Football Tactics For Beginners: Attacking FullBacks

The modern attacking fullback has many duties to perform. No longer is it enough to leave an opposition winger stud-pocked and bruised, a modern...
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9.

Latest Posts

Do Premier League Players Have a Say in Their Transfers?

Americans know that in sports, there is a widespread culture where players don’t have a final say in their destinies, with exceedingly rare exceptions.However,...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

The Meteoric Rise of RB Leipzig: From Tier Five Football to the Champions League

The best football clubs in the world usually have a storied history, years of success, and generations of fans. However, one of the best...

4 players Man United can target in January transfer window to challenge for the title

Manchester United after an up and down start to the season find themselves 5 points behind Liverpool with a game in hand. After being...

The Return of Strike Partnerships in the Premier League? Part 1

No matter the make-up, the notion of a strike partnership – two out-and-out attackers, often with very different strengths and calling cards, working seamlessly...

Football Books

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

When Sir Alex Ferguson Lost by 9 Goals in back to back matches

I’m shattered, I can’t believe it. It was our worst ever day. It’s the worst in my history, ever. Even as a player I don’t think I ever lost 6-1. That’s a challenge for me too
-Sir Alex Ferguson after man united lost 6-1 to man city

Ferguson might have been wrong with his team selection and his tactics for the Manchester derby, but as far as we are concerned his biggest mistake was the above statement he made after the game. As we see below,the 6-1 defeat was certainly not the biggest of his footballing life.

Back in 1960, Sir Alex Ferguson(Just Alex Ferguson back then) was plying his trade for St Johnstone in the Scottish League. Those days Ferguson was a striker at his second club(His first was Queens Park) and was struggling to break into the first team. His first season for the club was a quiet one for him as a player,but it was a good one for the club’s reserve side,as they beat Falkrik to win the Reserves cup.

Fergie playing for St Johnstone

Over the next season,after becoming a professional,Ferguson began to play in the first team. And he did well ,scoring some important goals. There was drama on the final day of the season,as Ferguson’s goal against Dundee was chalked off in a 3-0 defeat which led to St Johnstone’s relegation. Ferguson and his teammates learned after the match that if the game had finished 3-1 they would have been saved by virtue of better goal average.

The next season the club managed to win promotion and before the start of the new season, St Johnstone recruited lot of new players, so that they don’t spend another season fighting relegation. This was bad news for Ferguson and he was not looking forward to play for the reserves again. His coach Bobby Brown was talking to Doug Cowie, the manager of Raith Rowers regarding Ferguson. But before the deal could proceed any further Ferguson was put out of action by a facial injury. During a reserve game against Airdrie,Ferguson jumped to challenge a ball in the air along with Jackie Stewart. Now, Airdrie had a mean reputation on the football ground and Jackie Stewart certainly took his club’s principles to heart. Next thing Ferguson knew was that he was lying in a hospital with a fracture cheekbone and a broken bone above his eyebrow. For six weeks Ferguson had to wear a plaster to support his face. Ferguson at that time had two jobs, one as a professional footballer and another in a factory. It was during this time that he met his wife Cathy Holding. After two months of pain and embarrassment, the plaster was finally removed and Ferguson was ready for action. And this was when Ferguson suffered his biggest losses of his career and they were in back to back games. In his first game after injury St Johnstone Reserves lost to Celtic Reserves 10-1 and in his second outing, Kilmarnock reserves thrashed them 11-2.And as far as we know he didn’t score any of those three consolation goals.

What Happened Next?

Ferguson’s confidence in playing football was badly shaken and was contemplating on moving to Canada. The two comeback games he played for the reserves did him no good and there was a prospect of facing further humiliation as they had to face Rangers on the 21st of December. Ferguson had made up his mind that he was not going to play against Rangers,so he asked his brother’s girlfriend,Joan Parker to phone his coach and pretend to be his mother and tell him that he had flu.

When his coach came to know of this,he immediately sent a telegram to his house saying, ”call me” . When Ferguson called his coach he was shocked to know that he would be playing in the first team against Rangers as 5 players were out with real flu.

The next day at Ibrox changed Alex Ferguson’s life forever. Trailing 1-0 at half time,the future Manchester United gaffer scored a hat-trick to take St Johnstone to their first ever win at Ibrox. Ferguson incidentally was a Rangers supporter all his life and he was the first player ever to score a hat-trick against Rangers at Ibrox.

At the end of the 1963-64 season Ferguson moved on to Dunfermline.

Ferguson after the day he scored a hat-trick against Rangers

Related

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

4 players Man United can target in January transfer window to challenge for the title

Manchester United after an up and down start to the season find themselves 5 points behind Liverpool with a game in hand. After being...

Man United expected lineup, tactics against City: Solskajer to go back to 4-3-3 formation

Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are under tremendous pressure after their disastrous performance against RB Leipzig which saw them drop out of Champions...

PSG 1: 2 Man Utd- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be looking at the tactics of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel in PSG and Man United's most recent...

Man United’s possible lineup against Chelsea based on the new and exciting back 3 formation used in the PSG victory

Manchester United's victory against PSG came after a tumultuous start to the season with questions already being raised over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eligibility to...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

A brief history of the footballing aesthetic (and its gradual death)

The death of football at its most beautiful peak, is nigh ‘Football is the beautiful game.’ A statement we have heard since childhood. Words which...

The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

It seems fitting that Éver Banega’s final bow in European competition involved him lifting the Europa League. Barring a surprise reversal in the future,...

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

Latest Posts

Do Premier League Players Have a Say in Their Transfers?

Americans know that in sports, there is a widespread culture where players don’t have a final say in their destinies, with exceedingly rare exceptions.However,...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

Don't Miss

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...

The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

It seems fitting that Éver Banega’s final bow in European competition involved him lifting the Europa League. Barring a surprise reversal in the future,...

The Original Invincibles- Preston North End 1888/89

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

How Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona Reinvented Total Football

Arrigo Sachi, the mastermind of the Milan side of the 80′s, had once staked a claim that the next tactical revolution in the game,...

How to beat Pep’s Barcelona, with helpful advice from Bruce Lee, Samuel Johnson, and others.

Barcelona have started to dominate European football to such an extent that the drawing of group stages was inconsequential to them being pronounced favourites...

Football History

Súper Dépor! The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

At the StartWith the exception of a 2nd place finish to Helenio Herrera’s Atlético Madrid in 1948/49, Deportivo La Coruña have historically plied their...

A brief history of the footballing aesthetic (and its gradual death)

The death of football at its most beautiful peak, is nigh ‘Football is the beautiful game.’ A statement we have heard since childhood. Words which...

The long & bizarre history behind why Red Bull chose Leipzig as the hub for their football club

When Red Bull tried to set foot into German football for the first time, they initially tried to use the same method they had...

FC Start and The Death Match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...