Will Ferguson ever learn to lose with good grace?...

Last updated : 16 February 2003 By Chris Parry
This is a good one:

"You expect tackles in a cup tie between Manchester United and Arsenal and we tried to do that fairly. You need the referee to be able to handle it and he reacted badly. He allowed the Arsenal players to bully him. There were nine or 10 players around him all the time as if every tackle was a massacre. When you get people the size of Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell round you it doesn't do the game any good."

I know Sir Alex, disgraceful isn't it? - and of course your players have never been guilty of intimidating referees have they? - ask Andy D'Urso.

"We have a few bumps and bruises but we'll see how things look over the next couple of games. It was a good result for Arsenal and you have to give them credit for the way they killed the game. We wanted to win but the one thing it does it ease our fixture congestion and hopefully we can benefit from that."

Killed the game??? - is he kidding? - we go to Old Trafford and give them a footballing lesson, and the man can't even bring himself to acknowledge that in public. I suppose his words are what might be called 'faint praise'.

The old comment about easing fixture congestion is a good one as well. It'll give them more time to concentrate on not winning any other trophies.