10 Manchester United Players Who Fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson

Lee ThorpeContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

10 Manchester United Players Who Fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson

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    During his 25 years in charge at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has taken the club to heights that even this great dynasty had rarely achieved before. Whilst securing his own reputation as being one of the greatest managers to ever grace our game, he has also developed himself a well-deserved reputation as being as ruthless a manager as they come.

    Some of his feuds against his own players have become part of Manchester United folklore. So let’s look back at the top 10 falling outs between Sir Alex and some of his own players.

Gordon Strachan

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    Sir Alex and Gordon Strachan began their falling out whilst Ferguson was Strachan's manager at Aberdeen. Strachan had secretly signed a pre-contract with Cologne but that still did not stop him from snubbing them and ending up at Manchester United. 

    Sir Alex was furious that he went behind his back and declared in his autobiography that "I decided this man could not be trusted an inch—I would not want to expose my back to him in a hurry."

    Just two years later, Strachan's worst fears were confirmed when Ferguson rocked up at Old Trafford and took over the reigns of the club. Strachan only lasted a couple of years at United before moving on to Leeds.

Andrei Kanchelskis

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    During his four years at Old Trafford, the Russian winger dazzled and delighted the crowds with his fast and exciting play on the wing. But during the summer of 1995, Sir Alex shocked many when he sold the player to Everton.

    Andrei was reputably upset at the lack of apparent playing time he was receiving whilst being rested for an ankle injury. But in Ferguson's book, he talks about dodgy bundles of cash arriving at the club's offices during contract negotiations from shady looking Russian men so Sir Alex was left with no choice but to get rid of Kanchelskis. 

Paul McGrath

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    When Sir Alex Ferguson arrived at Manchester United, the first task he intended to do was rid the club of its famed drinking culture. Unfortunately, one of the key members of this culture was in fact one of the best players at the club at the time: Paul McGrath.

    McGrath didn't last long under Ferguson. After he gave an interview seemingly under the influence of alcohol before an FA Cup tie, he was injured and soon found himself shipped out to Aston Villa.

Gabriel Heinze

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    Gabriel Heinze had established himself as a key component in Manchester Uniteds back four, after having come back after a serious knee injury had kept him on the sidelines for a year. The courage he showed in coming back to full fitness was appreciated by all at Old Trafford and he was soon a darling of the fans with his name often sang. 

    Then it all went sour.

    The arrival of Patrice Evra had put doubts into Heinze's head about his first-team status at the club and he actively looked for a way out of the club. The only problem was that the club which was his preferred destination was Liverpool.

    Ferguson stood his ground and after a war of words, the player ended up at Real Madrid, whilst tarnishing his friendship with Sir Alex.

Paul Ince

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    The midfielder made 278 appearances in six years and captained United to the Premier League title before shockingly leaving the club in the summer of '95.

    His relationship with Ferguson was always reported to be strained and the manager ended up calling him a "big-time Charlie" and showed his distaste at Ince's decision to take his self-proclaimed "Guvnor" nickname too far.

    After failing to keep to his defensive duties during the lead up to the goal that caused the loss to Everton in the '95 Cup Final, Ince was shipped off to Inter Milan. Ferguson had the indication that Ince had structured this move for himself months before.

Carlos Tevez

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    "Fergie, Fergie sign him up" was a common chant heard during during Manchester United matches in the first half of 2009. These were directed at Sir Alex Ferguson in reference to the fact that the contract of Carlos Tevez was due to expire.

    Tevez never did sign an extension to stay at Old Trafford and ended up making the short journey to move to neighbours and fierce rivals Manchester City.

    If that wasn't enough to make the United fans' blood boil, the player then went on to say the reason he left was due to bad relations with Ferguson. He has at every opportunity since his departure stuck the boot in to the legendary manager, often going too far with his words spoken.

    At the parade for Manchester City's Premiership win, the striker grabbed a sign from a fan and held it aloft. What did the sign say?

    "RIP Fergie."

Ruud van Nistelrooy

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    Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the most prolific goalscorers in United's history. That still didn't stop him falling on the wrong side of Sir Alex.

    When the 2005-06 League Cup Final came around, van Nistelrooy was unusually found dropped to the bench. This was not a one-time occurrence; van Nistelrooy found himself on the bench more often than not as the season carried on to its finish.

    This culminated on the last day of the season when van Nistelrooy found himself once again on the bench, but instead of sitting it out, he stormed out of the stadium and was never seen at Manchester United again.

    Rumours were flying for the reasons of van Nistelrooy's demise. Some spoke of a training-ground argument with Ronaldo, where the legendary striker told Ronaldo to go "crying to your daddy" not long after the future World Champion's father had actually died.

    Another argument seemed to point a growing concern from Ferguson that van Nistelrooy's work rate was lacking in the bigger matches. Either way, Fergie thought his time was up.

Roy Keane

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    Roy Keane was Sir Alex's midfield general and mouthpiece on the field. As fierce and ferocious as his boss could be, it was actually quite surprising it took that long for these two Manchester United icons to clash.

    Keane is not somebody to stay silent when he has a grievance to air. He lashed out about poor training facilities during a preseason trip.

    Worse was yet to come when during an interview with MUTV, Keane criticised his teammates following a 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough. Keane's views on certain players was that out of line, the club never ended up playing the show.

    Ferguson was furious that his captain had broken ranks and after stripping Keane of the armband, allowed him to join Celtic as soon as possible. It was a scenario that no one saw coming.

Jaap Stam

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    In 2001, Jaap Stam was regarded as one of, if not the best defender in Europe. He was the rock at the back for Manchester United during their treble winning season and seemed certain to play a huge part in the future success for the club.

    So it came as nothing less than an extreme shock when it was announced just two games into the new season that Stam had been sold to Italian giants Lazio.

    The decision from Ferguson would never have come about had Stam not made some controversial comments in his autobiography. He said that Ferguson had tapped him up before his move from PSV Eindhoven to Old Trafford and also mentioning certain teammates in unflattering terms.

    Jaap Stam and the footballing world were in utter disbelief that Ferguson would sell one of his best players, but there was one more shock waiting for them when he was replaced by a 36-year-old Laurent Blanc.

    Stam mentioned afterwards that Ferguson didn't even read his book and was going off what was written in the papers, but once he had put pen to paper, his fate was sealed.

David Beckham

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    Ever since David Beckham's wedding to pop star Posh Spice, his life changed drastically. He has become increasingly popular and never had a day out of the public eye.

    When his popularity sky rocketed in Manchester, it was against everything Sir Alex had brought his young players up to be. Beckham's constant late night, jetting around the country lifestyle finally became too much for Ferguson to handle.

    He shipped him off to Real Madrid in 2003, after first accepting a bid from Barcelona without Beckham's knowledge that he was even up for sale.

    Dressing-room bust ups can usually be kept under wraps, but when Beckham emerged with stitches above an eye, it became apparent that he was not on the best of terms with Ferguson. A furious row in the dressing room after a defeat to Arsenal left Ferguson irate and he kicked a boot lying on the floor, which flew and hit Beckham above his eye.

    In Beckham's book, he goes into detail how Ferguson hardly spoke to him and barely made eye contact with him in his last year at the club he supported as a child. After Sir Alex had bust ups with Beckham and members of his family, he thought enough was enough.

    Beckham felt the relationship with this once father figure was irreparable and decided a move to Madrid was for the best, but it all worked out with a happy ending, as it now seems that this once inseparable pair have finally buried the hatchet. 


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