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Ferguson’s furious outburst at Michael Carrick and honest opinion of him

A LOOK BACK: Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick was an unsung hero at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson, but managed to get on the wrong side of his boss in 2008

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Everyone other than perhaps Eric Cantona faced the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson at one time or another at Manchester United.

And Michael Carrick, who recently took temporary charge of the Red Devils ahead of Ralf Rangnick’s appointment on Monday, was absolutely no different.

During his time as a player at United, Carrick was regarded as a model professional who kept his head down and worked hard.

He was an unsung hero under Ferguson and someone who never gave the fiery boss a reason to be upset.

But, of course, it didn’t take much to set off Ferguson, and Carrick, like many before and after him, felt the full force of the Scot’s infamous hairdryer treatment.

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Michael Carrick took temporary charge of Man United following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking
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Action Images via Reuters)

United were playing in the Club World Cup in Yokohama following their Champions League triumph over Chelsea in Moscow in 2008, when Carrick received a dressing down.

The Red Devils were taking on Ecuadorian side Liga de Quito in the final and Ferguson had been pestering Carrick about his passing throughout the game, urging him to move the ball forwards more often.

Carrick says he played all his passes in the first half in a forward direction, except one, laying the ball back for Rio Ferdinand, simply because it was the best option.

Ferguson lost his temper on the touchline and Carrick subsequently bore the brunt of his manager’s wrath in the dressing room at half-time.

Revealing in his autobiography, Between the Lines, serialised in The Times, Carrick wrote: “The moment I entered the changing room, the boss launched into me. ‘Pass the ball f***ing forward, I f***ing told you’. Sir Alex was raging.

“When he was like that you had to sit there and take it, let him blow off some steam. On the outside, I was calm, nodding at the boss’s points, hiding my anger.

“On the inside, I was fuming saying to myself, ‘I must have played 40 passes forward here and he’s picked the one where I’ve gone back’. But the boss was so wound up that I didn’t dare voice my defence.”

United went on to win the game 1-0 thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal, despite Nemanja Vidic being shown a red card.

Michael Carrick shakes hands with Sir Alex Ferguson during his Man United testimonial in 2017
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REUTERS)

And Carrick continued to be an important player for Ferguson, with the Scot admitting years later that he thinks very highly of the Englishman and always knew he was going to be a success.

Explaining why Carrick caught his eye from a young age, Ferguson said: “One of the things that stuck out to me when we were profiling him and preparing to make a bid was that as a young boy, 16 years of age, he left home to play for West Ham.

“That tells you that the boy had the confidence that he was going to make it. A 16-year-old kid from Newcastle going to east London, that’s a trek, and it impressed me.

“From the minute we bought Michael in 2006, his character has always been outstanding. He’s a football man and that character, coupled with his ability, made him a certainty to be a big success at United.”

Carrick worked on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching staff this season ahead of the Norwegian’s sacking.

The 40-year-old was then named temporary boss while Man United thrashed out a contract with Ralf Rangnick, who will take charge of the Red Devils until the end of the season before a permanent manager arrives.

Carrick is expected to return to his role as coach.

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