Sir Alex Ferguson let Mikael Silvestre join Manchester City, was not happy with the Arsenal switch

But the Scot was not happy when the transfer collapsed at the last minute as Silvestre’s head was turned by Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

Silvestre played 361 times for United, winning four Premier League titles and a Champions League.

Image: PA

With Patrice Evra a solid first choice left – back and Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand forming a formidable partnership in central defense, Silvestre was allowed to leave Old Trafford in the summer of 2008.

Everything was in place for him to join the blue half of Manchester, but Wenger convinced him to join him at Arsenal – much to Fergie’s frustration.

Image: PA
Image: PA

“As close as I was in the middle of medical treatment,” Silvestre said SPORT Bible, in connection with MyBettingSites, when asked how close he was to playing for both Manchester clubs.

“I have Arsene [Wenger] on the phone, and then I made a U-turn and got the blessing from Mark Hughes – he made it easier for me to switch.

“I took the train to London to join the French contingent, but that [moving to City] could have happened.

“Remember at that time City had just started with the new ownership and that it made more sense to come to Arsenal.

“He was okay that I came to City, but he was not happy for Arsenal! He made no resistance, he was okay.

“Sir Alex said, ‘Do not go to the rivals, no mercy until the end!'”

Of course, this was not the only time Silvestre felt Fergie’s anger. When he was there between 1999 and 2008, it was inevitable that at some point he would come across the infamous ‘hair dryer’.

The verbal lashings he believes he had had on two occasions were firm but fair, according to the Frenchman, but Silvestre says standing there and taking it was the best way to respond to Ferguson.

He added: “It’s all safe at some point because you can not continue in seasons during the nine years without this treatment.

“The good thing was that he treated everyone the same. You just want to hide somewhere in the corner and not be seen when he starts undressing in front of everyone.

“I can at least remember twice! It was him who was not happy with the performance and also two special incidents where he was a defender – a mistake that led to a goal.

“You would get it – especially if he knew you could do better.

“You’re not going to win it, you just sit there, take it and move on. We’ve had players try to take on the manager, and you can, if you think that’s not fair, but in my case it was obvious.

“I had to agree he was right. At the moment it could feel very strong and hard, but in a few days or even the next day he would talk to you and that was it. Not best friend, but it is why people say it’s like father and son.

“When you try your kids, it will not last long.”

Ferguson is widely regarded as the best manager in the history of English football, but perhaps surprisingly he was not very hands on when it came to the training ground.

Image: PA
Image: PA

According to Silvestre, he would often be off the Carrington carpet to take care of other management-related business unless a crunchy clash was on the way.

“The first team coach and assistant would take sessions,” Silvestre revealed.

“When it was a derby or big matches, he was on the pitch and on the pitch, watching training and talking to players.

“Sometimes he could be away from work for two to three days that week, but for those fights he would make sure he was there for the preparation.

“It’s a different coaching style. Arsene [Wenger], José [Mourinho] and Gerard Houllier – these guys who came a long time ago in the Premier League – the way they train is that they take on the sessions from AZ with the help of the assistant.

“While the English managers watch from a distance and they sometimes come to intervene, otherwise a first-team coach would run the sessions.”


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