, more “please go easy on us” bribe. We have no way of telling whether it worked or not 😉

    Thank you for the articulate and thoughtful, analytical assessment of the match. I recall saying on the opening day that once Bolton realised they could pass and move it around us we were in trouble. You’d think most sides would cotton on to that. So to sum up your report… Pulis out?!!

  7. George S says:

    I was going to intrude here… but then I thought I shouldn’t. I won’t. Now it seems I have.


    I hear Hansen say on MOTD this morning (back far too late last night) that the trouble with teams like WBA is that they try to play open football against their betters. In other words, the best policy – the only policy – was ‘mark tight and clog them’. It works with Arsenal.

    What do you think? I mean you could play tight against Manchester United and Chelsea (maybe Arsenal on the odd day) but go a bit more dandified against Blackburn or Middlesbrough or Everton…

    Trouble is you play tight etc against United and Chelsea and you still get done.

    Wasn’t it Barnsley supporters who thought watching Barnsley was “almost like watching Brazil”?

  8. mum says:

    Now the Stokies on site realise what supporting Stoke is all about !! The Manures keep asking me the score !!
    Chiffs is quite right ” Where is the goal ” was the question ! xx

  9. Stephen Foster says:

    Indeed mam!

    George, as you know, context is all. In this division Pulis is in a win-win situation: survival is equivalent to winning the World Cup, if he can achieve that he can do it however he wants (and actually, battering Arsenal with a pair of Delap scuds is great fun).

    The problem is one [potentially] for the future : our boys can’t play football, and no one wants to watch that crap again back in the ‘Championship’ next year.

    The system also depends at least a little on luck: at Anfield Liverpool scored a perfectly good goal from a free-kick in the first few minutes, same as happened yesterday. Theirs was ruled out for a non existent offside. If that had stood, there was a good chance it would have been 5 for the Scousers too. It’s when we ONLY sit back and frustrate teams (for the single point from the goalless draw) that they play into our hands, because we are the experts at that. Once we’re required to be creative (to equalise) we’ve (quite possibly) had it.

    Anyway, at least I’ve been to Old Trafford.*

    *again [insert wink here]

  10. Stoke needs new blood. Your man should have a look at Cluj. I believe Szirtes’ Uncle Gabriel has connections there. Bargains galore I should think.
    I remember the Rumanian cycle team turned up to the Milk Race without any bikes. Got some given from Halfords. The Transylvanians must owe us one. I see an opportunity. Maybe Stoke can step in.

  11. calvininjax says:

    Stoke lack skill, flair and creativity. Such attributes are deemed by Pulis to be unnecessary for a successful football side.

  12. Mark Eltringham says:

    And pace.

  13. WurstBoy says:

    what we lack in pace, style, flair, ability and skill we make up for by being hard, black* and 6’2″.

    * well some/most of them are

    I don’t care. I’m proud of them.

    But I have to say, I have been quietly impressed by Hull’s endeavours, style and upandatemness. Gutsy, brave and largely successful.

    I think it’s great that Stoke and Hull are sticking it to the man, to quote somebody I can’t remember.

    And we ALWAYS beat the Baggies.

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