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Has Sith Lord Alex Ferguson misused his mastery of the mind-trick?

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Prior to this Sunday’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United, the build-up was quite naturally centred on the quite shocking revelations from the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report and the coming together of two sets of supporters with a history of bitter and fierce rivalry.

Therefore, somewhat lost in the lines of text, Alex Ferguson’s reminder that his Man Utd team had only received one penalty at Anfield in the league during the last twenty five years and his firm belief that this statistic would not change during the Sunday fixture (Daily Mirror, McDonnell 21.09.2012) now carries a lot more interest in light of Valencia’s little stumble in the box that earned United their first win at Liverpool in the league in five years.

Did Ferguson’s less than subtle barb have any impact upon the referee that day? Did the ‘Master of the Mind Trick’ influence the outcome of the heavyweight clash?

Well, according to Jonjo Shelvey then Fergie’s ‘power of the force’ was not restrained to pre-match comments, but in fact he directly influenced officials in the first contentious decision that afternoon – Shelvey’s own sending off.

Rodger’s claim that both players technically should have been sent off and Ferguson’s strong demand that only Jonny Evans was actually going for the ball are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

As I first believed when watching the match and subsequently viewing the tackle in slow motion, the truth sits somewhere in the middle. The image above shows both players go into the tackle fully committed, one foot in the air but at ball height and the second foot following low swiftly behind. Evans ever so subtly touched the ball first and actually the impact of the ball on Shelvey’s own foot knocked it wider and in the end caught Evans.

With Evans hurting from the impact Shelvey then claims Fergie played a crucial part in the next set of events, demanding Shelvey be sent off to which Shelvey took great exception to and the whole world witnessed a raw and emotional 20 year old young man confronting the ‘Sith Lord’ himself in an angry tirade.

Following the match Shelvey apologized to Liverpool fans for being sent off, but made it clear he would never back out of a 50-50 tackle. He also gave a backhanded apology to Ferguson before labelling him a ‘grass’. After some lucky escapes with some wild tackles this season maybe Shelvey should have a quick chat with former Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso over the merits of ‘the tackle’ and perhaps rather than hunting down 50-50’s he would better spend his energies learning to pick better positions and develop a greater influence in the final third of the pitch.

As entertaining as all this brouhaha has been however, the real issue is that Ferguson’s antics have distracted from what was an abject Manchester United performance.

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12 comments

  • Maynard Manyowa says:

    i must agree, despite being a red devil myself, since Ronaldo left and subsequently the ‘fear factor’ followed with him, it has been Fergie’s X’Factor getting United past the finish line. His personality, the hairdrier, his ambition force this crop past the line. The day that he does retire, United will lose a lot of command.

  • freddy says:

    There is a lot of bitterness towards man united and ferguson. It seems its true that greatness and success breeds jealousy and contempt.

  • Rick says:

    Your a d@&k if you even think that.

  • Flinstone says:

    Love and support is blind and it depends on which side of the divide you are on. If he is Saint Ferguson then I would agree with you, but a saint he isn’t.

  • peter says:

    For me I think ferguson have seenit all and I expect him to alway objective in all issue insted of trading the feature of a young and up coming player for at all cost winner,am so diserpointed about win at all cost actitude of this man

  • redmike says:

    Intruth fergy hates liverpool a leopard never changes his spots,on sunday he played a mind game as he always does,liverpool will rise above this,
    Evra shood hands but the never looked into saurez eyes he was told to shake hands sames a fergy was told to give the impression he cared about he 96yhe maunu’s are shite
    come on you reds
    ynwa

  • DAVY says:

    I THINK THAT WITH THE PROGRESS OF OUR TEAM, FERGIE WILL TASTE THE BITTERNESS OF LOOSING TO LIV’POOL AT OLDTRADFORD AGAIN(REMEMBER THE 4-0 OVERTHERE).
    I SAW SOMEWHERE SOME ASKING WHETHER IT IS POSSIBLE FOR FA TO INVESTIGATE ABOUT THE REF’S DECISIONS IN THE MATCH.
    CAN THIS BE DONE?

  • barry says:

    oh dear, just a bit of research. Shelvey was annoyed with ferguson about the earlier tackle he should have been booked for but wasnt. fergie jumped up and had words with the fourth official. nothing to do with the sending off. clown, watch the game.

  • ken says:

    had anfield wrap on fergie was at a meal aweek before the game guess what ref was sitting two seats away
    refs should not be going out with managers that they are ref in there game 1 week later i would like to no who invited him

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