Wayne Rooney has revealed how simple Sir Alex Ferguson’s team talks could be during his incredible Manchester United career.
Rooney moved to Old Trafford from Everton as an 18-year-old in 2004 and spent 13 years with the club, winning five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the FA Cup, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the Europa League in a stellar career.
The 32-year-old rejoined the Toffees over the summer after spending a season under current Red Devils chief Jose Mourinho, who dropped the United captain after just five Premier League games in 2016-17.
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Rooney played his finest football for United under Ferguson and gave a revealing insight on how the Scot got the best out of him during their nine years together at Old Trafford.
“Some of his team talks were, ‘Go and win the game,'” Rooney revealed on Sky’s Monday Night Football. “‘You 11 players are better than their 11 players, go and win the game and work it out for yourselves on the pitch.’
“If we got a player sent off, the players would work out how we change the formation themselves on the pitch and if there was a problem the manager would change it. In the big games, that’s where he’d get his tactics right.
“His man-management without a doubt was his biggest strength,” Rooney added. “As a manager he was the best but his man-management was something which a lot of other managers would struggle to match.
“He knew how to speak to players, how to get a reaction. He’s the only manager that could leave someone out and make them feel good about it. He was incredible.
“He knew how to get a reaction out of me. So many times at half-time I had played well and others in the dressing room hadn’t but he’d come for me. He knew there’d be a shouting match but it’d get a reaction from me.
“If he did it to another player – for example Nani – he knew he’d lose the player but he just knew the right thing to do with different players.”