Top five Manchester United stars who fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson

Posted by - May 11, 2009 - Lists, Manchester United

After C-Ron’s strop, we look at five Man Yoo stars who have already walked the tight-rope of dissing SAF

1. David Beckham
There once close relationship began to unravel as Becks immersed himself increasingly in a celebrity lifestyle. He was on the receiving end of the infamous hairdryer treatment after being given permission to skip training to tend to sick son, Brooklyn, only for Victoria to be photographed at a London Fashion Week event on the same night.

2. Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Again a once strong relationship, forged as Ferguson patiently waited for Van Nistelrooy to recover from the knee injury which delayed his transfer to Old Trafford, which went sour. Rumours of a rift started when the Dutchman was benched for six consecutive league games in 2006.

He returned to the starting line-up but when he was dropped again before United’s final game of the season against Charlton, he left the stadium before kick-off. Rumours suggested this was due to a fall-out with Fergie’s new hot young thing, Cristiano Ronaldo.

3. Jaap Stam
Once the defensive rock upon which the United team was built, after some rather unflattering comments about Ferguson and United in his autobiography the Dutchman soon found out his relationship with the boss was not so rock-steady.

4. Paul Ince
The Ince-Ferguson relationship when it worked was built on mutual respect rather than any affection, and when the respect ebbed away it got really nasty. Fergie called his former star midfielder a “bottler” and a “big time Charlie”, and flogged him to Inter Milan.

5. Roy Keane
Given Ferguson’s hairdryer and Keane’s short fuse, it is perhaps surprising that this pair remained so close for as long as they did. It all blew up at the end of 2005. Keane decided to turn grumpy elder statesman of the United team and criticised the club’s pre-season training camp, the application of his team-mates and Fergie’s management methods. His contract was soon cancelled by mutual consent and he headed to Celtic.

The list is by now means exhaustive. Do you have any favourite Fergie fall-outs?

  • Tanuj Lakhina

    I think you forgot to mention Fergie’s boot throwing incident towards Beckham.I know the picture is about that but some might not be aware of it. Good post :)

  • Usama

    Favourite Fergie fall-outs? I think the one with BBC deserves a mention!

  • yousef

    a future bust up : CR7 aka ronaldo aka big baby.
    bound to happen unless ronaldo teaches himself some respect for Sir alex, the team and above all him self.
    p.s how bout heinze?

  • Mohamed S.

    What did he mean by calling Ince a “bottler”?

  • Rob Parker


    It means someone who loses their nerve when it matters/on the biggest occasions.

  • Mizman

    paul mcGrath, Dwight Yorke

  • Bennis

    In his autobiography, Fergie said Ince was often found wandering in big games. He has made up with Jaap Stam though, who is now United’s South America scout.

  • Dennis Kitchens

    He fell out with Gordon Strachan

  • Josie

    I see a pattern…You start to wonder what is Fergie doing to contribute to these bust ups.. Is he attracted to a certain type of player/personality that he builds up and fusses over until he creates a monster?

    Or is he just a jerk that has bad relationship skills in general?

    There is definitely an oversized ego inside that pleasant looking man.

  • kathmcp

    Or maybe Josie he is just dealing with young guys who have too much fame, too much money, and too much ego, who inevitably end up thinking they are bigger than the game/team.

  • Tanuj Lakhina

    I agree with Kathmcp.

  • mtp07dpr

    Norman Whiteside