An ex-Manchester United player has shared a story about how he was on the receiving end of an explosive meltdown from Sir Alex Ferguson during a pre-season fixture in South Africa.
As well as being labelled arguably the greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson was renowned for his infamous ‘hairdryer treatment’, where he would blast players for not meeting his high expectations.
Ben Foster – who now plays in goal for Watford – played under Fergie at United after he signed for the club from Stoke City in 2005.
Now, on an episode of JaackMaate’s Happy Hour podcast, the keeper has remembered the time when, on a pre-season tour of South Africa, he fell victim to one of the Scot’s frenzied tirades.
Setting the scene, Foster recalled that one fixture went to penalties, saying: “I didn’t play the game, but with about one or two minutes to go, Tony Coton – who was the goalie coach – said: ‘Fergie listen, Ben’s really good at saving penalties’.
“And I’m watching him thinking ‘what the f**k are you doing, I’m not’."
So, with the match running into the final couple of minutes, Ferguson substituted goalkeeper Luke Steele and brought Foster on, hoping his penalty heroics might take United to victory.
Ben continued: “Because I’ve got a big kick – I can boom it – he’s gone: ‘oh you can take a penalty as well’, and I’m thinking ‘oh for f***’s sake.
“So he’s brought me on, last minute of the game, to try and save some penalties and score a penalty.”
It turned out that this decision didn’t pay off, with Ben fluffing his lines at the pivotal moment.
He admitted: “I hit the crossbar with my penalty and I didn’t save one penalty.
“So we lost on the penalty shootout; me and Chris Eagles missed our penalties.
“We got into the changing room and he went f***ing mad. Bats*** crazy. A pre-season friendly out in South Africa.
“He’s give it to me, and then thankfully he’s turned to Chris Eagles and he’s like: ‘And you, you little s**t with your f**king long hair…’
“It was horrible honestly. But that was him all over, he was just a winner. He never ever let the standards drop.”
Since he received the telling-off from Fergie, Ben Foster has gone on to play for a number of clubs, with the 39 year-old now a back-up goal-keeper at Watford.
The Midlander has also recently started a YouTube channel – ‘TheCyclingGK’ – which takes viewers behind-the-scenes in the life of a Premier League footballer, and has over 700,000 subscribers.
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