Would Sir Alex Ferguson Have Gone To Saudi Arabia? Yorke’s Verdict
Would Sir Alex Ferguson ever have left the Premier League for the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia?
That’s the question we put to Man United legend and treble winner Dwight Yorke. The former Man United star made 152 appearances for the club under Sir Alex Ferguson and scored 66 goals in that time.
Yorke also discussed Ferguson’s ability to keep players hungry, Steven Gerrard’s managerial career, the task ahead for Pochettino at Chelsea and if he thinks he can replicate Ange Postecoglous’s managerial career.
Would Sir Alex Ferguson ever have gone to Saudi Arabia?
Sir Alex Ferguson would never have gone to Saudi Arabia to manage a football club, he had too much respect for Manchester United and the Premier League as a whole.
The money would never have tempted him…
because he was making loads at Man United, as everyone does in the Premier League. The best make the most money, and Ferguson was the best.
Was Ferguson Better At Keeping Players Hungry Than Pep?
Q. Now Man City have won the treble, it seems like players have decided they’ve done it all and are wanting a challenge elsewhere, like Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker. Do you think Ferguson was better than Pep in terms of keeping players hungry? Or did you notice players wanting to leave like Man City’s are now?
The Man City players who are likely to be leaving this season, like Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva, have won four Premier League trophies in the last five years. When we won the treble in 1999, we weren’t as dominant as Man City have been because we went a couple of years without winning the league.
Gundogan has won five Premier League trophies and the treble at the age of 32. In my experience, Sir Alex Ferguson told me if we don’t win the treble again then we are failures. That’s the harsh reality of winning the treble because the expectations are so high the following season.
I was deemed as a failure when I ended up Man United’s top goalscorer in 99/00, because I didn’t exceed my previous tally of 29 goals the previous season. So some of these players are in their 30s because it’s hard to exceed your expectations the following season. Silva is the odd exception because he’s 28 years old.
Steven Gerrard’s Managerial Career
Q. You see Steven Gerrard go from competing with Rangers in Europe, managing Villa in the Premier League and now he’s ended up in Saudi Arabia managing a team that finished 7th last season. What do you make of his managerial career?
I have no doubt Gerrard would have had another opportunity elsewhere in England if he was more patient, I don’t quite understand why he’s gone to Saudi Arabia. When you’re a manager, you’re looking for an opportunity to get into the game, and Steven Gerrard has done that by moving to Saudi Arabia.
Gerrard also did it at Rangers and he was successful, when you’re successful, the big clubs come calling and that’s why Aston Villa came about. Success at Villa would have been a top-eight finish, he got off to a really good start so people raised their expectations, but he didn’t do it and came under scrutiny.
It becomes a very dangerous game when you land outside the top 10, he came up short and now he’s in Saudi Arabia. I feel like he had another opportunity to join another English club if he waited, but he saw a chance to go to Saudi Arabia and took it. If it was me, I would have taken the Saudi Arabia job but that’s because I don’t have the options Gerrard would’ve had.
Pochettino’s Appointment As Chelsea Manager
Q. As a fellow manager, are you a fan of Mauricio Pochettino? Despite his disappointing run in PSG, do you think he’ll bring back any glory to Chelsea? Or does he lack that winning spark?
Mauricio Pochettino has been built up a lot with his appointment at Chelsea. He has a good record with players, I admired him at Tottenham too. I wasn’t too sure about his time at PSG, he won Ligue 1 but if I was the manager at PSG I’d win the league too.
It’s very hard to predict what his season will be like, but he has a very big job to do at Chelsea. This will be the time to see if he really is a good manager or not. Pochettino has a lot to do and turn around, and now it’s time to prove why everyone is talking about him being a great appointment.
Yorke To Follow In Postecoglou’s Steps?
Q. We’ve seen Ange Postecoglou manage in Australia, made his move to Celtic and succeeded there, and now manages one of the big six clubs in the Premier League. Do you think this could be your path too?
The path for me is totally different than other managers in the Premier League. I managed to embrace that and had a hard conversation with people in the business, past and present managers. Since getting my coaching qualifications and winning a trophy in Australia, I’ve had no problem going abroad. I’m ruling England out for the time being but my destination will be England.
My pathway won’t start there, it starts in Australia and I’ll make my way around, I’ll embrace and accept that. I’m on a journey to the Premier League, and my journey might take me to the United States or Saudi Arabia, I don’t know yet.
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