I am a big admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson and the way he manages. He is a true winner inside and out and players who have played under him or managers who have pit their wits against him will say the same.
I admire his man management, his constant demand for commitment and his brutal willingness to reprimand anyone who crosses his path. He is a real old school manager with a modern outlook on playing football.
There is though one criticism I have of him, and it is not of his abilities. It is his ability to influence a game in ways that are sometimes not seen to the naked eye. It may be a myth, but it is known throughout football that if you go to Old Trafford don't expect many decisions to go your way, but do expect them to go against you.
How many times has there been a penalty not given, or a penalty given against the away side, or the refs inability to send off a player in red. Not to mention lengths of added on time that not even Darwin could explain.
From a personal view point I think the man is shown so much respect that people (ie. refs, the FA) are afraid to cross his path because they know criticism from Ferguson does not go un-noticed in the footballing world.
The recent debacle of Fergie exclaiming that Alan Wiley is not fit enough to be a referee is big news but not surprising at all. Is this another way of Fergie trying to influence the game and perhaps the referees he gets for his matches.
From now on Ferguson should only get the best refs while the rest can get all the so called unfit ones that apparently crowd the English game.
Fergie's biggest mistake was to not check the facts before he made his outrageous claim. I bet Alan Wiley has run more miles on the pitch than Berbatov has ran his whole life.
It was only two weeks ago that he was having a friendly chat with Wiley after United had scored a dubious winner in the 96th minute at, guess what ground? Old Trafford.
I think the FA need to step in and punish Fergie just so these wild claims are not repeated by others. To publicly humiliate Wiley and claim he wasn't good enough to do his job is perhaps a step too far.
Maybe some good will come of this and referees will now not be so scared of Fergie and maybe Fergie will now get what he deserves on and off the pitch.
Even an apology would be nice Fergie but why would he? He is Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United, an untouchable.