Rio Ferdinand says Sir Alex Ferguson called Arsenal ‘babies’ at the height of their rivalry with Manchester United, recalling the legendary manager’s ‘most iconic’ team talk against Liverpool.
United were involved in some memorable battles with Arsenal during Ferguson’s reign at the club, and Ferdinand – who played under the United boss at Old Trafford for over a decade – has explained how Fergie belittled Arsene Wenger’s side before the games .
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Ferdinand recalled: “Sir Alex Ferguson used to say, ‘Come in their face. They don’t like it, they can’t handle it. They’re babies.
“Come against them and you will win this match. Rio, you will overpower them, you will overpower them.’”
Speaking to William Hill’s Stripped Podcast, Ferdinand later revealed that Ferguson’s “most iconic team talk” preceded a clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Ferdinand added: “The most iconic team lecture Sir Alex ever gave was when we played against Liverpool at Anfield.
“He said, ‘I don’t really need to talk to you. It’s the worst Liverpool team I’ve ever seen on a team magazine.” That was it. We won that day.”
A second United hero during that period, Paul Scholes, revealed to a third, Gary Neville, on the overlapThat his “most important” goal for the club was a “miskick”.
Known for his long-range attacks, Scholes plopped down for his spectacular volley against Aston Villa in 2006, before being asked about his goal against Barcelona that saw the club earn a place in the 2008 Champions League final.
The midfielder came on a loose ball at Old Trafford, took one touch and then punched it into the top corner to take them to the final in Moscow, where they beat Chelsea on penalties.
“That was a misstep,” Scholes said. “It was a misk, it came from the outside of my foot.
“If you try to hit it that way with a little fade, it has to go outside the post and then really into the corner.
“I was thinking of just hitting the target to be honest. If it goes to the keeper and that way [swerving to the right]you don’t mean that, no chance.”
Marcel then asked Scholes to at least admit that this was his most important goal for the Red Devils.
“It was the most important, yes,” Scholes admitted.