Wayne Rooney has called out former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s tactics when they played against Barcelona in the Champions League.
Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably one of if not the greatest manager in football history. So for Wayne Rooney to call out his old boss’ tactics is quite a turn up for the books.
Rooney looks back on his old side’s lost Champions League finals against Barcelona back in 2009 and 2011 and he feels his boss got it all wrong.
The Derby County coach believes Sir Alex put the club’s history ahead of winning the game and adopted tactics that he considered doomed for failure.
Rooney says it was suicide and Fergie got it wrong.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said:
“We lost two Champions League finals going toe-to-toe with Guardiola’s Barcelona, by trying to press high and get round them, which was suicidal.”
“I remember Alex Ferguson saying ‘we’re Man United and we’re going to attack, it’s in the culture of this football club’ and thinking ‘I’m not too sure about this’.”
“I think all the players knew, deep down, it was the wrong approach, that we were abandoning the way that had brought us success in that 2008 semi-final, and sure enough both times we got outplayed.”
“There is being true to the club, but then there’s sitting back afterwards and thinking ‘we lost’, for me, it doesn’t matter how you do it in these big Champions League games, as long as you win.”
I am not convinced that any tactics United adopted on those two occasions could have beaten such a strong Barcelona side.
One thing is for certain, Rooney is likely to get a frosty reception from Ferguson the next time they meet.